I’ve never written a song before.
I didn’t finish secondary school because I fell pregnant with my eldest daughter. This meant I was a very young mum, but my daughter is one of my greatest blessings.
I have always loved poems, music, and words. 20schemes Music has a vision to give people a chance to use their God-given gifts for His glory, especially for those who would otherwise be overlooked.
Telling a Story
I wrote most of Resting Place during a sermon one Sunday. I find that writing poems during the sermon helps me to concentrate and take stuff in.
The verses of Resting Place progress through my story, beginning in verse one with who I thought God was before I knew Christ. I imagined Him as a distant being. But the verse also highlights who I thought Christians were—good people with a morality that was unattainable, far away from what someone like me could be.
‘I think of life as just today’ For me, life was just about surviving each day. I loved and worshipped stuff, appearance, and achievements, and I was so selfish.
Verse two is when I recognised, by grace, that God is in complete control. ‘He’s the potter and I’m the clay’. He is the one writing our story. We are eternal beings, but we’re completely lost outside of Christ.
‘Lostness’ is something I’ve been thinking more about recently—it’s a place of constant searching yet never finding any peace or rest. Like wandering around trying to find your way in the dark. When you’re lost, you know something’s not right, but you never find out what it is. I remember this feeling well, and I think this is what shapes my motivation now for being so passionate about telling others about Jesus. We as Christians should have real compassion for unbelievers because they are like lost sheep without a shepherd.
‘Sing songs of my God, He is full of grace.
My rock, my refuge, He is my resting place’
‘Sing Songs’—Salvation causes you to worship, and singing is one of the ways to express thanks to God for His wonderful gift of grace. Now that I’m a Christian, I absolutely love singing! (to the annoyance of my children). God has lavished His grace on us, despite the fact that we don’t deserve it. That’s the mystery of the gospel. It’s mental to think that whilst we were rebelling against God, His grace was set upon us. He stops being distant, He is now my God and I’m going to sing about it because my heart is full and it overflows in song.
‘Rock’—If you’ve lived a chaotic life, the one thing you’ve likely never known is stability. This is a common childhood experience for many in our schemes, especially for those with complex family dynamics or who maybe grew up in the care system. My mum has chronic mental health issues and throughout my childhood she was in hospital more often than not. My dad used alcohol to cope. I didn’t have a steady and stable life—everything was up and down all the time. This chorus expresses that there is nothing more stable than the rock of Christ. He brings stability and the only solid foundation we can build our lives upon.
‘Refuge’—This word is used so many times in the Psalms. As a kid, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I would always say a clown. Inwardly though, I remember it was never about a job, I simply only ever wanted to be ‘safe’. Now I know that there is absolutely no safer place in the world than being in the refuge of Christ’s love, being forgiven of our sin, and being welcomed into God’s family. Being a Christian doesn’t take you out of this world, but it does give you a refuge to run to for protection from whatever you are facing.
God Found Me
I wasn’t looking for God—He came to me. I think it’s a lot of peoples’ experience that, when they look back, they can’t quite figure out how the gospel got hold of them. It was just that something drew them in. By Christ’s death, I now live, and I need to remember that I can’t give anything in return for that. I can fall back into trying to do good works, but the reality is that we come empty-handed to the cross of Christ.
The bridge before the final chorus deals with our experience as Christians. We still sin. There are so many bumps in the road. We often look to ourselves and still place our hope in earthly things. Sin turns us in on ourselves and makes us feel defeated. It’s only when we lift our heads up to see Christ that we recognise our need to keep going back to the cross for forgiveness. The thorns remind us that our King suffered for this—and that’s why we repent. Our redemption comes through His suffering. The thorns remind me that He’s paid for my sin—past, present, and future—and that my life is now singing a new song all the way home to my eternal resting place.
I love you, Lord, my strength.(Psalm 18:1–2)
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Resting Place was written by Fontaine Selway and is one of the testimony songs on the album ‘Songs From The Schemes’.