He is the Christ- The Story Behind the Song
Updated: Apr 19
Many years ago, I was studying the scriptures at the kitchen table of a little rental home in Austin, Texas. It was early in the morning and my little babies (3 kids 5 and under at the time) were asleep, and the house quiet. For months I had been feeling like there was something urgent that I was not doing. My little family had been traveling around the country and living in a new place every month. Our adventures were a total blast laced with moments of uncertainty and loneliness. My husband, who was part of a very rigorous training program to become a doctor, awoke bright and early every day to work long hours. This left many (sometimes long) days of entertaining my littles in a new city where I knew no one. So exploring we would go!
One particular morning, after months of living this unpredictable and adventurous lifestyle, I was slightly homesick and very weary. The scriptures drew me in, searching like a scavenger hunt. I needed to know what God needed me to do. I knew it was something outside of the rigors and joys of motherhood. There I sat at the kitchen table with the light of the morning beginning to chase away the shadows, lighting the terra cotta tile floor. A distinct impression came to me, clear and concise--- "You need to start a blog today." I felt the urgency and that day, I was ready to act. I did not know the first thing about such an ordeal. So naturally, I googled, "How to Start a Blog" and promptly went to work.
What evolved from embarking on this adventure, was a place that I could share my heart and my passion for family, running, health and wellness, and most importantly my faith in Jesus Christ. Running was a big part of my life at this time and had been for years. It was my outlet for surviving the hard stuff. As my blog progressed, I quickly realized how much I LOVED sharing my heart with "the world"--- aka the small community of people from all over the world that had gathered in my blog "living room". I didn't know these people but I felt an urgency to share whatever came to my heart. The running portion of my blog began to take over. I LOVED running, but for a time it seemed to became all consuming.
Free products were sent to my door for my use and review. I never intended to go the commercial route-- but I began to pair up with races, and was even sponsored to run. What should've felt like "I've arrived!" felt more like, "This feels meaningless". I felt obligated to post and share certain things. After a time, I began to realize that maybe this wasn't for me. Maybe this wasn't what God had in mind. I felt frustrated. There was something else that I was meant to be doing.. and then God literally stopped me in my tracks.
With one week left until the St. George Marathon, where I was prepared and hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon---- some irregular hip pain prompted a doctor's visit. Having always been injury free in my 15 years of running, I was shocked to hear, "You have two stress fractures in your pelvis, and something called Osteitis Pubis (inflammation of the pubic symphysis)." Wide eyed, I asked if there was any way I could still run the marathon." To which the doctor replied, "You can try to run it anyway but I cannot guarantee that you will be able to walk afterward."
That was that, and I knew it wasn't the end of the world. However, it felt like the end of the world came gradually as the pain from my injuries became worse and worse. Try as I might, "taking it easy" with the soul care of four little kids (8 and under), while my husband was a resident doctor and gone most of the time--- was pretty much impossible. I couldn't avoid doing all the things that were preventing me from getting better--- such as picking up my baby, bathing children, carrying laundry baskets, bending over to get a pot to make dinner, shoveling the snow, grocery shopping on hard floors, etc. With no family around to help, and feeling ashamed, I felt like it was all my fault. I just kept it all to myself and kept going.
I have always been strong, capable, and relatively had my ‘stuff’ together, but amidst ever worsening pain, everything began to crumble around me. I would often cry at night, tears fell mostly for my kids who had a dead beat mom that couldn’t even take them to the park or play very well with them. Why wasn’t I getting better?! I was trying so hard! And how do you just not pick up your baby when she needs you? How could I not help her? I picked her up anyway and the pain became worse.
By the time Christmas rolled around, I was a puddle on the floor (I know what you're thinking, "Someone get this girl some therapy!" ;) ). Any morale and hope for normal life was in the gutter. We were in another city at the time visiting with our extended families. On Christmas night, my husband and I put our kids to bed at Grandma’s and went out for a drive. As we started to talk about life— his stresses at work, and what was going on with me— I couldn’t even control my sobbing. I was in so. much. pain. For months I had been trying to juggle all of the balls of our life, doing everything possible within my power— even spiritually. I tried everything to hand it all to Christ. Ironically, on the night of His celebrated birth, here I was falling apart. After many tears and talking, we said a prayer and I felt peace. I didn’t know if everything would be okay. I didn’t know if I would get better, but I felt peace and knew that my Heavenly Father was aware of me, loved me, and that I was in His hands. Jesus Christ had felt all of my pain and I could keep going.
After Christmas I went back to the doctor defeated, asking her all of the questions. Why am I not better? What can I do? What am I doing wrong? Help me! So the road of physical therapy began. In physical therapy I found out that my body is a bit lopsided, possibly from carrying babies on my left hip most of the time. I also have a touch of scoliosis, a curve on my spine. We started to work on muscle imbalances, and I began to exercise again in small increments (I had stopped for two months because I became so desperate to get better). I still wasn’t getting better.
The next morning, I was at the gym working on my physical therapy exercises- the very limited exercises I COULD do—I was frustrated that nothing seemed to be working. A sweet friend from my church congregation (ward) happened to walk by me at the gym. She asked me how I was doing, and that was it. All of the walls that I put up so that people wouldn't know that I was suffering came down. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. This wonderful woman just sat with me on a bench in the middle of the gym, her arm around me, while I sobbed almost uncontrollably. I told her everything.
