Jul 12, 2022
(Mark) Last week I introduced you to “My Lady”, Cindy Alewine who inspired the song “My Lady”. I promised to let you hear from her this week. Today’s story is how God took an unthinking comment Cindy made at a very low point in her life and brought about a powerful battle cry and victory song. I’ll let her tell you all about it.
(Cindy) Hi everybody! I’m so glad you’re here and I’m excited to share this story with you. First of all, I’m an only child (and no I wasn’t spoiled). My mom passed away when I was 35 years old so my dad was on his own for many years.
Since he lived in Georgia, It was challenging trying to help him when he started having all sorts of issues. Finally the time came for a change. He had undiagnosed Parkinson’s Disease and some other problems that made it impossible to continue to live on his own.
So we moved him to Minnesota into our home. I quit my job to stay home with him full-time. Dad and I loved each other but I had lots of buttons for him to push and sometimes our relationship felt like oil and water. Still, I felt satisfied and even a bit noble. Mark here was a great help and we believed this was God’s will. Others helped us as well and Dad truly appreciated our love and care. Things were going great.
After a while, though, over the next five and a half years, I let the mundane tasks, the hours of noisy TV and the 24/7 responsibility get to me. I often felt weary, sometimes I felt trapped. I definitely felt like a hostage to negative thoughts and feelings. My body was affected also and I had quite a bit of pain. Despite being loved and supported, I struggled with depression and felt hopeless.
Out of necessity, I dug into to my relationship with God. So many beautiful things came when I would be still, listen and accept the opportunity to grow.
I began recognizing the underlying choices I faced each day. Choices between easy, convenient and comfortable OR becoming like Jesus. If trials were a gift like the Bible says and if they could help me become mature in faith, then I wanted to accept them and embrace the growth. Of course, this was much easier said than done!
I know this is a spiritual “DUH!” but I felt like God was prompting me to “start with praise”. Usually first thing in the morning I’d barge into His presence asking for this or that and sometimes leaving without really listening for a response. I started picking out one praise song to sing before I said anything else. That made a surprising difference! I still do that to this day and sometimes I wake up with a song I hadn’t thought of for years.
I also made a 4 song playlist of high octane praise songs that I listened to over and over throughout the day using my headphones to help drown out the TV blaring in the background. Just hearing the first few measures of a song would often trigger a reset for me mentally. Wow! I know it’s true and it makes sense, but I still marvel how differently God’s presence, comfort, love and power are experienced when we settle into praise.
I was staying close to God but my thoughts and feelings were very uncooperative! I found a sermon series by Craig Groeschel of Life Church called Winning the War in Your Mind. I listened and re-listened and re-listened to it, applying God‘s truth and finding hope. We also went through a series called Free Indeed by Robert Morris of Gateway Church and discovered some strongholds in my life that kept me spinning in some areas. (I highly recommend checking out these resources for yourself and you can find links at GGSSPodcast.com)
Marinating in scripture was critical during this time. There’s a number of verses that I clung to. One of them was “Take every though captive to the obedience of Christ” from 2 Corinthians 10:5. I learned that the meaning was to take every thought captive as if by spear point. What a great mental picture! I had to choose whether to tolerate the loud, repetitive negative thoughts that resulted in undesirable feelings OR kick them out and refill that space with truth by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Another verse from Romans 12:11-13 MSG version says “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” I learned that no one else was responsible for my emotional wellbeing. I was responsible for my own input, for taking in the good and keeping out the bad. I think Henry Cloud would call that boundaries!
One of the big challenges I faced was not feeling productive (you know-like the culture defines productive). It’s amazing how God addresses even that! Hebrews 13:16 MSG version says…”God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of sacrifice – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.” That meant a lot to me because I spent a lot of time in the kitchen.
So by now you have an idea of what was going on in my heart and head and why I might be crabby about not having much time or energy to dive into music stuff with Mark.
It was on Thursday. It had been a particularly frustrating day, my body was in pain and I was crabby. It was date night so we got things all settled for Dad at home so we can be away for a couple of hours. As we're driving down the road, Mark asks me, “so what do you want to do after get done eating”? I'm still trying to come out of my mental funk so sarcastically I said, “I want to write a song.” Mark, you remember how your jaw dropped? We had a little bit of a discussion about it but I didn’t think too much more of it.
We went out on our date and had a nice time. When we get back home, Mark heads off to the basement, ready to write a song. And I'm like, “Ooh, okay. He missed the sarcasm. I guess I better put some effort into this since I mentioned it!” I didn’t know what to expect really because we'd never written a song together before.
Anyway Mark asked me, “so how are you feeling?” I told him, and he says, “well, what's God teaching you in all this? What's God speaking to you about?” And I said, “well, a lot of really good things. It's just that I'm having such a hard time getting it from my head to my heart.” Then I started telling him all the good things that God was pouring into my life and showing me and everything. So Mark started strumming the guitar and words started coming to both of us based on this conversation that we just had. When we finished and gave it the title Unshaken, it was such a beautiful, holy moment! It was amazing!
Whatever your challenges and struggles might be, Mark and I hope you will dig deep into a relationship with God and that Unshaken will become your battle cry and your victory song as well! Thanks for listening.
(Mark) To hear the song and see the resources Cindy mentioned, check out Episode 5-UNSHAKEN on the website, GGSSPodcast.com.