Better is such an interesting word when you think about it—how specific it can be, or how broad. “I hope to have a better year.” “I’m going to a better father.” We are all striving for better in one way or another—better days, better finances, better health, better relationships, etc. Over the past couple of years my life has drastically changed. I’d dare say I’m not the same person at all that I was two years ago, and that’s a good thing. That’s life.

We go through seasons of great joy, sorrow, pain, hurt, rebuilding, strength. These songs that I’m releasing are really autobiographical of all of those seasons in my life. I had been leading worship at a megachurch in Oklahoma for 10 years, traveling full time, and had a beautiful wife who was holding our home and family together by herself with our three young children.

Something had to give, so we stepped out of everything that was comfortable and safe in our lives, and we trusted God. Maybe we trusted him for the first time, if I’m honest. We moved across the country. I stepped away from the church, and I took six months off completely—like, I didn’t do anything! For a type 3 enneagram (achiever), that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also the most rewarding. During that time we were allowed to rest, to heal, to regain our faith. I was able to write about it, and to put a soundtrack to those moments—moments of loss and struggle and moments of hope and joy! That’s what these songs are.

“You Know Me Better” was a song I wrote with some dear talented friends that helped me get through some of the hardest times during that season. Over the years I had build my entire identity on my talent, on who I was on stage, on my voice, so when we stripped that away I didn’t know who I was at all. The lyrics to this song really spoke to me during that time: “I am who You say I am. Your word will never change, I am who You day I am … You know me as honest. You know me as good. You know me the way that I wish I could. You know me worthy. You know me loved. You know me better.” It was exactly what I needed to remind me that I was not simply what I did for a living or what I could do with my talent, but it was so much more than that. I could find my identity in something greater than myself, but also know that I was created as something GOOD.

Isn’t that incredible? It’s God knowing us better than we could know ourselves but also as better people than we could know ourselves to be. Out of that came songs like “It’s Gonna Get Better,” which is an anthem for anyone stuck in a place of not being okay, but knowing it’s okay to feel that way and it will get better. Also, “For Worse or Better,” which I wrote for my wife and it’s exactly what it sounds like: reinforcement of our commitment and love wrapped up in a cool pop song. “Invisible” is a simple song I wrote for every mom out there who is working day in and day out to make all of our lives better, often times with little or no thanks. And one of my favorite last minute additions to the album, “Autobiography,” which really rounds out the record entirely and is full of joy and energy.

We are releasing these songs plus many more over the coming months, each month through May. We also have some exciting content to go with all of the songs that I believe will make you feel the soul behind the music as well. I’m grateful for this season of life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do this and do it well. I’m grateful that you’d listen to any of my songs. So thank you and I hope you enjoy this little snapshot into my life.

God bless,

Chris Cleveland

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About The Author

Matt Conner
Contributor

Matt Conner is a writer/editor living in Indianapolis.

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