Music & Musings: Oceans

In the Music & Musings series, I analyze songs I’ve heard and have been thinking about. Sometimes the thoughts are more reflective in nature and other times they are creative, thinking through the people in the song. I never really know where they will go. I give myself 5 – 10 minutes to explore the song so I don’t go too far down a rabbit hole, but can get far enough in that it can elicit thought from others.

In this post, let’s explore “Oceans” by Hillsong UNITED. You can listen to this version below if you’d like to focus on hearing it, or you can scroll to the end for the version with lyrics if you want to read the lyrics.

This song was one of the songs that led to me moving to Florida seven years ago. I can remember first listening to it and how the lyrics just hit me to the point of tears… you know how songs can just move you and hit that spot you have been holding back, even from yourself? I just listened to the lyrics of those first verses and my spirit began weeping, longing for a life and place I hadn’t yet explored…a life outside of my true comfort zone.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine  

Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Songtrust Ave, Capitol Christian Music Group

I remember wondering, “What is going on?” I didn’t feel like I should be sad, but then I realized that since my divorce I had been living in the house WE picked, in the room WE designed, looking at colors on the wall that WE chose together. I felt like my life was still focused on the WE and I couldn’t move on. I was not living in faith but in this hope that the past would either come back or somehow mysteriously wash away and I’d just wake up one day having forgotten a full decade of my life.

I started thinking about what God created me for and why I was here on this earth. My faith is so ingrained in me at this point that even when I am upset with God, I tend to run and put on worship music! It’s really annoying at times but it’s my default to worship while I wait or when I’m worried. As I stood there wondering what I was here on this earth to share with others, to offer to this world, I thought about how I could put that faith to action and how I could allow Him to guide me to the next chapter in my journey.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Songtrust Ave, Capitol Christian Music Group

That’s when the next set of verses really got me. “You’ve never failed me and You won’t start now”. Except at that time, I had felt like He failed me, much like I did until 2019 when I realized that all of the “bad things” and “meh things” have truly all come together for my good. At that time, all I could think about was how He’d promised me for years (or so I believed) that my marriage would be okay. That somehow we would find this love for one another and be able to make it work. But it didn’t. It fell apart and I didn’t even know it was happening because I was so blinded by my faith that it would be okay. Until that night my husband’s tail lights continued down the street and never returned, I believed that God would either heal my marriage or take me in my sleep. So at the moment I was listening to these lyrics in 2013, I really didn’t feel like God had come through that night or in the many nights that followed over the five years between him leaving and me hearing these words and really letting them minister to me. In fact, if I am honest, I just came to terms in 2019 with how different my real life is from the life I’d always thought He’d promised I would have.

So I am standing there in the middle of my living room, sobbing like a baby who can’t get food or comfort, not fully understanding what it is that I’m feeling, wrestling with God over all the emotions flooding my mind and heart. Could I trust Him? Could I live a faith without borders when I felt like He had failed me?

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Songtrust Ave, Capitol Christian Music Group

And there it was, His hand guiding me and showing me that my faith would be made stronger as I walked with Him. In the year that would come, I would pack up my house, say “Goodbye” to all I know as life, and my little one and I would move 1200 miles down the East Coast to a town where we didn’t know many people. We would have one of the best years of our lives and learn a lot about ourselves and who we are as a family. It was truly a year of stepping out beyond where my faith knew and into that place where only He could be leading. A year of learning what I believed, how I believed, and how deeply I believed. It was freeing. It was imprisoning. It was everything and nothing all at once because it was truly the best and worst year of my life depending upon which lens I view it through.

I ended up returning to CT for a variety of reasons and it felt like once again God had failed, but in hindsight, I saw that all of it took faith. Faith to move back to my childhood town. Faith to move back with my family. Faith to live a life that felt so far from what I dreamed of. Faith to unbecome what I had become, become what I was becoming, and to be.

I am thankful for all the internal healing and growth that has taken place, the reconciliation with family, and the hope that we will still see the promises fulfilled. Over the years, I have understood that God is not responsible for how I understand His promises but for what He intends them to mean. I understand now that He never promised He would heal my marriage but promised He would restore what had been taken from me. In time, I’ve learned that had nothing to do with my marriage and everything to do with a broken little girl inside me who was hurting all these years without any recognition, even from myself. I am thankful to have had the time in Florida and this time since I have been back to allow her to heal and to finally come to a place where I don’t operate from a place of hurt (deficit) but from a place of wholeness and healing (overflow) that allows me to be there for others.

When I hear these lyrics I think of how my faith is in a place of living without borders, especially after more than fifteen months without other voices influencing my decisions. It’s been God and me creating this life that I show up in so fully that most days my head hits the pillow and I have no thoughts left to keep me up at night! I think of how I have a career I love, a side gig that I enjoy fully (which used to be my full time career until my faith allowed me to see that I love working with others, not just by myself), and a future that is bright and totally unknown. It took a lot of whining, screaming, pain, and some really unbecoming moments that I hope no one ever sees or reads about! But in the end, I finally live in a place where I realize that God truly keeps His promises and never fails me, even when I don’t feel like He’s held up His end of the deal. And all of this came became I heard a song, felt it deeply, took a risk that led to another risk, that led to a few more risks, and in the failures and successes that were birthed from each, I found that life outside my comfort zone isn’t that bad after all!

What borders do you need to go beyond so you can truly life out a faith without borders?

2 Comments on “Music & Musings: Oceans

  1. It said I wasn’t following you. Grrr! We both know I was, at one time, for quite awhile. Then suddenly the universe conspires to tear us apart. lol Sorry, once a storyteller, always a storyteller. Well, I signed up to follow you again. Hopefully that works.

    Hugs from Olympia

    Liked by 1 person

    • The same thing happened to me for you from this account! I think we followed one another on my more active blog, the creative lifestyle one: The Essential Creative. I finally downloaded the app on my phone and use this one to read blogs and comment as well. I don’t blog here often, but I will be sharing my creative writing and thoughts here around voice while keeping other creative posts on Though sometimes I will share creative writing there too. Still working that out.

      So good to see you here. Loved your recent reminder to take small vacations!!!

      Hugs from Groton.


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