Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Song with Erin Woods


This is my friend Erin Woods. Our lives crossed paths when she interned at a church where I was working with the youth staff. She ran around with screeching junior high girls all summer. For that, she earned my admiration and many treasures in heaven. Since the days of lock-ins and boy bands, she has become a beautiful singer/song writer. Here is one of her newest ones from the album Unraveled.

Below, Erin honestly shares how pouring over the Psalms would take her from doubt and uncertainty to eventually renew her heart and give her a New Song.

2008 was a hard year for me. Many doors had been closed already and I had moved back home with my parents. I was the child that always said I was leaving Houston for college and not moving back. But eventually, money runs out and couch surfing gets old and you just have to swallow your pride and move home. And so, I did. Most of the next year was spent doing random work and interviewing for jobs that were in line with what I thought the Lord had called me to. But, I couldn’t seem to find a job. Nor was I finding it easy to connect with a community of peers who were working full time.
Finally, in September, a job came along. It was not, however, the job I was looking or praying for. But,  I’d asked the Lord to provide and He did, even if it didn’t look the way I’d hoped. So, I accepted my first full-time, buy a new wardrobe, you’re a big girl now, job. I was glad to have routine and income, but I was honestly confused. I thought the Lord had called me to something else, something, very much not this.

On top of that confusion, I’d been serving in an area where my heart and my passion collided and where I’d found some solace in the midst of nothing else lining up. Then, some changes were made and there was no longer room for me to serve there. My feelings were hurt, severely. I felt lost and broken and like my life, and the life I’d hoped for after college, was unraveling. For most of 2007 and 2008 my songwriting ceased. I would try to write but nothing would come. Eventually, after listening to a Breakaway Ministries podcast in which Ben Stuart talked about how we should speak to ourselves about truth just as David does in the Psalms, I took a cue from Psalm 42 and wrote “Oh My Soul”. And after that song, the words began to flow again. Then I took a cue from another Psalm (98). The writer says, “Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him."

I was not there…not able to say along with the Psalmist that the Lord had done marvelous things. My head knew it was true, but life was unraveling. I felt broken and tired. Still, my God had promised to sustain me. He had promised to provide. Besides, He had already done so much for me. He gave me good parents that were willing to let me move back home. He provided friends to encourage me. And best of all, He saved me. Despite the hard days, I could sing. Not because I had the strength but because I serve a God who is sovereign, who has already beaten death, and in whom we have victory.  From this place of feeling so lost and yet, knowing the Truth about my God, I wrote “New Song”.

Since then life has cycled through some green pastures and deep valleys. I have been confused and felt a little forgotten. I have had some deeply sweet moments of assurance and rejoicing. And even though I often forget them, the promises of God are already complete in Christ. I am a new creation. And the victory has been won. Therefore, even when I feel like a mess and even though there are days I feel like I am in a losing battle, I can and will still sing of the greatness of my God.

New Song      
Copyright © 2008 words and music by Erin R. Woods

I may seem unraveled
But You knit me together perfectly
I may come unglued
But You take broken things and make them new
So I am not what I seem
You have already changed me

I will sing a new song
I will lift my hands in praise
You are alive in me
My Creator and King

There will be some hard days
But You ordained them all
I may have to fight a little harder
When the night begins to fall
But I will remember
What You’ve already done
You’ve already won

And I will sing a new song
I will lift my hands in praise
Whom shall I fear
If You are near

Holy Holy is He
The God of Victory
Holy Holy is He 
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