Click the play button below to listen along while reading the story behind the lyrics:
There is a lie you believe about yourself. It likely has been there most of your life, hiding in the background, subtle, yet powerfully pervasive. Your lie has seeped in through life’s experiences as the whispers of the enemy give you false interpretations by which to set your heart’s compass.
A long relationship ends and you are left with what feels like complete abandonment. The enemy is close with his whispers, which set in your heart that you’re unlovable.
As a young child you vainly beg your parents not to split. After their nasty divorce, overwhelming thoughts force their way inside, telling you you’re a burden and only create brokenness.
Cancer ravages your new spouse, ripping apart your flourishing life together. In the wake of death, hate-filled words hissed in your ear through clenched teeth are, “God abhors you and will take everything you love away.”
These messages are spoken over and over to us. The more we hear them, the more they seem like truth.
Three years before I wrote “Lies Broken by Brilliant Truth,” a mentor had me write out lies that I believed about myself. It was a surprising request, but I agreed to the exercise. Taking a long period of introspection and prayer, I slowly uncovered some pretty painful things as I laid out my thoughts on the pages of my journal.
An incredibly large portion of the lies dealt with how I viewed my presence in a girl’s life. At the time, I had already walked through some broken relationships, which I ended. The resulting pain I caused opened the door for an incredible amount of negative whispers. So much of my belief had come to rest in a very strong lie: “All I am capable of offering a girl is inevitable heartache.”
Looking at my list, I wanted nothing more than to burst out of the emotional prison I had been deceived into. Yet somehow it felt like I didn’t deserve release. That’s one of the greatest deceptions of the enemy, making you believe the prison walls are home.
The guilt I carried from causing tears had set a belief in my heart that God was disappointed in giving humanity permission to feel for anyone but Him. Somehow I was looking past all of the wonderful goodness that existed from the first moments Adam looked at Eve. All I could see was the fall, man choosing woman, and the ensuing darkness that separated them from their first love. The enemy had lied his way right out of the story.
Out of these painful ideas I began to write the lament that shaped “Lies Broken by Brilliant Truth.
Tell me why this picture, wrapped up in human nature
Of what I’m to become
Feels like I’m dragging in someone else
To give my affection
While You’re put in the back room
Be quiet, she might hear You
As Your jealous temper flares
The “picture wrapped up in human nature,” or marriage, is good. God Himself said those very words, “It is good.” And yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that my pursuit of a woman placed Him in the back room of my heart, His jealousy raging at my desire for another. I began to question whether all my interactions with women were somehow displeasing.
But there is proof against reluctance to do this
Well-side conversations weren’t wrong
These lines were the spark trying to find life as my lament took me further from the truth. I knew that Jesus spent time with women, not in romantic pursuit but in life-giving ways that left them wonderfully changed. At a well in Samaria, He offered a woman, weary from unfilled desire, a cure for her eternal thirst (John 4:4-42). On a dusty street in Jerusalem, he rescued a woman shamed by her life choices, giving her a chance to begin life anew (John 8:1-11).
But could I ever offer that kind of life to a woman?
Be careful not to let me in
It’s the beginning, the end
And I didn’t mean to take it this far
With such as useless heart.
These words still bring painful emotion when I read/listen to them. The chorus is my warning to those who would let themselves get dangerously close to my heart. Although the truth at the well spoke of Jesus’ heart to offer life, I didn’t believe he could do the same through me. The warning speaks against letting me inside, allowing my silhouette to be painted in the doorway of another’s heart. Doing so might allude to a beautiful beginning, but it would be the beginning of the end.
But how do you suppress a desire for love and intimacy? We are created for it. The lies were strong, but not strong enough to kill the ache altogether. It was a precarious tightrope trying to balance the prevention of heartache and the overflow of a fiercely beating heart that still hoped for love. At some point I knew I would have to risk again.
When your beautiful reflection through beautiful intentions
Moves so close I might shatter glass
Feels like I’m grasping with unsteady hands
But you have all my attention
Many times hope is stronger then we think. The day I shared the lies with my mentor, he said I needed a success story. He told me to write down those very words next to the lies. And so I did, “I need a success story in my own life … June 6th, 2005.”
