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This is the story of the song we avoided for a year.

We wrote this song in response to the book The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. I started reading it with a group of women whom I worked with at the time. The accountability of a group is so helpful to me - I often drift off with nonfiction books that I try to read by myself. Thank goodness for those girls and this book.

Working through Shirer's explicit instructions and applications of scripture, I was blown away by the curtain that was drawn back on my life. I am prone to self-criticism and guilt, and when I'm not performing up to my ill-defined standards, that's the first place I go. I resolve to try harder, do better, stop failing. But it doesn't often last, and no wonder. This striving is NOT repentance - it's not turning and going a different way. Nor is it allowing the Spirit to work in me. It's just piling some guilt onto my soul as if feeling worse about myself for a while will make my behavior change.

The book illumined the realities of spiritual warfare, which is a term that honestly sounds lofty and dramatic to me. Therefore, up to the point of reading, I tended not to address it much. And the deceptions over my habits and emotions and attitudes had grown wild over time. With this study, I awoke to how I had been lied to, kept in unhealthy patterns, and been locked up in self-deprecation and despair.

Coincidentally, this was a period of time before we fully stepped into music. I spent years in another career feeling like there was something else for me to do, but too many strongholds kept me from writing, from being honest with myself, from ever changing. I was lost. And I was becoming more afraid and detached with each passing year.

In the process of these scales falling from my eyes, I took to the piano and wrote. I grieved the hurtful ways I spoke to myself and the weaknesses that kept me stuck. I delved into the consciousness of the battle going on daily. In the bridge, I turned to the remedy to these things: the savior who enters the fray. The One who declares that my war is in fact won - there are still battles, but I am loved and forgiven and whole. I am not fighting by myself. I can put on the armor laid out for me - the belt of Truth, the breastplate of Righteousness, the shoes of Peace, the shield of Faith, the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

So, a battle was indeed won as we fleshed out the song. Then we recorded it. Then we played shows for a year as we slowly released our songs. And we did not play "Battle" once.

At first, there just wasn't time in the setlist for all the songs. As time went on and we left it untouched, I felt doubt - maybe it wasn't very good after all. Maybe my vocal wasn't quite right. Maybe we wouldn't be able to arrange it well. Every time we practiced, I pushed it to the bottom of the priority list, and we never quite got to it. When we did, we disagreed about how to approach it and would eventually abandon it.

My best friend, who had the whole record already, asked occasionally when she'd be able to share "Battle" with others because it was making a huge difference in her life. I found it hard to let that sink in. So I thanked her for her kind words and trudged down my own path of insecurity and ignoring the song.

Meanwhile - GO FIGURE - I was sinking down, down, down. The truths of the song and the Word and the book got more and more distant. The negative thought patterns and fears ramped up. The distractions and numbing behaviors increased. Once again, I slipped into being a hearer of the word instead of a doer, not putting this precious knowledge into practice and guarding myself.

We had a single release plan, and "Battle" was not one of them. We planned to include it on the full-length record, but there was no plan to highlight it. But several people advised us later to pitch it as a single, and therefore, we had to start playing the song again. Going back to the lyrics late one night after months untouched, the memory of the writing process and the reality of the meaning came rushing back. In tears of realization, I choked out the lines, seeing that in my failure to put my armor on every day, I had become weak and nearly beaten. I had forgotten what I learned about protecting my mind and heart and had fallen for lies all over again. I had ceased looking to the Savior who has ridden out before me, banner waving, and to the Spirit who fights inside me.

The mystery and beauty of this faith, though, is that we are never too far gone. It is never too late to pick up our shield, to strengthen our weak knees, to learn afresh how to walk forward in freedom.

So, here we are, raising the battle cry once more. Defiantly fighting against every voice that would say "not enough" or "wrong" or "shameful." Deciding to stand firm, to stay steady. To wear the armor and actively fight back lies with truth.

We hope you join us in that fight. We hope the song gives you encouragement and a reminder to steady yourself, stand firm, wrap yourself in truth, and step forward.

Listen to and save "Battle" here. Read the lyrics below.

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Voices ring in my head tonight

I'm starting to see truth in the lie

That I'm less than I'm supposed to be

If there's help on the way, please come for me

I can feel the battle for my soul

The fight is real, and takes its toll

I can feel the battle for my heart

The war is won, but I still seem so far

Steady now, steady now, and steady on

Surrounded by my worst mistakes

The hurt that I've caused, the promises I break

They tell me this is who I am

And I find myself back where I began

You whisper, cling to my words

I’m paralyzed like I never heard

I can feel the battle for my soul

The fight is real and takes its toll

I can feel the battle for my heart

The war is won, but I still seem so far

Steady now, steady now, and steady on­

The trumpet sounds at break of day

I see my Savior running

Charging forth, He shouts my name

and he won't back down

Hear it rising in his wake

There's a new song coming

A battle cry with one refrain:

Steady now, steady now, and steady on…

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