I mentioned in yesterday's post how important music is in my life. As long as I can remember I have loved all kinds of music. I cannot carry a tune in a tin bucket, but I love to sing! I just make sure no one is around when I do!
It wasn't until about 9 years ago that I realized how powerful music can be.
Though I love all kinds of music, I am not someone who actually hears the lyrics a lot of times. The chorus, yes, of course, most of the time I do know the words. But the actual verses of songs, I am not always aware of.
Almost 10 years ago my first husband committed suicide. Almost 2 years later, I remarried. That, in and of itself, is a complete miracle, because I swore I would never marry again. But that story is for another time.
My husband and I had not been married too long at all when one day, I was in our bedroom listening to music. When he walked in, he had a very disturbed look on his face. I couldn't understand why. He asked why I was listening to these songs, and I said that I just wanted to listen to them.
Now, if you do not know my husband, you do not know that he is not a man that will simply let something that is bothering him go. He kept persisting, asking why these songs were what I wanted to listen to. I became quite irritated, and asked him what the big deal was. He looked at me again, with a very incredulous look on his face, and asked, "Do you really not hear what they are saying?" I told him no, I did not, it was no big deal at all, I just liked the music. He asked me to sit with him and look up the lyrics to each one of the songs that I had in my play list.
I'm sure you can imagine my shock to realize that every single song I had been listening to was about suicide! Because I am not a person that actually hears the lyrics, I had been completely unaware of the messages I was putting in my brain!
Now, I am sure there are many people who will see this as ridiculous. I do not pretend to believe that I can change someones mind who is so dead set against exploring that this is a valid point. However, I know without a doubt that it was impacting my thoughts.
Statistically, survivors of suicide are more likely to commit suicide themselves than any other group of people. Though I was remarried, I was still very much haunted by the sight that I had witnessed in my first husband's suicide. The scene kept playing over and over in my mind. I found comfort in the sadness of the music I was playing. However, the sadness that was comforting me was not helping to heal me at all. In fact, it was prolonging my agony, and in reality, hampering my healing! I just did not realize it.
Things had become so volatile with my emotional state that one evening I left the house very distraught. My husband told me later that he had a sickening feeling he would never see me again. He tried to get me not to leave, but he also did not want to push too hard. We had not been arguing at all, so I was not leaving in anger. I was just very distraught, dealing with the trauma of what had become my life after suicide.
My husband told me later that all he could do was pray. He knew that things were completely out of his hands.
What he did not know was I was very much on the edge that evening. In fact, when I left, I drove to a canyon not far from our house and sat in my car, preparing to drive over the edge. I had lost the will to live. I had obeyed God in marrying my husband (again, this is a story for a different time, however, I knew without a doubt that I was to marry my husband. God made it very clear to me that this was what He wanted for me. I could obey, or I could disobey. However, I had disobeyed God too many times in my life already. I knew that disobeying Him would bring nothing but pain, heartache and sorrow. So I obeyed. Now, a little more than 8 years later, I am so glad that I obeyed God.)
The evening that I sat in my car on the edge of the cliff, I just saw no way out of my pain. I ended up in a sobbing mess, begging God to just let me die and end the excruciating pain.
Interestingly enough, the music that was playing that evening in my car was praise and worship music.
I cannot tell you exactly what song it was. I cannot tell you the exact thought process that brought me back to just this side of sanity enough to realize that ending my life was not the answer.
I began to realize how right my husband was. I was not helping myself at all by "comforting" myself in the sad and suicidal music. I stopped listening to it, and this began the very slow and very painful process of truly healing.
Now, remember, I was already almost 2 years past the actual event that caused my trauma. But I had allowed myself to wallow in my misery and find comfort in the sadness rather than praising and worshipping God in the midst of my pain. Oh, yes, there were times I would praise and worship Him for bringing me through all He had brought me through, but I did not immerse my entire life into praising and worshipping Him even in the storms of life.
Interestingly enough, there is still a large part of me that is very drawn to what I refer to as "the dark side". I am very "attracted" to the dark, depressing alternative music. In an instant I can be back to that night, feeling the very emotions I felt, thinking the very thoughts that I was thinking. There are times where I have to resist the almost physical pull to listen to the dark songs that offers my soul nothing but a sad imitation of comfort. I have found that true comfort can only be found in Jesus.
Yes, I still have my sad times. I still have bouts of depression. No, not overwhelming as before, but more "blue days", rather than weeks or months. But now, in these melancholy days, rather than putting on my sad, comforting music, I put on my praise and worship comforting music. Even in the midst of my tears and pain Jesus is there to comfort me. He never leaves me nor forsakes me. It just comes down to my choice- will I allow Him to be there to comfort me, or will I turn to the darkness that seeks to overwhelm me?
Lord Jesus, I praise You and worship You for never leaving me. Thank You so much for blessing me with the gift of my husband. You have taught me so much. I am truly blessed beyond measure in so many ways.
I pray that You will use me, my life, my experiences, and Your healing in my life to touch others. Lord God, I know what it is like to feel like you are all alone in the world. But I have learned that our feelings are so very fleeting! We are never truly alone if we will simply reach out to You.
I pray that You will bless and keep Congresswoman Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. There has not been much news made pubic of Ms. Giffords progress, but I am actually thankful for that. I pray that they are given the privacy that is needed to heal. I pray that Ms. Giffords and Mr. Kelly will always know that they are being lifted up in prayer no matter where they are or no matter how silent the news is about them. Please continue to allow them the peace and privacy they need during this time.
I pray these things in the precious, holy Name of Jesus Christ- Amen.