Ahh… 2018. What a freaking year. I can’t say it’s been easy by any means. And I won’t necessarily say it’s been fun either. What it has been is a year of stepping outside of my comfort zone. It’s been a year of finally saying “yes” to what God has called me to do. In fact, I’ve said “yes” a lot this year. I’ve said “yes” to music. I’ve said “yes” to a touring cover band. I’ve said “yes” to my first single. I’ve said “yes” to recording on other people’s music. I‘ve said “yes” to love. I said “yes” to a relationship. I’ve said “yes” to leading worship. I’ve said “yes” to getting paid to sing. I’ve said “yes” to inner healing. I’ve said “yes” to God over and over and over again. But I’ve also said “yes” to fear, rejection, insecurities, perfectionism, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. So many yes’, so much growth and so much pain. This year has been one hell of a year.
On January 1st, 2018 my grandpa unexpectedly passed away. And as I sit here crying I realize I’ve been really great at stuffing emotions down because well… I have to “adult” and get stuff done. Who really has time for emotions? Who has time to deal with pain? Who has time to sit in what feels like my world falling apart when I have bills to pay, work to get done, music to write? God has taught me a lot about his commandment of REST this year. He commands us to rest. And part of resting means sitting in the depths of what we feel and dealing with it. Rest and recovery are highly recommended by God. You should try it out sometime.
After I lost my grandpa, a month later I received a call from my mom. I was in rehearsal at the time so she left a voicemail. By the tone of her voice on the voicemail I knew immediately someone had died. I assumed it was my grandma as my grandparents had been married for 66 years and it’s common that when one passes, the other passes shortly after. How can two souls intertwined not need to catch up over some coffee in heaven after one is stripped away? Assuming it was my grandma I called her back but what she said made me fall to the ground in pain and a pool of tears. My 20 year old cousin with a bright future and one week shy of 21 was killed in a car accident. She had just accepted her dream job. She was kind, loving, a truly beautiful soul. At that moment all my fears, frustrations, and questions from the time my dance instructor was killed in a car accident came flooding back. I was 12 and never doubted anyone as much as I doubted God. How could a loving, all powerful God allow this to happen? If He was truly loving and all powerful He could have stopped this. Healed her. Not let her die. Something! Anything!? But then I’m reminded that God is sovereign and I am not. And I am to trust Him, not doubt Him.
With not doubting God also comes me not doubting who He says I am and who He’s called me to be. A month later I started recording my first single. It was a roller coaster process. I’m a perfectionist… well was a perfectionist. I’m trying not to claim that anymore. But because I am very detailed and like things done how I imagine them - I had a very specific vision for my first single. I knew what I wanted it to feel like, the sound, the timing, everything. It started out just so. Exactly what I wanted. I was excited and the process was enjoyable. Half way in, my producer messed with the song on his free time and it took a giant, fat, left turn. I hated it. It was ugly and not what I wanted at all. I suddenly hated the process and everything about creating music. My next session we fixed it. And in the end the song turned out just how I had imagined. I sit here reminded of how life is a lot like this process. It’s messy. Sometimes you’re enjoying every moment and the next you are broke, don’t know what’s going to happen next, and uncertain if it’s all worth it. And quite honestly not able to celebrate any part of it. I wasn’t able to celebrate my single or myself for taking such steps until a couple of weeks ago. Mind you my single came out in July. It is now November. Took me a few months to appreciate the piece of art I had created. Like I said - I’m a part time perfectionist. It takes me awhile to appreciate the good in things and sometimes even people.
During that time I met a boy. He was tall, dark, and handsome. Just how I like em. Dread-head, Christian music artist, loves God, loves people. And I thought loved me? At the time I was sure of it. Now… I’m really not sure of anything. I question if it was real. Did I not hear God right? Did I miss it? Was I disobedient to God? I could’ve sworn God revealed to me who he was supposed to be in my life. But right now in this moment I question if I heard God at all or were my ears cuffed in surrender to my hearts desires?
Anyways… this boy. He honestly came out of no where. Quite honestly at first I was only interested in him for music purposes. As I had just started my music journey I wanted to connect with more Christian artists. He ended up being one of them. After a phone call and FaceTime I was hooked. I wanted to spend all my time getting to know him. He became my best friend. We talked for hours every night about anything and everything. God, life, music, our dreams and ambitions. We were planning. And let me take this moment to say that dating is HORRIBLE. Period. I’ve always hated the idea of dating. I don’t want to waste my time getting to know someone to realize months later that “This just isn’t gonna work”. Thank you for wasting half my life! Major sarcasm and a bit dramatic… but you get my point. Dating in the world is boo boo. But dating in the Christian world is HELL ON EARTH. Everyone goes in with a “This is the one” mentality and it puts way too much pressure on both parties. On top of that the Kingdom of God does a catastrophic job of setting single people up for marriage success. Every community event, group, ministry, etc is focused on success after rings are exchanged. But let me just say if single people were the focus we’d have a lot more healthy marriages. Just. Saying. But that’s not my place.
Anyways - back to “the boy”. Let me just cut right to it. We aren’t together anymore. There is an issue us Millennials/Gen-Z have. We are a microwave generation with “relationships” at our fingertips. Who wants to be patient and work through an actual relationship when I can swipe left and find something that is “good enough” for the time. We patch up holes meant for true connection with instant cell phone reception and call it good. Basically, we suck. I say all that to say that I think he liked the “idea” of a relationship. But not the effort it took. And I’m not saying I was perfect and everything I did was right. To be honest, my perfectionism makes me judge other people harshly and almost everything he did for me was seen as “not good enough”. Perfectionism is like looking through foggy, scratched up lenses. All you see is flaws. In the end after awhile our relationship felt non-existent. With a lack of communication and effort combined with being on Instagram all day but not being able to have an important conversation… I ended it.
Do I miss him? Yes. It’s the worst pain I’ve felt in awhile. I didn’t realize you could actually physically feel heartache until now. I grew up being taught how to mask pain, hide it, don’t deal with, don’t cry, don’t show that you are hurt, suck it up, and move on. But God has been teaching me through conversations about how your brain actually holds on to pathways of trauma as well as how pain can be passed down through DNA that… “Spencer, you need to deal with this. Not just ignore it”. I miss him. I still love him. And I still deeply care for him. But sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do. Even if in the midst of it all your worst fears, doubts, and pain surface. Let’s just say I won’t be dating for awhile. My lenses toward men and relationships are foggy and scratched up. It’s just better for me and everyone else to stick to being single for now.
So now here I am at the end of 2018. Almost finished with my first EP. I’ve been offered to sign with a label. I don’t know what the future holds. I’m honestly scared to pieces. I still wake up feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I don’t trust people, men in particular. Some days I don’t ever want to get out of bed. Some days I ignore everyone. I don’t respond. I don’t pick up. Some days I wish I had more friends. Some days I pray for God to send me “my team” and “my people”. Some days I’m not suicidal but also don’t want to live. Some days I want to pack up and leave. Some days I want to say “Thanks but no thanks God. Give my calling to someone else”. Some days I feel like giving up on everything and everyone. Some days I wish I had never met him. Some days I wish I had never tried. Some days I wish I was better at life. But then I remember that God loves me because He loves me because He loves me and nothing could ever change that. No matter how good or bad I am at this game of life. So I keep going and I keep pushing and I keep stepping out of my comfort zone. Because God is worth it. Even if I don’t think I am.