Mother’s Day 2004—and I heard those words that had so often inspired trepidation—“Heidi, I can’t wait to play a new song I wrote for you!” My stomach began to churn. Michael had just returned from a road trip, and I was looking forward to the day. What if I hate it? I thought. Michael will be hurt. I’ll feel guilty and our family time will be ruined with weirdness. I just don’t need this kind of pressure! Sensing my hesitancy, Michael said with an air of complete confidence, “Trust me. You are going to love it….I know you!” I sat down unconvinced as he grabbed his guitar and giggled like a kid on Christmas morning. He began in a subtle, breathy voice…
I’ve been dreamin bout your face
Get lost and obsessed in your embrace…
My heart was palpitating…Hey, this is good—I mean really fantastic!
Don’t want a sabbatical
Cause I’m fanatical when it comes to you
Baby it’s true—My One and Only love.
WHACK! And it’s a home run—out of the park! One line of ecstasy followed another—I was enraptured. In one little song existed every ingredient to make me swoon—obsession, idealism, high and lofty ladies’ fair worthy of dragon slaying. Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmmm. I had often expressed my irritation with the thematic elements of many love songs (including one my husband wrote). They go something like this… Whatever you go through, no matter how hard it might be for me—through God’s grace I’ll stick it out. I concede it is probably an unfair assessment—none-the-less—that is what I hear. But not this one! My heart proclaimed it a smash hit, and I made him play it over and over that day. It’s funny how it made me blush….to be so lavished with adoration…it was simply put—overwhelming—a fountain of life inside of me.
Michael was so completely gratified and duly rewarded, it wasn’t long before he had written another and another. For the first time in a long time he was writing from the inside out. Though most songwriters start off that way, it is easy to fall into the trap of working from the converse position—taking the temperature of the market and letting what is hot or selling dictate your art. But now, he was writing from the center of his heart.
Several years before, Michael and I were at a crossroad—faced with a common question. Do we follow the wide, deceptively easy path and part company, or do we put on our hiking boots and climb the narrow, sometimes grueling way of our solemn vow, “Till death do us part”? Our life together seemed unbearable. A disease caused me chronic pain and I was suffering from a debilitating depression. Michael was weathering some major career disappointments. Add to the mix four young children, sleepless nights, financial pressures, road life and a lot of family baggage we had been toting through the years—we were about to blow.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand, stand firm then…” Ephesians 6:13
This was our season to stand. Through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit—we did! And the Lord Jesus Christ who is unquestionably faithful rewarded our obedience by bringing us into greater depths of love, intimacy and passion. As we walked with God submitting to His ways not our own—casting off the sin that was weighing both our marriage and hearts down—we began experiencing each other in a whole new way. God working on us individually—me—with healing past abuse, releasing me from the prison of perfectionism, revealing himself to me as wholly righteous and good! I was also slowly, painfully learning the serenity of submission to both God and my husband. Michael was in a process of detoxification. Years of sexual impurity had do be cleansed. At eleven-years of age Michael had his first drink of pornography. He was not only introduced, but encouraged by those in authority who should have protected him. Having walked in some freedom after his commitment to follow Jesus at age twenty-three, there were still layers upon layers of sin that needed to be brought into the light.
“You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
-Matthew 5: 27 & 28
In this area of mental and emotional faithfulness there was still a mountain to be moved. The culture of the world, and I am ashamed to say, even the Christian culture largely ignores or leads men into believing that the lust of the eyes is perfectly normal, natural and untamable. Michael enlisted in the war against sexual immorality, fighting an inheritance of generational godlessness and perversion. As he rigorously disciplined his mind in the self-control available through the Spirit—he kept his eyes solely dedicated to me. When I truly became his One and Only, when his passions were no longer being farmed out throughout the day, Michael began tasting pure sexuality in the fullness that God intended—the cheap imitation exposed! The veil was lifted and Satan was seen as the cheating, pilfering liar that he is—Hallelujah—what a Savior!
So what does all of this have to do with recording a full-on romance c.d.? Couldn’t we just keep it in the bedroom? The truth of the matter is we had not intended this recording to be ministry focused. The songs flowed. We were getting an amazing response from other people in the music industry. We thought—hey, this could really sell! It is funny though, when your full of the Lord—ministry just happens. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. When people started questioning Michael about the inspiration behind the music, he would excitedly spill out all that God had been doing in our marriage. Wherever the songs went someone would say, “Hey Michael, so and so is going through a rough time—you’ve got to tell him your story.” And so he did.
The sanctity of marriage is under enemy fire. For God’s sake we are compelled to fight for that most holy union that is symbolic of Christ and his own bride—the church! Christian families are having spiritual grenades thrown into their homes every day through the media. We must fight back! We must expose the lies! We must contend for righteousness—not only for the sake of a dying Christian generation but so the world may clearly see God’s power at work in his bride! We must be set apart and holy! We must with a strong voice refute the accusation of the enemy that our God is slapping our hands at the cookie jar saying, don’t touch…don’t taste—keeping all good things from his children! HE IS THE FILET MIGNON! HE IS THE CRÈME BRULEE! Why are we so intent on settling for Big Mac’s and Twinkies?
When Michael resigned his almost seven year position in Newsong, we knew we were in the center of God’s will, though our future was unclear. Since then, we have been sailing the sea of faith relying completely on God’s promotion, provision and strength. Little did we comprehend that Mother’s Day how one little song could alter our course. Like the Songs of Solomon we know this work is divinely inspired—both sacred and sensual. We pray that this music will open doors to share the truth of God’s power both to a lost world and our spiritual family in Christ. We also pray it will inspire tender affection—blowing a gentle, concentrated breath on the embers of committed love, igniting sacred passion! May you sense its purity and may our testimony impart courage to those who are in their own day of evil. STAND FIRM!