I’ve always been a busy bee. Running place to place, having my schedule filled to the max. Going from sun-up to sun-down. There are many times I come home completely drained, having no more energy to pour into my family and dogs at home, who’ve been waiting for me all day. It’s unfair to them, and unhealthy for me. But with school, nannying, friends, ministry, the list goes on.. my plate becomes quickly filled up.
In the midst of all this, I really love music. I love playing on the piano, but I really love jamming in the car with those I love with the windows rolled down. Country is my favorite genre, and Dan + Shay is my all-time favorite. So for Lent this year; the 44 days before Easter, I gave up all non-Christian music. I didn’t realize how difficult it truly was going to be. The first two weeks I wanted to cave, and just turn on some country music on a sunny day, or on the hard days, listen to some slow music. But it was towards the end of Lent that I started appreciating Christian music. Knowing when I turned it on, there would be no talk of toxic relationships, or a girl crying over a boy, or drugs or sex. I started to enjoy the messages being sung, hearing how powerful God truly is even on the hardest days.
I started seeing growth in a way I didn’t think possible. One some rough days (there were several), being emotionally drained, and I just wanted to hear another person complain, I would normally turn on some slow music and sit in the sadness with the artist. Instead, I found myself turning on my Christian playlist, listening to the artist talk about sadness and despair, but that there’s hope in Christ through the trials. It was a refreshing reminder that music is a powerful tool, it can either bring hope to difficult situations, or help you wallow in it.
This past week, I was talking with one of my close friends about how I’ve really enjoyed Christian music, and actually went 6 days past Lent with only Christian music playing. Through talking with him, a question came up.. Have I been playing Christian music just to satisfy my Lent commitment, or am I truly listening to the lyrics?
The answer: I haven’t been listening. I have been so focused on obeying my commitment, and my brain buzzing like a bee all the time, I haven’t taken the time to slow down and truly listen to the lyrics. So this past week I slowed down; which honestly was really hard, but I stopped playing the Christian rap. My friend told me about one of his favorite artists, Housefires, I turned it on and let the lyrics wash over me, and tears soon followed. In the song Open Space:
I’m open, I’m open
And say whatever you wanna say
And move whatever you wanna move
And change whatever you wanna change”