(Photo courtesy of laceysturm.com)
Q&A: Lacey Sturm
By Sarah Komisky
If you are human, you have probably at one time or another had your heart broken and it might not have been with the opposite sex. All of us have experienced disappointments, rejection, abandonment, and pain from others in our lives. Yet brokenness without a healing wreaks havoc on our souls and the souls of others we hurt. Singer and author Lacey Strum is no stranger to this destructive cycle. Marked Ministry was able to chat with Lacey as she opened up about her own brokenness, healing, and how she found the courage to love again as written in her book, “The Mystery.” Here are her thoughts.
Sarah: Alright, so, just getting into it about your book “The Mystery,” I know last time we talked you said it was kind of about your own personal story going through an affair so what inspired you to talk about that since it is such a personal thing? Maybe you can just expand on that.
Lacy: Yeah, I think, actually, I was in my house by my computer when Josh was, my husband was on the computer, and he was reading something about someone who had gotten an email from someone who had just been caught in an affair. And this is someone who was a Christian and leader and it was devastating to what they had built and I began to week because I just kept praying for God to restore them. And I realized first the kind of shame that goes through a person who goes through that situation and I realized the first thing I prayed for was that they would know that they don’t have to end their life. There was this deep sense of praying for them, for them to be protected from suicidal thoughts and from self-hatred and shame. And I just kept praying that. There is a way he just leads us and all the different ways he does, and he will say, and he will trick us into falling someway that is not good. And then after we find out it is not good he bludgeons us with shame. And I just like get so angry at the Enemy’s ways. Like I just remember feeling this conviction happen in my heart, like I am going to tell everyone what you did in my life so that they will not be fooled by you. [laughs]
Sarah: That’s awesome.
Lacy: Because I was just angry, I think.
Sarah: I love the quote that said ‘In out brokenness we keep trying to create love but it ends up being a version of something filtered through our wounds.’ So I think maybe my question is how can we recognize those destructive patterns and start walking in the way that God designed for us?
Lacy: Well, I talk about in “The Mystery,” the moment when I started to really realize, when it really started to sink in, this was not what God wanted for my life. This was not God. I thought this was God with me but I realized that it wasn’t. And it was when I was reading what love was in 1 Corinthians 15. So when I was reading that love is patient, love is kind, it doesn’t envy, it doesn’t boast, and I was reading that it rejoices in the good in your life, its like I realized there was so much of what was going on that was not any of those things. It was like this moment of revelation about the counterfeit that I was following. And I was just saying this in an interview, I was saying that, she asked what true love is, and I realized as I was saying that true love is eternal. And so whatever your involved with that you are calling love is not having an eternal perspective, then it’s probably not true love. Love cares about eternal perspective and how this is going to impact someone for eternity. And so I think maybe for me, I think, seeking what God says love is is the most important part of not falling into…well, what God says love is in the scripture combined with the people in your life that you know have peace in their life, have all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, those are the kind of people, it will tell you these are the kind of people you can listen to and God will lead you where, and God will tell you if you are speaking something where you are ignoring that you need to stop yourself and ask ‘why am I so defensive over this’ and maybe there is some stronghold over this that I need to ask God to free me from. Because being in that humble place is like, God is there is any way then show me that.
Sarah: I think this book is so perfect, just because many of us come from, have some sort of brokenness like you said. So, maybe we could talk about people who have been jaded and they are afraid to love again. So what would you say to them? How can they start to even open themselves up to the idea of love in the first place?
Lacy: Well, again, like when we are talking about what love is, it really is, you have to remember that it is eternal and that it , God commands us, to you know, love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love on another like he loved us. And it is one of the most important parts of why, and if we aren’t loving, then this just isn’t, its like we don’t have any rights to stand on in life and we will miss out on the point of it all.
Lacy: So there is a great quote by C. S. Lewis, maybe I say it in the book too, in “The Mystery,” about how you can wrap yourself up in all kinds of little hobbies and luxuries and lock yourself in a coffin of selfishness because you’re afraid to love. To love at all, to be vulnerable and risk being broken hearted and, but, in the end it’s a coffin if you don’t, if you know, wrap yourself up, protect yourself from it, you know, and live your life about something else, its just death.
Lacy: So in the end that has to be, there can be, and absolutely needs to be a season of healing that happens. And with me, when my heart, when I had come out of that affair, I didn’t feel like I could, I could love ever. And I went through this healing season while, after I had had my first child. And I remember thinking I don’t feel like that overwhelming sense of love for my baby, you know? And I realized there was some brokenness in me that was still healing. Some wanting to risk being vulnerable after giving my heart and my love to someone when I don’t know if they are going to break my heart, you know?
