I enjoy reading autobiographies, so when I saw Lacey Sturm’s autobiography on sale awhile back, I picked it up. I admit I didn’t know much about her, but I have listened to Flyleaf before and the book summary sounded good, so I was interested in checking it out. After reading it, I’m glad that I did! I don’t agree with it all, and there are some spots of the book I didn’t really like, but I thought it was worth the time and effort. This book is a bit different from others I point out here on the blog, but it is worth pointing out (despite my caveats).
The entire book is dominated by this theme: “The Reason” (hence the title). It’s a helpful layout. For example, here are some of the chapters: 3) The Reason I Became an Atheist, 4) The Reason I Fell in Love with Sadness, 8) The Reason I Wanted to Die, 10) The Reason I’m Alive, 13) The Reason I Sing, and 18) The Reason God Will Always Love Us. As you might be able to tell from these chapter titles, Sturm has quite a story to tell – and I’m glad she told it!
One gripping aspect of this book is how Sturm described her loneliness, sorrow, and desire to die. I could feel the emotion and was brought to tears by the darkness she went through. Living in an abusive household and facing other difficulties in youth led her to become “addicted at a very young age, to feeling sad and sorry for myself. …I thought about suicide all the time.” She followed Kurt Cobain’s views on darkness:
“…There is a comfort in being sad. It’s dark and hauntingly true, at least when you’re a young girl looking for something to cling to. Crying myself to sleep began to feel familiar, like a kind of home. Darkness can feel honest, and honesty can be beautiful and feel so inspiring. But darkness stops short of resolution. It’s deceptive. You can’t see all that lurks within darkness. The things that inhabit darkness live there because you can’t see them; that way they can deceive you, pervert you, and ultimately destroy you from the inside out” (p. 54).
If you’ve gone through the darkness like that, you know what she means (and you should read this book if you’re personally familiar with this theme!). Later Sturm writes,
“It is not brave to kill yourself when things are difficult; it is brave to live anyway. It is brave to find ways to lay down your life to serve the people around you. It is brave to forgive and choose to love those who hurt you even though they don’t deserve it. It is brave to trust that the God who gave you life in the first place has a good plan in mind, even when everything around you looks like hell. It is brave to live” (p. 62).
The gospel freed Sturm from the darkness, sadness, and from the idolatry of trying to be god to other people:
“Because I stand forgiven I am always beautiful to God. I could finally see myself through his love (p. 115).”
God’s love in Christ was the light and truth that captured Sturm’s heart, and led her to write the song “The Reason” (which you can find online):
All my life I’ve searched
For something to satisfy the longing in my heart
And every time I’d come away
Emptier than before.
And now I found the Reason
I was made to be Yours alone.
…Thank you for never giving up, on me
When I looked to everything else
And lived, so selfishly
You bled, you died
To be with me
Why would you do
Something like that?
For someone like me?
The above book quotes are found in Lacey Sturm, The Reason (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014).