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Young and Free?

Earlier in the week I was listening to Hillsong Young & Free and so ignited into a joyful mood. I was worshiping in spite of negative feelings creeping in at me. Normally, I listen to Air 1 radio or K Love radio in the car. It has been about 5 years since I started listening to positive music almost constantly. I literally can feel the difference in me when I switch the channels back to regular stations. The last two days some of the secular music was playing in the car (does "secular" sound like a bad word to anyone else?). My mind was launched back into not so great memories of my past. Why? Because the music is so focused on self and often sexual things, like being wanted, touched, and frankly, lied too.

It is overwhelming how much I can feel from a song. Like the popular song by Ed Sheeran, "Shape of You", that is meant to be flattering right? Should I even be flattered by a statement like that? Am I not more than a shape? Do I have more self worth than someone liking the curve or figure I am? Is that what I want someone to be in love with about me or maybe about who I actually am and what I represent?

See how quickly I can go off on a tangent. It is like a button was pushed in my brain that sent signals all throughout my body and triggered a bunch of JUNK that I have hoarded over time. There are all sorts of unhealthy attachments and feelings associated to songs from my childhood to now.

So today, I was painting a kitchen island cart that I bought used and needed some music to make the task for fun. I turned on Spotify on my phone because I couldn't bring in my Hillsong cd from the car (I don't even have a working cd player in the house anymore, what!!!!). The music poured out of my phone and into my soul. It brought me back to that happy, peaceful, energetic place. It was only positive.

I love to dance. I used to go out dancing a lot and that would be a problem for my faith life. Typically because it involved late nights, sexually charged music, a new outfit, selfies (before that was a thing), and alcohol. For me, I thought I was good at dancing, or really I knew it, it was one of the things I had confidence in. That was nice to feel good about myself for a change. But I was always balancing this control, over my own body (not letting anyone too close) and not getting too drunk. I wanted to make sure I was noticed but not gawked at. I wanted to feel free but was I?

I'd say that dancing made me feel alive and free. I was younger than I am now. But I was so trapped and couldn't figure it out.

When I changed the channel in the car recently, it was because I wanted something more upbeat. I love most of the songs Christian radio plays but sometimes I really want to move a little, especially on the long drive to go buy this kitchen cart. So I was flipping through the channels and listened to a few of the "other" songs. I literally don't like most of them now. I practically feel violated listening to them. Am I old!?! Or is this how I should have been reacting all along? Honestly, I think the reason my reaction has changed to lyrics is because I value myself in a much different way, closer to the way God does. God says that I am his daughter. And another reason is that many times my kids are in the car with me and I want to give them the best opportunity to hear truth first. The lies will come but I am going to be there with the truth from God's Holy Word.

If my kids can see that I genuinely enjoy worshiping the King and that I am authentic, that will speak volumes. I can still dance. Now I just dance to better quality songs. In my opinion, it is a lot harder to write songs that don't have the same basic concepts going on (body parts, infidelity, touching). Artists like Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, and Lecrae have stepped up the game for "christian" rap music today. I'd encourage parents to embrace all genres of music, don't be scared off by something unfamiliar.

My husband doesn't particularly like listening to Hillsong with me in the car. It is too slow for him. That is ok. I love it and turn it up loud when its just me. Like today, I truly felt young and more importantly, free.

Dear God, Thank you for music, especially dance music and the sound of a beat. I'm so grateful for the amazing and talented artists that provide a variety of music to worship You with and to listen to and stay positive. Help me to remember to seek you first in everything, even in music choices. My heart and mind can be quickly found wondering down the wrong path with a song. But I know that I have power with the Holy Spirit to stop, turn around, and get back on the path that leads to real freedom. Help me to continue to grow in my understanding of your Word and Truth so that I can properly represent you. In Jesus name, amen. 

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