Please don’t hold me up as your role model or the person you wish to emulate—that’s too much pressure for this quiet, tiny-waisted Minnesotan to endure.
Photo Credit: Kylee & Christian Creative
When I named this blog (and my first book if it ever gets published) I had no definition for RECKLESSLY ALIVE and, full disclosure, I’ve been trying to figure it out ever since.
In the worst moments of my depression, the shame of “you’re supposed to be the Recklessly Alive guy” swirls through the hijacked parts of my brain like an F-4 tornado.
Each time the stupid dark room comes back hard and fast, hope becomes harder and harder to hold on to like a honky tonk mechanical bull gone wrong.
Hope that it will ever be gone for good.
Hope that the next medication won’t make me want to throw up all day.
Hope for a normal-er life—whatever that means.
I’ve been alive long enough to realize that we’re all up against something: cancer, loneliness, infertility, greed, grief, obesity, addiction… on and on the list goes. But that’s the thing about life, you have to find something deep within that pushes you to keep that hope alive.
The Recklessly Alive life isn’t about perfection, it’s about showing up in the toughest moments and—despite all the odds—choosing to keep moving forward.
Forward, always forward. So I wake up every day and I keep doing that.
Speaking of RECKLESSLY ALIVE… this blog turns 7 years old this week.
7 Years Old. This blog is a freaking first grader.
When I sat down and created that first WordPress account 84 months ago, I never dreamed we’d be here together with over 1,000 of you coming to hangout with my words every single day.
It actually freaks me out if I think about it too much… 🙂
Instead of a party or something of that matter, I’m choosing to celebrate this blogaversary by doing what I do best: sharing hope and encouragement to anyone feeling lost and alone.
Thank you for all the kind emails and messages along the way.
Thank you for supporting the blog and the videos and the speaking and the ministry.
Thank you for being my strange, online family through the ups and the downs and the hate mail.
Here are some of my most popular posts about depression too, just for funsies:
- 8 Reasons I Hate Talking About My Depression (But Won’t Stop)
- 25 Ways to Fight Depression
- A Letter to Anyone Who Feels Like Giving Up
- What if Today Isn’t the Worst Day of Your Life
- 5 Things Christians Get Wrong About Depression
- 25 Love Notes From God for Your Worst Days
If you’re fighting this fight with me, here are 75+ songs that have helped me along the way.
Some are songs that share exactly how I feel in the depths like “Heavy” by Linkin Park or “Breaking You” by Audrey Assad. Others offer that impossible ray of light into the darkness like “You’re Gonna Be OK” by Jenn & Brian Johnson or “Rise Up” by Andra Day.
Fighting the hard fights with you my friends and sharing words, laughter & music along the way.
- Rise – Shawn McDonald
- You’re Gonna Be OK – Jenn & Brian Johnson
- Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michaelson
- Out of the Dark – Matt Hires
- I’ll Find You – Lecrae, Tori Kelly
- I Won’t Let You Go – Switchfoot
- Rise Up – Andra Day
- The Broken Ones – Dia Frampton
- Heavy – Linkin’ Park, Kiiara
- You’re Not Alone – Owl City, Britt Nicole
- When a Heart Breaks – Ben Rector
- Through All of It – Colton Dixon
- You’ll Find Love Again – Brandon Heath
- Titanium (Acoustic Cover) – Collin McLoughlin
- Chain Breaker – Zach Williams
- 1-800-273-8255 – Logic, Alessia Cara
- Remain – Royal Tailor
- Let You Down – NF
- Breaking You – Audrey Assad
- Unsteady – X Ambassadors
- Come Alive (Dry Bones) – Lauren Daigle
- He Won’t Leave You There – Andy Garcia
- Never Been a Moment – Micah Tyler
- Not Today – Hillsong
- Million Years Ago – Adele
- Beloved – Jordan Feliz
- I Can Just Be Me – Laura Story
- Priceless – for KING & COUNTRY
- Shadow Days – John Mayer
- Losing – Tenth Avenue North
- Gravity – Sara Bareilles
- Beautiful World – Nathan Angelo
- He Knows My Name – Francesca Battistelli
- Alive – All Sons & Daughters
- What Do I Know? – Ed Sheeran
- Oh Jesus – Jon McLaughlin
- What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship
- Undo – Rush of Fools
- I’m Not Who I Was – Brandon Heath
- Stronger – Mandisa
- Mansion – NF
- Live Like You’re Loved – Hawk Nelson
- I Am Not Alone – Kari Jobe
- Never Too Far Gone – Jordan Feliz
- Flawless – MercyMe
- Hollow – Tori Kelly
- Don’t Let Me Down (Cover) – Conor Maynard
- Take It All – Sawyer Fredericks
- Worn – Tenth Avenue North
- The Story – Brandi Carlile
- World Spins Madly On – The Weepies
- Come As You Are – Crowder
- All Too Well – Taylor Swift
- Bulletproof – Citizen Way
- Let it Go – James Bay
- Everything – Lifehouse
- Whole Heart – Brandon Heath
- Ghost – Ingrid Michaelson
- Awake My Soul – Mumford & Sons
- Stay Alive – Jose Gonzalez
- Begin Again – Matt Hires
- No Excuses – NEEDTOBREATHE
- Hurricane – Natalie Grant
- More Beautiful You – Jonny Diaz
- Fall Apart – Josh Wilson
- Restless – Audrey Assad
- Lost Stars – Adam Levine
- Not for a Moment (After All) – Meredith Andrews
- Strong Enough – Matthew West
- Hello Hurricane – Switchfoot
- Believe – Mumford & Sons
- Blessings – Laura Story
- Busted Heart (Hold On To Me) – for KING & COUNTRY
- Floodplain – Sara Groves
- Carry Me Through – Dave Barnes
- Overcomer – Mandisa
- Steady My Heart – Kari Jobe
- Outta My Mind – Anthem Lights
- Hold You Up – Shane Harper
- Fighting a Ghost – Matt Hires
- Breaking Now – From Ashes to New
- Reason to Breathe – Joe Guerra
- You Are More – Tenth Avenue North
Here’s the list on YOUTUBE for ya too.
Or over in the Spotify universe if you prefer.