In mid 2013, after years of not writing much of anything, I started to feel the urge to write for publication again. About this time, the religion section of my local newspaper was calling for a new batch of reader columnists, so I decided to apply.
I found a few things I had written earlier, added a short bio and emailed it all to the editor. After several weeks, I hadn’t heard anything, so I assumed that door was closed. I was OK with that; it’s taken me a long time, but I’ve learned to hold such opportunities loosely and trust that God will give me what I need when it comes to writing assignments.
Fortunately, the waiting didn’t quell my creative juices. One day, I sat down and wrote this little piece about Psalm 121—something I’d wanted to do for a long time but never had the courage. The rough draft was a little different than what you see here, but the gist of it—the story that exposed my heart like never before—was all there.
I finished up the story one Thursday morning before heading out to the grocery store. As I gathered my purse and shopping list, I knew in my heart that, if I was selected to be a reader columnist for the newspaper, this would be the first piece I would submit.
I just knew.
And can you guess what was playing on the minivan stereo a moment later when I started the engine? The song “Always,” by Kristian Stanfill—at the exact spot, about halfway through, where he starts singing directly from Psalm 121.
“I lift my eyes up … my help comes from the Lord.”
I sat there and cried.
The editor wrote back eventually. While my original submissions showed my journalistic skills, he wasn’t quite sure I had the “depth of thinking” he was looking for.
“So what do you want to do?” he asked. “Shoot me something else or call it a day?”
I sent him my Psalm 121 story, and, well, here we are.
I say all that to say this: I absolutely love songs that draw directly from my favorite psalm. I usually try to choose tunes for Song of the Month that are at least somewhat new or unfamiliar, but when I heard this song on the radio several weeks ago, I knew I would have to make an exception.
Whether you’ve heard it a dozen times or not at all, I hope the message of For King & Country’s “Shoulders” refreshes your soul as much as it does mine.