Friday, August 1, 2014


I walked in the blinding heat down the city hill leading to Zion Square.  It was just before Sabbath.  The streets were lined with shoppers, stores busy with sales, American music blaring from store to store bringing a sense of home.  Windows were open, people shouting; it was a happy day.  The dark stone roadway reflected the 100 degree day.  Five young women from around the world connected over Aloe Juice and shopping, popping in each store in awe of the sharp Israeli fashion trends.  Now 14 days into our Israel journey, it was this day that we were saying goodbye.

Was it the heat, the leftover feelings from the girl's night before, the lack of lunch on a hot day that was making me feel introspective?  The spiritual dust of the Israel journey was falling on my heart; clarity was filling my mind, memories of trip after trip to Israel.  And now another one was ending.

We popped in another fashion store.  Trends lined the walls, jewelry hung on floor to ceiling pillars and a song I'd never heard before loudly played.  The song stopped me in my tracks, deepening the introspection.

Tonight, I'm gonna swing from the Chandelier
From the Chandelier.
I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.
Like it doesn't exist.
I'm gonna fly like a bird through the night, 
Feel my tears as they dry.
I'm gonna swing from the Chandelier
From the Chandelier.

I was entranced with this pop song melody; with the droning of the powerful ballad voice that sang with such emotional passion.  My heart strings pulled through my chest swirling into the atmosphere with each lyric sung.  I stood in front of the jewelry while the other girls were thrilled with their finds.  I picked up a necklace, not wanting the song to end.  What was it about this song?  It was more than a catchy pop song.  "I must buy this song when I get back to the States."  I arrived home in Pennsylvania 15 hours later and my life went on.  I forgot about the song.

A few weeks later, my stepdaughter arrived in Pittsburgh.  We spent time together laughing, shopping, listening to each other's favorite songs, talking about her toddler sister and dance moms.  And would I ever be a dance mom?  I doubt it! We laughed and giggled and that's when the song was brought up.  "Have you seen the video to Chandelier with the Pittsburgh dancer?"

Instantly I was on the streets of Jerusalem again. That Song.  And immediately it was pulled up on her iPhone.  I heard it again.  That song.  That melody.  That same passion that made me want to spin in circles with my arms stretched wide, face turned upward screaming, "I've made it, I've made it, I'M FREE!!!!"  I never wanted to forget that song that stirred such deep emotion in me.

Upon arriving home I played it over and over on my iPad and that's when I learned the meaning of the song.  According to and

Describing the "party girls don't get hurt" lifestyle, Sia's song goes a little further than just the partying. She describes what happens when "sun is up... here comes the shame." 
Uniquely and painfully honest...

"The haunting tale details the Aussie's personal struggles with alcoholism and prescription drugs when she was still pushing her solo career. In a rare interview last year, she told Billboard, "I was really unhappy being an artist. I was always a drinker but I didn't know 
I was an alcoholic. Then I got seriously addicted to Vicodin and Oxycodone." 
Now clean, Sia is expected to drop her sixth studio album."

The song is about the dark side of addiction written by someone who has overcome, and I could feel it.  I felt it before I knew what it meant.  When I read the commentary on the true meaning, my mind went to 12 years earlier.  I was laying on a vintage love seat underneath a black light.  I was covered with a blanket, cramping from head to toe in cocaine withdrawal.  Finally the weed guy arrived and my dad with him.  Knowing I was withdrawing, my dad prayed out loud, "Satan get your hands off my daughter."  I walked hunched over to my high ride and smoked weed with a buddy; the only thing that would calm the cramping.  Next, my mind jumped to an image of me dressed scantily, drinking a bottle of tequila shot for shot, the space between my left thumb and forefinger warping from licking so much salt.  The memories faded.  

Here I stood.  Fully alive.  I looked around at what Jesus had done, when he reached down into my messed up life and said, "Enough is enough."  When he picked me up out of a warped situation away from the parties, away from the drugs, away from the drama and changed me.  When HE started my life over.

I stand clean with a loving husband, a daughter, two stepchildren, a step grandchild, a fabulous career, a ministry....because HE CARED WHEN NOBODY ELSE DID.  

And He took me off the Chandelier.  And He wrapped me in His arms and He loved me when everyone else used me.

I never want to forget the song.  I never want to forget the song.  I never want to forget the song.

Now with true Freedom, I swing from the Chandelier, with joy for sobriety 
and the chance to know an amazing God.