That very summer I began a new relationship. I remember the prelude season, bathed in persistent prayers, desperate to hear God’s voice for permission to try again. His words of response were unnerving, and yet somehow reassuring at the same time. “These are deep waters, and I want you to step out of the boat.”
Having the God of the universe invite you into deep waters is a strange, wonderful feeling, especially when it comes without the promise of how the experience ends. There is fear, both of what you will find and the possibility of failure. But the invitation into adventure is impossible to refuse, especially when it collides with the desire of your heart.
For one year I walked through some very healthy experiences as well as some really tough challenges with this girl. I saw God’s reflection in her. With shaky hands I gave all my attention to holding her heart as if it were the most delicate piece of china in God’s house. We matured as people through it all and felt God changing things inside us that needed to grow. I began to believe I might actually have something to offer a woman.
And then the relationship ended …
With the vagrant’s lies still ringing
Hope is lost with distant dreaming
Back when the clock read 5:59
I found myself in a season of vast change. As much as I had grown in that relationship, I could not see myself spending the rest of my life with her. The vagrant and his lies came back violently strong, standing close to whisper in my ear during those final conversations that ended things. For years to follow I would struggle with my dream of becoming a man like the One who offered life at a well in Samaria. Every time I was shaken awake like an alarm clock sounding at 6:00 a.m., pulling me from my joy.
And this is obviously so far from perfect
I feel it now because I’m still scared.
In the Bible, John makes the statement, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Obviously what I felt was far from love’s original design. There was still so much fear.
What are you left with when you have tried your best and still leave another heart broken? How do you use a useless heart?
As strong as the enemy is, the persistent pursuit of love is stronger. Truth is after you. It is only our agreement with the lies that keeps us from the brilliant light inviting us into its warmth.
Love was persistent over me during those years, never relenting.
Through dark haze that’s set itself
Comfortable around my neck,
Spoken softly, spoken strongly.
And they break, they pierce thru this
Hardened stone is turned to flesh
Its mending deception
Lies broken through with brilliant truth
You have to quiet your heart and listen. Truth is always there to offer life. But beware, because as soon as evil thinks you have caught wind of Truth, it will go after you with another powerful tactic, making you believe Truth is just your own internal voice.
Love’s persistence made me pause and listen. Instead of hearing the darkness that had choked me for so long, I heard again Truth’s whisper, spoken incredibly strong, reminding me of the things I did well. “You did it right, your presence in her life made her a better person … I am proud of you.”
A pulse now in forgotten veins
Aching hope with one word changed
Hurting to healing
Could what God had whispered be true? The lie I had clung to was “you are only capable of hurting a girl.” The brilliant truth that broke through was “you are only capable of healing a girl.” One word was all that needed to change for my heart to beat again with hope, hurting to healing.
I’ve got this strange feeling
Like maybe I’m capable of holding what’s vulnerable
With steady hands and sturdiness
This blinding light with tenderness
Brings forth beauty.
Could I be capable of holding the most vulnerable of all creation, a person’s heart? More than that, could I hold it with steady hands and watch as God’s light heals and brings forth beauty through me, through the same beating heart that I once tried to stop?
I am starting to believe.
I’m married now to the most amazing reflection of God’s heart I have ever seen. God has shown me how He sees her. She is His most prized treasure, proudly displayed in the courtroom of His house. She is a treasure of immeasurable wealth and beauty … and He has asked me to protect her.
I know what has been entrusted to my still at times shaky hands. And yet each day I feel my attentive grip gaining steadiness as Truth continues to whisper His belief over me.
He believes in you too, you know.
Take a moment to listen. Don’t throw off the words that come as your own voice. Ready to go deeper? Write out the list of negative things you believe about yourself under the headline “lies.” Call them out for what they are.
Then ask God for a success story.
Brilliant Truth is calling, and if you will let Him, He can break even the strongest of lies. You have beauty to offer. Your heart is good … yes, your beating heart is good.
You bring forth beauty
From this heart,
From this heart,
From this beating heart.