Track 2 – The End Of Me

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This song is the first one we wrote for the new record and it’s a collaboration with my friend Joel Hanson. Joel was the frontman for the seminal 90’s band PFR and he’s one of my favorite songwriters. He’s a master of beatles-esque songsmithery featuring melodic ear worms that lodge themselves in your psyche. I’ve been blessed to write some of the best songs I get to sing with him, like “Blessed Be” and “I Am New.” I’m a big fan.

It was born out of a particularly tumultuous time in my own life, hence the opening line: It’s okay, this is just the end.

We originally wanted to open the record with this track because we thought it would be really rock and roll if that was the very first lyric you heard, but we opted instead to open with “Remind Me Who I Am” because of how it set up the rest of the record thematically.

It’s still meaningful to me that right on the heels of a song about understanding our identity in Christ is a song about the collapse of our identity in self-effort.

The End of Me
(Jason Gray / Joel Hanson)

It’s okay
This is just the end
Don’t be afraid
This is where it begins
Everything here had to fall apart
But in the ruins of a broken heart

I found peace like a river to attend my soul
And hope running over when I let go
I found joy that was hidden for all these years
And love overflowing to wash over everything
I found it here at the end of me

It’s alright
We’re not alone
We don’t have to fight
The very things that might
Lead us back home
Every wound here is a place to start
The healing of a broken heart

I found peace like a river to attend my soul
And hope running over when I let go
I found joy that was hidden for all these years
And love overflowing to wash over everything
I found it here at the end of me

The end of me is not the enemy
It’s where mercy gets the better part of me
The end of me is not the enemy
It’s where love was always leading me

A Way To See In The Dark available on iTunes, and the Rabbit Room Store


10 Comments

  1. Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    I have a confession to make about this one. And embarrassing one. You know, you work so hard to dot every i and cross every t, and yet…

    For the Special Edition of the new record I got to write a devotional style booklet with reflections about each song. Due to deadlines and crazy scheduling it fell on me to have to write all of the content over the course of one weekend while I was doing a series of concerts in Louisiana. During the day, I was holed up in a little room feverishly writing, trying to meet the deadline.

    For the entry on “The End Of Me”, I shared one of my favorite moments from the Narnia books, the moment when Eustace, the nasty little boy who became a dragon, was de-scaled by Aslan until he became a boy again.

    I got an email this morning pointing out that in the booklet, I said it was Edmund instead of Eustace. Ugh. That is an embarrassing mistake, like saying Aragorn bore the ring to Mount Doom, or that Han Solo was the son of Darth Vader.

    I can’t tell you how many hours we pored through the copy trying to make sure it was fit to go to print. And somehow we still missed it. So, my apologies to Edmund, C. S. Lewis, and fans of Narnia everywhere. I’m grateful that because of Christ you’re all more of less obligated to forgive me :- ) Hopefully you got the heart of what I was writing even if a few details were muddled.

    Perhaps if we go to print more of these, I can correct that (and a few other errors we’ve found). Ah well, I guess it’s not the end of me…

  2. Jenn C

    If that’s the biggest mistake, you’re one lucky guy! Consider yourself forgiven. And I’ll probably smile over it every time I hear the song now.

  3. Jen

    Sam: Your comment caused me to make that weird snort-giggle sound. And I’m at work! Awesome.

    Jason: One of my favorite Narnia moments too! This IS a serious offense, but I guess I have to forgive you. Grace is big. =) I’ll just cross out Edmund and correct it myself, if that’s okay.

  4. Dan Kulp

    Aaron that is such a great comment. <– seee how it feels Sam.

    A "like" button to comments would have saved me from coming up with joke.

    Great song.

  5. Laura Peterson

    Dan – niiiiiice.
    Jason – Don’t worry. My pastor in college once quoted “Samwise Baggins” in a sermon. Twice. We all forgave him. 🙂 I read the lyrics again with that story in mind – I really like the parallel with that moment being the end of Eustace as he was, and the beginning of a whole new journey. I think there’s a line in there after that point saying that he “began to be a different boy.” Good stuff.

  6. dj

    I just sat here & stared at the words, “It’s okay, this is just the end. Don’t be afraid, this is where it begins” for quite a while. Boy, do I need to be reminded of that new beginning a lot!!

  7. Kaitlyn

    This one took me by surprise. The first time through I didn’t think too much of it, but after I listened to it for the 2nd…and 5th…and 8th time, I found myself humming this song as I went through my days – I still find myself humming it. This one’s a gem.

  8. Loren

    Just read your confession, Jason, and had to laugh because I’ve switched “Edmund” and “Aslan” more times than I’d like to say. My kids are always quick to correct me, especially if I slip up and read about “the traitor, Aslan.” I’ll be sure to take a Sharpie to my copy of the special edition when it comes 🙂 .

  9. Rob

    A friend shared the “Remind Me Who I Am” video with me and I bought the album right away. I was brought to tears when I heard “The End Of Me”. I am currently separated from my wife of 41 years (yes, 41 years) and that song spoke to me on so many levels. I actually took the cd jacket to my last counseling session to share the song lyrics with my counselor. God bless you, my friend.

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