Hi, friends. Today’s post is dedicated to a memoir written by Lacey Sturm, best known as the former lead singer of Flyleaf. I actually listened to Flyleaf’s music in high school (about ten years ago), so I was instantly attracted to this book, which I found through the United Methodist Women Reading Program. In the book, she goes from suicidal atheist to daughter of the Father Almighty (and a famous rock star). This memoir is titled The Reason because Sturm thoroughly explains the reasons that A. she came to the point of almost killing herself and B. her life turned around drastically.
The Reason by Lacey Sturm
Sturm spends about half the memoir giving us background on her life as an adolescent and young lady, detailing how she dwelled in constant sorrow. She was an angsty, rebellious girl with a rough home life. By her teen years, she was crying herself to sleep every night and contemplating suicide. Music had always been a huge influence in her life, and that passion would ultimately be used for a purpose greater than she’d ever imagined. I don’t want to give away the details, so I will just say that an encounter with the Lord changed her life forever.
Below is a list of the chapters, which provides a glimpse into the arc of her story–
- The Reason I Lived
- The Reason I Love Jazz
- The Reason I Became an Atheist
- The Reason I Fell in Love with Sadness
- The Reason I Loved Nirvana
- The Reason I Stopped Caring
- The Reason I Wanted to Scream
- The Reason I Wanted to Die
- The Reason I Couldn’t Kill Myself
- The Reason I’m Alive
- The Reason I’m Beautiful
- The Reason People Matter
- The Reason I Sing
- The Reason I Wanted to Change the World
- The Reason I Wanted to Go to Hell
- The Reason I Couldn’t Sleep
- The Reason I Stepped Down from Flyleaf
- The Reason God Will Always Love Us
The Awesome Ministry of Flyleaf
I find her form of ministry so unique and amazing–a breath of authentic air in what sometimes feels like a body of Christ that resists the hard places. In “The Reason I Wanted to Go to Hell,” Sturm speaks of using her platform as the front-woman of a rock band to minister to a group of people (kids) that’s not so easy to reach. She wanted to (figuratively) “go to hell” to love kids who are as angry and lost as she once was. I feel joyful knowing that, though Sturm didn’t overtly preach at Flyleaf concerts, other band members and she were approached numerous times and informed that someone had accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts. Evidently, the messages in the song lyrics, Sturm’s fervent prayers before shows, and the power of the Holy Spirit worked together to produce divine revelations without a sermon.
If only I would have known that it was okay to mourn–that sometimes rain can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean that the rain will never stop. And that sunshine after the rain makes rainbows visible. Thunderstorms can be signs of spring.
Every morning, I awoke feeling like a burden to the world around me. I wanted to disappear or find that thing to satisfy my deep desire. Let me say this about suicide: it’s a liar. It will whisper to you and fill your mind with just the right amount of evil mixed with something resembling truth. But those are the best lies!
Beauty, I realized, lay in forgiveness. I found that when I saw myself through God’s lens of forgiveness, all my dirt and grime and muck washed away. I saw myself true and translucent, naked and unafraid. I found myself beautiful because God found me forgiven.
I stared at the ceiling, thinking about how phenomenal it was that the very God I had hated so much had intervened in my life at the exact moment that I was about to throw away the life he gave me. My heart grew warm as I thought about it, until tears streamed from my eyes. It made me cry to think that God was not only real, but that he wasn’t far away. He didn’t just make life and then watch the pieces randomly and chaotically fall where they may. He was involved.
The reason we wanted a label that would market us to radio that had no regard for Jesus at all, and the reason we wanted to tour with bands who were atheistic and blasphemous in their lyrics, was because that’s where I would find a hopeless girl like myself looking for her real purpose–someone like my sixteen-year-old self who had tremendous pain in her heart and was overwhelmingly tired of living the life she was living. I wanted with all my heart to go to those places that are an eerie foreshadow of hell–and pull people out.
- Sturm writes that when she woke up the day after planning to commit suicide, she felt the starkest clarity–like a blank canvas or a flyleaf page in a new book–hence the band name “Flyleaf.”
- Sturm is only 4’11” (almost a foot shorter than me!).
- In February 2016, Sturm became the first solo female to top the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart with her debut release.
- Sturm and her husband have three sons.
This was my favorite Flyleaf song back in the day, and I still love it—
I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing
Thanks for reading! Did you listen to Flyleaf back in the late 2000’s/early 2010’s? Have you read any good Christian memoirs? Let me know in the comments.