broken heart mosaic

Sometimes when I ask God for help, He doesn’t cooperate.

I don’t mean that He doesn’t answer. I don’t mean that He isn’t with me always, protecting me and loving me in ways I could never begin to understand. I don’t mean that He leaves me hanging, refusing to help me out of my mess. Nope.

I mean that He refuses to give me the answers I want.

You know how sometimes you know your hair looks bad or your blog post was lame, but you just want someone to make you feel better? So you ask a friend with that look in your eye or that tone to your text, and she says exactly what you want to hear?

Yeah, God’s not that kind of friend.

He is Truth, so it only makes sense that He would speak Truth. Always. Even when you don’t want to hear it. Even when, let’s be honest, it’s annoying.

As a forever fan of music and occasional musician myself, I’ve often heard from God through music. I love all kinds of music, so while you can often find me in tears during worship on Sunday morning, I’m just as likely to be moved by the latest Katy Perry song blaring from my car stereo.

That’s not actually a hypothetical example. 

Apparently some of Annalyn’s classmates love Katy Perry and have been talking about her at school. (Reportedly, one boy went as far as to claim Katy Perry is his sister. Because apparently that lends street cred to kindergarten boys. I don’t know.)

Though I’m a big fan of pop music (and country music and rock music and classical music and ALL KINDS OF MUSIC), I’m pretty vigilant about what Annalyn can listen to. So my first response to her newly discovered love of Katy Perry was basically the same as my response to last year’s announcement that she loves Justin “Beaver”: Really? And what songs are your favorite? Mmm-hm. YOU CAN’T LOVE SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW!

{Yes, I’m a super cool mom. Fun, too. Thanks for noticing.}

But Annalyn – and her trendy classmates – was persistent, and she went ahead and learned the catchy chorus to “Roar” by Katy Perry. I actually don’t mind that song, and my six-year-old’s attempt to belt it out is pretty adorable. So, the accurate story here is that she loves That One Song by Katy Perry.

Of course, that wasn’t enough. My budding rock star wanted to hear more songs by her new favorite singer (sorry, Taylor Swift; you’re out). Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of one appropriate. That’s when Annalyn asked, “Does Katy Perry sing any God songs, Mom?”

I had to laugh, since Katy Perry began her music career in the Christian music industry but has, well, moved on. So I told Annalyn that no, sadly, Katy Perry does not sing “God songs” anymore – and then we flipped radio stations until we found one playing “Roar.” (It didn’t take long. That song is pretty much always playing somewhere.)

That’s why, when I heard Katy Perry’s newest song a few days after that conversation, I kind of got chills. “Unconditionally” is all about unconditional love – and whether or not she intended it to, I think it can be considered a “God song.” Some of the lyrics:

Come just as you are to me
Don’t need apologies
Know that you are unworthy
I’ll take your bad days with your good
Walk through this storm I would
I’d do it all because I love you, I love you

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

I was excited to report back to Annalyn that, as it turns out, Katy Perry does – kind of – sing a God song.

But recently when I sat on my bed – wiping tears that wouldn’t stop, knowing a crying hangover headache was inevitable, and asking God what on earth I was supposed to do in a horribly painful situation – I was NOT amused, excited or happy in any way to realize that the song playing on a loop in my head was, “Unconditionally.”

I wasn’t actively hoping for CeeLo’s “Forget You” or some angry song by Pink or Miranda Lambert, but I was HIGHLY annoyed to hear this one instead.

I have some more thoughts about unconditional love and pop music and God’s unswerving commitment to speaking Truth to our hearts. But I haven’t quite wrapped my mind around them, and to be perfectly honest, I’m still hurt and angry about the situation that led to this pop music message in the first place.

So stay tuned for more discussion on these things. But for now, I’m wondering if God has ever used pop music (or any music) to speak Truth into your heart? Will you share it with us in the comments?

{Photo by eighttrees}

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