This was a major turning point in my recovery.
Just one of the amazing dinners we received... she even brought all plasticware for us to use and told my daughter to "do the dishes" after.
Women from my church swooped in and took my struggling little family under their wing and started bringing us meals 2-3 times a week for months so that I could focus on getting better. They brought freezer meals, and random plates of treats. One women came and took all of our dirty laundry to her house and washed, dried, and folded it all— believe me when I say 6 people make a TON of stinky laundry! I was so embarrassed but so grateful! People helped me with my kids so that I could go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week, members of our church were constantly checking on us, and seeing what they could do for us. Offers to carpool, teach my class at church, sit with my kids at church, everything! One woman, sitting behind our family (aka: the circus of chaos) in church on Sunday, saw the need for my sweet baby to take a nap. At the time, my husband was already out in the foyer of the church with a disobedient child. I couldn’t just get up and walk out holding the baby even though I wanted to. This sweet women leaned over and whispered, “I would be happy to go rock her to sleep in the mothers room.” So she did, and our little Lucy fell right to sleep. Between her and another sweet young women, they took care of the baby for the rest of church so that I could sit and be spiritually fed.
One of the many lessons I learned from all of this is the BEAUTY of humanity. All of these people were angels who were being Christ's hands for my family at this trying time.
I have never been very good at asking for help. I have always preferred to be the one offering help. Through this, God taught me that it is just as important to allow people to help and serve you as it is for you to serve them. This was a hard lesson to learn, but the incredible beauty in the service rendered by others has forever changed me. Including my sweet mom who was able to take her one week of work off so that she could come help me with the day to day. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude.
So back to the song and how it came to be...
In January, during the hardest part of my struggle, I decided to try to fill my life with as much light as possible. I started something called "Truth Experiment 2017". This was a place on my blog where I shared truth every single day. This project dwindled after 19 days of consistent and vigorous daily gospel study and posting. But in those 19 days, my heart started to wake up again. The glorious light of Christ began to fill my soul amidst the deep pain I was experiencing. His word began to give me more hope than I had previously had.
My best friend reached out to me every so often during this hard time. She would ask how I was doing, then with all the cheer I could muster, I replied, "I am doing pretty well!" and then I would quickly change the subject. She knew I was struggling. Unbeknownst to me, she was praying for me all along. She was petitioning God to help her to know how she could help me. In her words, she said, "I had a thought one day. I recalled all of the songs you used to write when we were kids." (Songs filled with teenage angst haha!) She continued, "I always LOVED those songs and wished I had them on a CD to listen to whenever I wanted. When I thought of those songs, I knew that was it! You needed the healing power of music." When she told me to start writing music again, I laughed out loud and thought, "Yeah right!". But her comment about the "healing power of music" really stuck with me. I couldn't shake it.
With her prodding, I decided to write a "Truth Experiment" blog post about the Healing Power of Music. As I studied and processed this idea that music could help heal, I listened to dozens of inspirational songs on Youtube, many of which were about Christ. All of a sudden, a song started to play in my head. I had never heard it before. It was so clear! It was the song you know now as "He is the Christ." God gave me a gift in the form of a song that day. The words and melody of the song came within one hour. I couldn't believe it! What was happening? With my limited piano ability, I created a beautiful piano accompaniment the following day. This was the beginning of my healing journey. For months I sang and cried as my whole body felt peace. This song carried me. I knew He was with me, and even though at times I had questioned that, He had been there all along. Just as the song says, I can do anything He asks of me if I just turn to Him.
We all pass through seasons of struggle, loneliness, and despair. That is the human experience. I believe we are here on this earth to have trials so that we can grow and become stronger, deeper, and more reliant upon our elder brother Jesus Christ. Our trials make our life more beautiful. I promise! And that beauty come only because of Him!
28 ¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meekand lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
5 ¶ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
If you are in the middle of your struggle, HANG ON. Whatever it is... please know that you are NEVER beyond the reach of Christ. He suffered and died for you and me. Listen to the words of this beautiful song, visualize yourself laying your burdens at His feet. I believe that the words "with you" capture the gift Christ has given us in it's simplest form. "I am with you" He says in the song. I know that is true for every single one of us, no matter what.
***When I finally mustered up enough courage to share "He is the Christ", this is what I wrote about it***
If there has ever been a need for a greater hope in Christ in this world, that time is NOW. I have been holding on to the finished song "He is the Christ" for two months now. Every doubt and fear has held me back from sharing it with others. But in the last 24 hours, God has told me three times, that I need to share it NOW. I can't ignore that.
"I pray that you will choose to lift up your voice and make your life a glorious symphony of praise.. The song of true discipleship may sound off key or even a little out to some. Since the beginning of time, this has been so. But to our Heavenly Father, and to those who love Him, it is a most precious and beautiful song. The sublime and sanctifying song of redeeming love and service to God and fellow men." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
My hope is that many voices from many different faiths will share this song so that we can all come closer to our Savior together--- without division, or religious distinction... that is my dream. Thank you again for your love and support. Please write me and let me know if you end up singing it for someone, I would LOVE to hear!
*Special thanks to my husband, Austin, for his love and support! He is singing the voice of Christ in the song and I think he did an AMAZING job!
*Also, a special thank you to @shanemickelsonmusic for working his instrumental magic and helping "He is the Christ" really come to life!