By My Side: The Back Story

3:08 PM

I am very excited to share that DeMico and I have been writing some original music. For those of you who know me, you know I've been singing all of my life. But this collaboration is dear to my heart, not only because it's with the man that I love, but because the story behind it is amazing.

I come from a family of song writers and musicians. My entire family is very gifted at it, in fact. And I always felt like the oddball. I struggled to form melodies. And even though I blog and journal and write a lot, song lyrics for whatever reason have always been difficult for me. So, I stayed away from song writing. I thought perhaps it just wasn't a gift that I had. I figured, "Who cares? Someone else can write the songs and I can just sing it." I've been doing that most of my life.

The creative process of writing a song has always been quite baffling to me. I tried to write music with several people, but it just didn't work out. When the process of actually composing a song would start, I could contribute a word or two. I could ask questions about the vision...but overall, I had no idea what I was doing. Honestly, I felt inadequate.

Then one day, DeMico and I got together to work on some music. He pulled out his guitar and asked me, "What do you think of this?" And he just started playing. His melodies moved me in a way I'd never felt before. And as he was playing, vocal melodies were coming to my mind...I knew something special was there. So we continued to write together on and off.

On April 9, 2015, DeMico was driving me home from church. I was quiet in the car because I was exhausted, physically, mentally...and spiritually. I felt burnt out with school, church, On top of that, I have a chronic illness that I've been praying for healing from since I was young. And I was having a flare-up, right in the middle of everything: Easter, my comprehensive exams for school, graduation looming around the corner, uncertainty about the future. I was frustrated with felt like God was so distant from me. It felt like God wasn't answering any of my questions: "Why won't You heal me?" "What am I supposed to do after graduation?" "Why won't anyone call me for an interview?" "How am I going to survive once school is done?" "Where am I supposed to go from here?"

That night, there was a huge thunderstorm in Chicago. Lightning was flashing over Lake Michigan. It matched everything I was feeling inside. Suddenly, DeMico asked me if I would like to pull over and watch the storm on the beach. I was like, "No, take me home." (lol). But, he was persistent and I said fine, 5 minutes. We went and parked on the beach and watched the storm in silence. DeMico reached for my hand and said, "Isn't this beautiful? Storms are supposed to be scary, but instead it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen." He went on to tell me, "I know you're in a storm right now and there are so many questions you have. But instead of just thinking about the storm being over, I think you should embrace it. Look around you and see that there's beauty in the storm. God's here. I'm here. We're both by your side."

His words were poetic. But more than that, they meant something to me. So I asked him if we could write a song. He was like, "Right now?? Okay!" He reached into the backseat and pulled his acoustic out of its case. He had to adjust the seat and lay the acoustic flat in his lap in order to play in the car. I pulled out my notebook and wrote down what he had said to me. And immediately I saw a potential song. I asked him to start playing something, anything. He said, "Okay...well, here's something I was working on earlier today. Let me know if you like it..." And the rest was history. The entire song, melodies, lyrics, and all were written in about an hour in the front seat of his car in the middle of a thunderstorm. We recorded it right then and there, too. Also in his car. So here is the final product:

He unlocks something in me that I can't quite explain. And that's fine, because perhaps it doesn't need to be explained. It just is. When I'm with him and he starts strumming a guitar melody, vocal melodies that I never knew were there start to float through my mind. His music reminds me of people and places that I've been...dreams that I've had and forgotten. He unlocks the pieces of my musical heart.

All of this time, I thought I just didn't have the gift. But instead, I had it all along...I was just waiting for him.

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