Guest Blogger Annika Bovender: What is Your Outpour?
When Andrew called and asked me if I would be a guest writer for his blog, two thoughts immediately went through my head. My first thought was along the lines of “Oh wow! What an honor! I would love to!” My second thought that came so quickly after…“how in the world does Andrew think I’m qualified enough for this? I don’t really have anything to offer.”
So often we let ourselves succumb to fear. We watch ourselves bow to the throne that Satan wrongly thinks he has. We go through life questioning our worth, and we let our fear of man become bigger than our trust in God. At least I know that is true for my life.
But in those times, I know the Lord is shouting to me Joshua 1:9.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for I will be with you wherever you go.”
So... Here I am. And the Lord is still with me. So I guess we’re going with strong and courageous today. Take that, Satan!
My name is Annika. I could describe myself in a lot of ways, but most importantly, I am a worshipper of the Lord and a daughter of the King. After initially finding the Lord through music, I used to wrongly think that worship only meant singing or playing an instrument. Fast forward several years (and two oral surgeries later), and I have come to realize that true worship is so much bigger than that.
In the Bible, there are 7 Hebrew words which we all translate into the English word “worship”. While some of them do mean to raise our hands (towdah), to sing (tehillah), to shout (shabach), to play an instrument (zamar)… there has been one that always sticks out to me. This word, barauch, has become the definition of my worship.
In Hebrew, the word “barauch” is much more than just musical worship. Instead, it is translated to mean a lifestyle of surrendering to God, the act of kneeling, and to bless. It is used to express an attitude of love, submission and trust through the act of bowing, and it means to continually give place to the Father in every area of our life; a lifestyle. You can see this in Psalms 95:6 - let us worship, bow and kneel before the Lord, our Maker and Psalms 34:1-3 – I will bless the Lord at all times.
It is in this way that I came up with the title for my album: “OUTPOUR”.
When the opportunity arose for me to come out with an album and partner with a recording company in Gastonia, NC, the thought both excited and terrified me. When the album was first getting started, it only had 3 songs written, no title, a LOT of broken lyrics, and the
thing I felt most over and over was fear. With my perfectionistic tendencies and hyper-critical thoughts, there was no way I was going to deliver this delicate piece of my
heart to the rest of the world.
But the Lord had opened this door. Clearly He was leading somewhere that I couldn’t see. (And oh, does He like to do that.)
The first song we recorded was a song that I had written a year prior called “To Worship You”. In the chorus of the song, there is a lyric that says “I lift my voice, and turn my eyes, and give it all to You, my Christ: a humble heart’s my sacrifice. I’m laying down all I am to worship you.” This song was the beginning of my surrender to the Lord. It was laying down everything that was of me to serve Him. We see this call in Ephesians 4:22-24.
“22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to - the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.”
This song became my prayer for the album. I prayed continually to the Lord that this album would be my humble sacrifice. I prayed that it would represent the worship I wanted to convey, and that more than any voice or instrument, what people would hear was a
lifestyle of surrendering to God. I wanted this album to pour out all of the love I had
received from Him. It was shortly after recording this song that the Lord placed the
word “outpour” on my heart. An outpouring is a manifestation of feeling, emotion, and
everything that makes you “you”. It became my mission to make this album
the outpouring of everything the Lord had done in my life.
The lyrics, truth, music, and feeling behind each of the songs came from the parts of me that the Lord has redeemed. The fact that I am wanted by the King above all Kings, that He is a refuge and mighty fortress, that He loves me in my brokenness, and that there is no distance that could ever come close to how much He loves me became the truths that overflowed from me into my lyrics. It was then that I realized how WRONG I was at the beginning. This album wasn’t based on the delicate pieces of my heart. This album was made by and for the Strong Fortress in which my heart resides.
Eventually, I had written 11 out of the 12 songs for the album. Even though this whole album was the outpouring of the Lord’s work in my life, I still had not figured out how to put that on paper. After trying to write the title track 5-6 times, I decided that I desperately needed some outside help to finish the last song.
Andrew and I co-wrote “This is My Outpour” as a result (with the help of our fellow dog-writer Sophie who joined us in the process). I remember distinctly when we were recording the song in the studio, Andrew asked what the song meant to me. At that moment, several people walked into the studio and I did not get a chance to answer him. But the whole time I just kept thinking about how I felt like this song finally embodied the “barauch” type of worship. It showed what it meant to continually give place to the Father in every area of your life. There is a feeling of surrender through the lyrics as well as giving your first and best before the Lord, and Andrew had a big part in bringing that part to life.
If you do listen to “OUTPOUR”, I pray that it blesses you and brings you a little joy, a little peace, and a little love. Thanks for reading this and getting to know me a little more. :) This album wouldn’t have happened without God intentionally bringing a LOT of people into my life (you included!), and I am so blessed to be walking this journey with them.
Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the
Lord your God has blessed you.
I can’t come c