This is the first post in a two (or three or four or more) part series I will call “My All-Time Favorite Songs.” I’m sure you were really unaware of the title of this series, given the title of the post….
Anyway, the first one came out somewhere in the 1999-2000 time frame. I remember singing it a lot my freshman year of high school, especially on days when I thought my life was so hard. I laugh now at how little I knew then of trouble and hardship, and realize that ten years from now 33 year old me will say the same thing about 23 year old me. Honestly, how this song ever spoke to me back then I don’t know. It reminds me of the story of a young violin prodigy playing a beautiful yet tragic song on her violin. A man in the audience remarked, “It’s beautiful now, but can you imagine how much more beautiful it will be once she’s had her heart broken?”
The song below was beautiful to me then. I claimed it as my own. But now, having experienced real trouble and real heartbreak, it is even more beautiful. I’ve included the words to the seldom-used last verse (only ever heard it when Ginny sings live).
If You Want Me To (by Ginny Owens)
The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if You want me to
‘Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will walk through the fire if You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that’s not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone
So when the whole world turns against me and I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley if You want me to
When I cross over Jordan, I’m gonna sing, gonna shout
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk through the valley if You want me to.