26 December, 2012

Day Two: Worship and Song

Back in February, D and I went to Denver to see one of my favorite performers - JJ Heller. I don't remember how I became acquainted with her, but her music has changed and shaped my life.

When I am at my wits end and burned out, I turn off the lights, take a pair of headphones, lie on the ground and just cry as her lyrics of honesty and faith wash over me in a form of worship. When I cannot say a word, JJ's words rise to heaven for me.

Her songs got me through DC and painful nights and Rwanda when all I wanted was some comfort. She is one of the few artists whose CDs I buy without hearing them.

I am not a concert person, but when I heard she was going to be in Denver I knew I had to go. D went with me, and it was a magical night. We sat in the back row (it was an intimate setting) and I just let the moment hit me. It was just her and her husband, Dave, singing the songs that have become associated with memories to me. She is as real, playful and personable in person as her songs portray.

She writes with raw honesty and brings words to other's pain and trials. Olivianna is the pleading of a mother for her daughter who passed away shortly after birth from a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Control is written about someone's struggle with cutting and eventual surrender to God. Her songs of worship are real and heartfelt. And yet, in the midst of these are playful songs about boats and marriage and songs for her two daughters.

When D and I got married in June, I walked down the aisle to Tonight. On this second day, I am thankful for how JJ's songs are woven into my tapestry.

Below is one of my favorite songs by her - Painted Red:

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© Amanda Lunday