If you have been following pop culture this week, you may have seen stories or articles lately about Demi Lovato’s emotional return to the Grammy stage to share her most recent song, Anyone. This song was written several days before she experienced an overdose in which she survived. I was scrolling through the latest releases on Spotify on Friday and came across the song. As I listened to the song over and over again, be aware this isn’t a Christian song, I felt like there were a lot of lyrics that I related to and a lot of things I definitely related to as a Christian. Today, I just wanted to talk a little bit about what I got out of her song, and why I think there are some spiritual elements we can all take away from it.
The song starts with this verse:
I tried to talk to my piano
I tried to talk to my guitar
Talk to my imagination
Confided into alcohol
I tried and tried and tried some more
Told secrets ’til my voice was sore
Tired of empty conversation
‘Cause no one hears me anymore
Sadly, we live in a generation where more than ever before, we are told that we need to have the loudest voices, the most tweetable phrases, the most-liked Instagram photos. We need to be bold and loud about our opinions for them to get noticed. The worst thing that many people in our society are afraid to experience is being invisible — not having the satisfaction of having people watch and react to their Instagram stories. We are all so fearful of being found out as actual real people with real problems. So we hide behind our Instagrams and our Facebooks and our Snapchat filters. We lie until our voices our sore that we are all right, we are ok, and that we are doing well when we aren’t.
And if you feel that way today, that you are genuinely weary of having to be loud to get attention or hide behind social media and cry into your pillow at night where no one sees you, I have some things I want to say to you today.
First, God sees you; He understands the real you, not just the polished version of yourself you display to those around you. He knows all the hairs you have on your head, and He is listening, even when it feels like He isn’t. A girl at my church the other week shared a vision she felt she had gotten from the Lord that I think is really applicable to how you might be feeling. She described a boy who was sitting almost against a stone wall, and he was praying to God, but he felt like God wasn’t hearing him. But in the vision, on the other side of the stone wall was God, and everything was magnified like it was coming through speakers to God, and He was hearing everything the boy was saying. And that is real, friends. He does listen to us when we try to talk to everyone else around us. He hears us and is with us when we try to take comfort in our food, or online presence, or The Bachelor. The Holy Spirit intervenes for us when we don’t even know what or how to pray. He hears it all. So don’t feel like you have to put on a shiny face with God because you don’t. Trust me, God has definitely seen all of us at our worst, so, unfortunately, there is no fooling Him.
Also, let’s start being a community of people that aren’t afraid to talk about hard things. If you are struggling with how you feel about yourself or just stuck in a season of comparing yourself to others, find someone to talk to about it. There is a high chance that they have experienced or are experiencing the same thing. But don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking that your stuff is too much for someone to handle. It is not too much for God to handle for one, but it is not going to be too much for friends that you really love to handle, either.
Next, we get to the chorus of the song:
A hundred million stories
And a hundred million songs
I feel stupid when I sing
Nobody’s listening to me
I talk to shooting stars
But they always get it wrong
I feel stupid when I pray
So, why am I praying anyway?
If nobody’s listening
Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone, oh
Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone
I know some of you might be gasping at these lyrics, thinking blasphemy! Friends, I have a confession; I often have felt stupid when I prayed. Not always because I thought God wasn’t listening, but because I thought I wasn’t saying it well, or doing it the correct Christian way, or praying in the right place or right time with the right cup of hot liquid. But I do remember, when I was in the throes of my anxiety, feeling truly like an idiot for praying.
Not because I thought God wasn’t real, but because I thought He frankly didn’t care. And I thought if He was listening, He sure wasn’t doing anything to convince me He was. I prayed so much during that time to get better and feel better, that I felt like if I were in a movie right then, people would be screaming at the TV what are you doing? Don’t you get that He isn’t going to respond or help you?
But you know what, God was using that time of just breaking me and making me feel like I was in the bottom of a pit I could never claw out of to grow my faith. To show me that even when I don’t see or hear Him, He’s working. To quote the overplayed song Waymaker( I know what I said), “Even when I don’t see it, you’re working. Even when I don’t feel it, you’re working.” No matter what stage you find yourself in on your Christian walk, or maybe you don’t even have a relationship with God currently, you can relate to praying and hearing nothing.
Maybe you’re in that season right now. And if you are, I want to tell you to not lose hope. Don’t start believing that God is not good. He is good. It’s ok to have times that we doubt His goodness. It’s ok to have times when we journal or yell at Him in frustration. God can take our emotions, He invented them after all.
But if we stop believing that God is good and wants good things for us, then we stop having a reason to worship God. Because if we truly at our cores believe that God is just jerking us around, then He ceases to be a God that is worth praising. We have to look outside of our situations and circumstances currently and remember that goodness is promised to us time and time again.
After all, Abraham was promised children as numerous as the sands, and he just had two sons in his lifetime. But he believed God, and now we see that Abraham is the father of many religions that separately have so many children over the numbers of sands on a beach shore. God promises us that He is returning, and He is going to redeem this broken earth and His broken people. We might die before Jesus comes back, but that doesn’t mean that He isn’t returning.
We might feel like God isn’t good in our life right now, but He sees so much more than we do, hears so much more than we do, and actually knows a lot more than we do. He is good, even when we doubt. And He isn’t just sending anyone as Demi asks in the song He is sending and has sent His actual son as a sacrifice for us so that we can experience Him and have the opportunity to question if He’s good or not. Because when they were sacrificing all those animals in Leviticus, I don’t think they had a whole lot of time to ponder God’s goodness.
So to wrap this rant up, if you feel stupid when you pray, or like you are looking to God friendless and lonely, you need to know that you are valued and cherished. And I am not one to be one of those fakey Christian bloggers that quote you are fearfully and wonderfully made a lot. You have value regardless if you feel it or not because God declared you were worthy without you having been born when He was on the cross. If you are still breathing today, your life has value, case closed.
The bottom line is, God is good; Instagram can mess with your brain, so take a break, and finally, you can hear from God in the weirdest places, even a Demi Lovato song. Thanks for reading my friends. I hope this encouraged you!