A Letter to Matthew Thiessen

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After a rather crazy week of finalizing classes and other Millersville related things, Friday afternoon found me in a car with three friends headed to Camp Hebron. Any road trip like that demands a soundtrack and I had chosen my extensive Relient k playlist for the drive. Towards the end of the trip a song from their newest album came on. “Is this still Relient k?” someone asked. I begrudgingly answered that yes, it still was even though it really didn’t sound like Relient k. I believe I vented for a minute or two about the change in lyrics and sound and then declared “I’m going to write Matt Thiessen a letter voicing my disappointment.” Because I think I was backed up to do so, here is that letter. It doesn’t go super in depth and it’s not very analytical. It’s just what I need to say.

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for providing me with a soundtrack to my life, especially during the years of 2001-2009. The lyrics that you penned and the melodies that filled my ears said the things I never even knew I felt. Things resonated with me so clearly at some points it was almost as if we had sat down to coffee the day before. I appreciate your sarcasm, witticism, and thoughtfulness regarding our society. Thank you for being so candid with your feelings over relationships, life, and most importantly, Jesus.

Even though I’ve heard Let It All Out probably 137 times, the line

“And you said I know that this will hurt
But if I don’t break your heart then things will just get worse.
When the burden seems too much to bear
Remember
The end will justify the pain it took to get us there.”

puts me to tears every single time. Thank you for reminding me that life isn’t easy but in the end it makes us depend on Him for everything. Numerous other songs like Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been, For The Moments I Feel Faint, Less Is More, I Am Understood?, I Need You, Falling Out, Forward Motion, and I So Hate Consequences all have special meanings to me. I feel like when you wrote Over Thinking you were writing about me. 

You tell the story of redemption and love so perfectly in Deathbed. A few months ago I heard it again and it reminded me that even though we are all so messed up, Jesus doesn’t care. If we ask for forgiveness, he sees us as his children. His love for us is overwhelming. Thank you for helping me to see myself as Jesus does.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw you and the band perform at Purple Door. Sadie Hawkins Dance always brings back that feeling of that day and how life was so carefree. The joy and energy you and the rest of the band bring to your shows is incredible. The day you played at my high school was also rather surreal. My little Mennonite high school was cool enough to host you? I never thought it was possible.

But lets talk about Collapsable Lung for a moment. Don’t Blink is great and I love the lyrics but other than that, I can’t get into it. While the rest of the album is catchy and poppy, I don’t feel any connection to it. It’s like we’ve fallen out of touch, sort of like two friends who have grown apart. It’s not you. I understand people grow and change, but somehow you need to stay true to who you are. And maybe you are. Maybe we’ve outgrown each other. Whatever the reason, I find myself revisiting the older albums more and more. That is where you shone and where I found so much encouragement. I still have fond feelings for you and the band, but it’s not the same.

So Matt, once again, thank you. I will always enjoy Relient k, and I’m grateful I found you when I did.

Love always,

Karen

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