Lacy: So that, even my own child which is such an indicator that something is wrong. And so its god because pain is meant to tell something’s wrong and to fix it. And this season of healing is meant to make us grow. If you break your arm, you put it in a cast and you don’t use it. And so, if you continue to leave it in that cast then you might as well cut your arm off. And it’s important to have both arms to do that. And that’s the whole thing, you know?
Sarah: I am going to tag onto that because in your book you also talk about love being painful, but that it’s worth the fight, so in your opinion, and you touched on it a little bit, but we can go a little bit deeper, why is it worth the fight?
Lacy: I think if you have enough pain in your life, if you have enough, I think even the scripture say this about Jesus, that he learned to be through suffering. I don’t even know what that means, but even in my own life I can see, I learned to be through suffering. If you have enough pain, if you have enough suffering, its going to want to make you look up and say “how can I stop this pain, how can I end this suffering, like what can I do?” What I am doing is not working, I do realize that. Then it brings you to a humble place of saying, ok, well, if love is the point of life, receiving love and giving love, then I am going to choose to try it and believe it and put my faith in God saying that this is good. Even though I don’t see it as good, even though I don’t understand it, I am going to put my faith in that.
Lacy: And choose to put myself up to that, even if it hurts me. And I don’t think you can know that its worth it until you are on the other side. Umm, that’s the whole point of this season where you’re having to choose to love in faith. And then once you continue to choose you look back and see the life producing nature of the choice that you made. Over and over, more and more life came out of that choice. Then you can see that it was good. But I think that you, that just like gambling, it is a gamble. It talks about that in my song Faith from the Life Screams album. And actually get inspired by this mystery, this story and this mystery, life is a gamble when you choose to love. But the reward is great when you roll the dice, you know what I mean?
Lacy: But it is worth it because, you know, I can tell you from the other side that it’s worth it. But its up to you to choose to believe it and make your choice about what you want to do. For the listener to decide, that’s the way God made it. You know, he gave us the freedom to choose.
Sarah: I think that’s a great word on that for some people who are maybe a little hesitant to not even take that first step. So I wanted to go back to deception. You talked about that with your own personal story and I think that that’s so key, just in temptation and in how things begin. For you, what were those warning signs? There are some people that are going to read this that maybe they are in it right now and don’t see those things or maybe they are reaping kind of the consequences after. What would you say when it comes to that? Those warnings regarding deception.
Lacy: I think the warning signs are that, one is, this is isn’t always a sign of disobedience I don’t think, but messages from God. If you don’t think you can hear his voice anymore, you don’t feel like you know which direction to go, anxiety is absolutely one of those things, you know Jesus says come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest for your souls. So you can know like when I am walking towards Jesus, when I am coming towards God and towards truth then I should be experiencing that rest in my soul and if I am not in some area than I need to stop and just take that to God and say please show me what I am doing here. What it is in these strongholds. But you can see it in that restless place and that anxious place and when you don’t have peace and always fighting and you find yourself defensive over things that sort of key areas, or a red light or warning signs I guess.
Sarah: So maybe we’ll talk about those people who have experienced some sort of affair. They are feeling the shame, they are feeling all those things, what do you want to tell them?
Lacy: Well, first of all, that there is breath in your lung for a reason and God believes in you. And I believe in you because of that. Not that you necessarily have to have me believe in you but you are worth believing in, you are worth risking it all, and putting it all on the line. You are worth forgiveness and for God you are worth dying for. You’re worth dying for him. You are created in his image, you are infinitely valuable. And God has given you a new day, he says his mercy is new every single morning. So if you wake up again it is a new mercy that is available for you. To begin everything all over again, to start fresh and clean, to start your life over and to turn around and come the way that he wants you. He can turn around and draw a line from where you are to where he wants you to be. If you feel like you have gone down the wrong road and there is no turning back, it’s so, it’s so disgusting the lie the enemy tells us, how he gets us centered on the wrong road and tells us we are unworthy because we will never get back. That’s another lie, just like the lie that got you there. His mercy is new every single morning. You are made in His image, you are infinitely precious and valuable to Him. And He considers you worth dying for, worth forgiving, no matter how far you have gone. There is a new mercy for you, a new morning for you. And that is the truth of God, and, again, you know, you have to choose to accept it and to receive it but it is available to you, to every single person.