Julianna Zobrist shares how finding our identity in Christ will make us truly shatterproof.
Julianna Zobrist grew up in a small town in Iowa with big dreams. Her upbeat Christian pop music ministry appeals to fans of Britt Nicole, Plumb, Tricia Brock, 1GN, Mandisa and Hollyn, with songs that address faith, Christian living and finding our identities in Christ. She is also married to second baseman Ben Zobrist, who currently plays for the Chicago Cubs.
Julianna and Ben channeled their unique pairing of their vocations in sports and in music to write their autobiography, "Double Play." The couple uses their story and their platform to share the gospel of Christ at churches, schools and events across the country. Julianna released her debut full-length album Shatterproof on July 1, 2016. I had the chance to speak with Julianna about her empowering title track, "Shatterproof."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
The concept of being shatterproof is about finding your security and your identity and your authority in the Person and work of Christ instead of yourself and the approval of others. The song came about because my best friend's daughter was in kindergarten and encountered the playground bully, which was hard for me to see anyone walk through for me as a mom of 3 little kids. Her little girl didn't know if she should wear something to school because she didn't know if this boy would like it, and changed her outfit out of fear.
I went into my writing appointment that day fired up to write a song called "shatterproof" because it bothered me so much that she cared what that boy thought of her and made her change something about herself, even as silly as what she was wearing that day. I explained the situation to my co-writers, and then a light bulb went on in my head. I am sometimes a spiritual bully and sometimes use guilt or even God to justify being mean. Putting another woman down because I'm insecure. Being passive aggressive with my husband, instead of owning up to whatever it is that I'm feeling. We use verbal gymnastics instead of saying what we mean and knowing who we are.
I was eyes wide open to this concept and realized that if I bully people by using God or things we've decided are biblical but aren't really biblical, that we all need to find out that our identity is secure in God.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Song of Songs 4:7(NIV): "You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you."
Psalm 139:17-18(NKJV): "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You."
Psalm 139:13-14(NKJV): "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well."
Ephesians 2:10(NLT): "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."
Romans 12:2(The Voice): "Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete."
Romans 1:16(NKJV): "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."
What is the takeaway message?
I think there is a reason that God tells women specifically to be sober-minded. We need to live life in truth. So often we live our lives in fear of approval of others. It's like that feeling during the holiday season where they ask if you want to donate to a charity, and you look around to see if anyone is watching you before you answer. We have this crazy reality where we try to live our lives navigating around the opinions of others.
To be shatterproof is to find your identity, security and authority in what God says about you. The reason I talk so much about fear is that I went so long being burdened by what other people think. It's amazing how when you start to believe, the fear is taken away. I would like people to dig deep in their faith. There is so much freedom when you own your failures as much as the successes that God gives you. There's so much freedom coming to the place where your identity is in who God says you are and truly believing your righteousness was given to you because of what Jesus did. It is no longer a striving.
It is so easy to compare ourselves and feel guilt, but that's not the life God wants us to live. What Jesus did on the Cross for us was enough. It is finished. We can live in joy and peace with each other, our spouses and ourselves when we allow God to be God instead of trying to be that for one another. I want the gospel to saturate what I do. If our lives end with loving ourselves, then we miss the point. We are to be sacrifices-- living testimonies that seep the gospel out of every pore-- so that in every song, every confrontation, every dialogue, every sermon, every testimony, we radiate the truth of God's acceptance by the righteousness of Christ. Nothing more, nothing less.
My message and music is for anyone who wants to express the joy and freedom of knowing Christ. He supplies the strength to be bold, fearless and confidently vulnerable, and the assurance that you don't have to measure up to what others think of you, but rather, understand that your true strength can shine because of who you are in Him.
Lyrics: Dear doubt, dear fear
I'm talking to you
You shout me down
Yeah you lie and accuse
Dear doubt, dear fear
I'll call you by name
Here's my line in the sand
I'm done with your game
I know what I've done
But I won't let my past define me
I'm shatterproof! Shatterproof!
I won't let you break me
Come on, make a move, make a move
You're not gonna shake me
Dear guilt, dear shame
You're a neon light
Flashing over my head
Always starting a fight
Dear guilt, dear shame
Loose your grip on me
Always shove in my face
Who I used to be
God is my security
I've been married for 22 years and have three young daughters, and this song and entire album really ministers to me and my family. My daughters are more precious than anything in the world to me, and to their Heavenly Father, and this song is a great anthem to celebrate the biblical Truth from Psalm 139 that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." As a Christian father, I want my daughters to all know that they are beautiful just the way they are.
I relate to the message that God created us with value. I look at my wife and I hope she is secure in my love for her. I look at my daughters and I hope I am communicating to each of my girls that she is beautiful, that she is valuable, and that she is a blessing to me. God feels that way about men as well. We are valuable to God. As men, we are appointed by God to take care of and partner with the women in our lives. I believe men also need to hear this song.
The song is a great reminder of the kind of heart we should have both as people valued by God and as Christians who can communicate our value to other people. It's so easy to compare yourself to others and feel like God is blessing someone else with something that you want. We all need to learn that God has us exactly where we're supposed to be in this moment, even when we don't feel like we are good enough. And this idea leads to the chorus of "Shatterproof" which says: "You're not gonna shake me, I'm shatterproof!"
The Good News of the Gospel which this song perfectly portrays it is that God accepts us no matter what we've done. A quote that connects to this song is "Comparison is the thief of joy," as stated by President Theodore Roosevelt. Through our identity in Christ, we can be free from the burden of guilt and shame and fear, and live shatterproof as the song says: "God is my security, My identity, My authority, I'm shatterproof." Amen to that!
Watch the lyric video below.
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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