Though I grew up enjoying Christian music, at some point in my 20’s Christian music basically dropped out of my playlists. To my ears, Christian music had become a cheesy, commercialized, copy-cat genre of music. I wanted music that sounded good and made me feel something – and I increasingly found it in non-Christian music.
Floating on Feelings
The music I found became my go-to when I felt overwhelmed. It helped me feel okay with the emotions I was feeling. When I went through a break-up, music helped me float through. When I was failing college courses, music was my comfort. I used music as a crutch to help me cope with anxiety and depression, but it never helped me face my fears. It only really helped me to be okay with not facing them.
The ineffectiveness of my ways of dealing with anxiety became apparent at a time when at my job, I was given creative control of the biggest project I had ever been a part of. It was exciting, but the pressure I was putting on myself was high. I had to face fears on a daily basis, and my typical coping mechanisms weren’t working. I was starting to feel paralyzed, and I was getting way behind in my work.
But God, in his way, put His finger on the problem. He made me realize that I had FEAR in my life. Naming it like that was a good first step. God also gave me my wonderful wife, Rachel, who has a deep appreciation for music that speaks truth about God. Following her example, I started spending a few moments each morning, when my anxieties tend to be the greatest, listening to the words of music that spoke about God and his love for me. It wasn’t natural for me, and it wasn’t easy because it wasn’t escape.
Instead I found that Christian music is effective medicine for a fearful heart. It has a way of calming emotions. It speaks concrete truth to counter the lies that make us fearful. It reminds us that God is on our side.