So if you’ve read my past few blogs you know the story on how I started the year off independently and set out to finish writing and recording a new record to be released in the fall. I cannot tell you how remarkable the journey has been. The fact that I’m sitting in a hotel room in Houston right now 3 days after the record has been released and reading comment after comment after comment from individuals that are enjoying the music, well, it’s quite surreal. What everybody sees as a finished product packaged and produced was once just a bunch of random bits and pieces of ideas and melodies floating around in my head and saved on my phone. I had the privilege and pain of experiencing this journey from start to finish. My perspective is a bit different from yours, allow me to share.
Early on in the process I was up late one night writing, and this idea came out of nowhere. I had my guitar in hand and it was like everything happened at once: the melody, the concept, the chords, the lyrics. A song was born. The title was “How the Story Ends.”
I’ve always loved great stories. And if you take a close look at almost every good story you’ll find that what makes the story good is CONFLICT & RESOLUTION. The greater the conflict, the sweeter the resolution is. The more dangerous the potential tragedy, the more miraculous the redemption. Think about every comic book or movie involving a superhero. There is always an impossible scenario a character must face that brings out the realest part of themselves: their true hidden identity – the most powerful character within them – the hero within. And somehow they come out victorious. And that’s what makes the end so good.
Mark Batterson is one of my favorite authors. In his most recent book “Soul Print” he talks about how God takes our weaknesses and disadvantages and uses them to help us overcompensate and develop strength, character & perseverance. He wrote the following:
“…the best movies aren’t the movies with the most action. They are the movies with the best characters. And the key is character development. Don’t you love movies where the main character has to overcome an obstacle or face a fear or fight an injustice? We love those characters who have to overcome extreme adversity. We just don’t want to be them. We want to watch them on a screen. But here’s what we need to recognize: it’s not the resolution of circumstances, but the evolution of character, that God is after. And the worst circumstances often produce the best character and the best story line.”
While I was writing this song it was crazy because not only was I in the middle of turbulence producing a new record, but I was in the middle of turbulence in the story of my real life. Things had kind of crashed and burned in a way. This was my way of rising up from the ashes. Something in me was rising up, and I was reminded that no matter what life looked like in the moment, I know how the story ends… and it is good.
“I know how the story ends and it’s good, it’s good
so much better than the way it all began oh but
I know it gets rough in the middle
swimming up a stream, surviving seems impossible
but I know that’s what makes the end so good.”
In part 2 of this blog I will explain how I know that the overall story ends good. That will take some unraveling that I don’t have time to expand on now. But until then, I can say that “How the Story Ends” as a record couldn’t have ended any better. I am so happy with how it turned out. It pushed me past my own personal limit and grew me in ways I never would have grown if it was easy. Many 12 + hour days of working, not knowing for sure how I would finish, but somehow I had a faith inside that it would all turn out for the good if I kept trusting in God and kept pressing. It’s crazy because it was impossible and easy at the same time. God’s grace was sufficient in my weakness. As I look back it seems like a fairy tale. But now it’s out, and nobody can take it away. And for that I’m thankful. Thankful to Jesus, thankful to my family and friends, and thankful to my fans.