Electronic-influenced rock group VERIDIA, made up of lead singer Deena Jakoub, Brandon Brown and Kyle Levy, exploded onto the scene with two stand-out EPs and an unforgettable live presence. I've now seen them at Winter Jam and at Creation, and I greatly enjoy their energetic set of songs. "Disconnected," "We Are the Brave," "Furious Love," "Pretty Lies" and "Crazy in a Good Way" are all engaging "expressions of truth," as the band has built their band name and their mission around this concept: "an expression of truth and to strive for raw honesty in every aspect of daily life."
Deena's stellar vocals are very powerful in a concert setting. This past summer I got to hear them perform their compelling new song "Still Breathing," which includes the stirring lyrics "Every moment, every day is a gift You gave," which is an excellent reminder to have daily gratefulness for every breath we are given. I had the chance to speak with Deena about "Still Breathing."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
If I'm honest, this song came from a place of dealing with a lot of anxiety. Anxiety is a vicious beast that I often battle with on a daily basis. There's so much that comes with that and carrying the fear of the unknown. The song has an underlying adolescent moment for me because as a kid I couldn't sleep in the literal darkness and always needed a light on. As an adult, I struggle with the metaphorical darkness: the unforeseen and the future and what the outcome will be. You carry the pressure around with you.
I needed a song as an outlet for me personally, and I hope it will also help and encourage people who deal with this too. I needed a reminder that there's something in every day to be grateful for. Sometimes you have to take it one single day at a time, and sometimes narrowing it down to a single breath and focusing on that. The fact that I'm grateful that I'm still alive and grateful to walk through every day with opportunity, and even though I can't see the future, each new day is a gift.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Jude 1:5(VOICE): "You have heard the stories many times, and the Spirit has enlightened you about their meaning, but you still need to be reminded. Remember when the Lord saved our ancestors from the land in Egypt? He breathed life into their earthen lungs and took back the life from those who did not believe."
Ezekiel 37:4-10(NKJV): Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.'" So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.'" So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Genesis 2:7(VOICE): "One day the Eternal God scooped dirt out of the ground, sculpted it into the shape we call human, breathed the breath that gives life into the nostrils of the human, and the human became a living soul."
1 John 4:18-19(NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."
Philippians 4:6-7(NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Hebrews 12:1-2(NIV): "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith."
What is the takeaway message?
The bridge is reminiscent of moments I had as a kid where I was afraid of unseen monsters hiding under your bed or in your closet and finally realizing that you are not alone. You are afraid, and you're going to battle with things you are uncertain about, but the song is about empowering you in those moments. You stand up and you fight against that fear and live for yourself. That's what it means for me.
This song is about your journey in life. I deal with a lot of fear about what the future holds, physically and about decisions I'm making. Rather than living in fear of that, this song is about basking in the joys of today and not letting the fears of tomorrow steal the joys right now. We need to live by having faith that there's hope and there's going to be a positive outcome instead of always thinking things won't turn out the best. You can apply this song to your own personal story. Whatever you're going through, it may not seem like it is okay, but I truly believe that it will be, and we all have the opportunity to be stronger and get through it. I don't think we are ever alone in those times.
Lyrics: I don't wanna hear that
Everything is okay
Cause it's not alright
I need a little time to find
Some peace of heart
Some peace of mind
All I know is we don't always get a
It's not about where we are right now
But where we're going
I'm still breathing
Blood is burning in my veins
I wanna feel the pain
You're still healing
Every moment, every day
Is a gift You gave
I can't believe I'm still breathing
I know that the sorrow
Will come back tomorrow
But I'm ready
Gonna be grateful
For everything that made me
Who I am today
Cause I know when it comes, when it goes
It'll make me stronger
When the good times come
It'll all be that much better
Turn the light off
Let the monsters come
I'm not gonna be afraid
Cause I know that I'm not alone
I've got giants on my side
VERIDIA has been writing and singing their breath, given to them by God, into stirring songs. You'll be blessed by this powerful song which is a stand-out anthem with a convicting declaration: "Let the monsters come, I'm not gonna be afraid, cause I know that I'm not alone, I've got giants on my side." This song has a catchy and engaging melody, and the theme of having giants on my side is a great reminder to know that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.
The song reflects the conviction and strength we can all have as God's army of dry bones who are filled with God's breath, and then we can breathe out as prophesied in Ezekiel 37. The song also sings about not being afraid. The Lord tells us all throughout His Word to not be afraid or worry. He knows we suffer from that attack from the enemy, who wants to rob us of our joy in God. By reading the Bible every day, God wants us to have a daily reminder not to be afraid.
The theme of the song addresses the universal human need to have God breathe through us and to inhale His love so that we can exhale it in turn. In the context of the song, once you realize that God came to rescue us, the love of God in our heart overflowing causes us to sing back to Him: "You're still healing, every moment, every day, is a gift You gave. I can't believe I'm still breathing." Amen to that!
Watch the music 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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