Back in June I started thinking about songs that map out my journey, I was listening to a lot of music, Christian artists mainly or just music that was inspiring, on my Baptism day I posted six songs on my Facebook page, six songs mapping my life from February to July, one to describe each month and a quick reason for each, now I have expanded the list for the whole year and I will describe the reasons in more detail:
January : Dead Man (Carry Me) by Jars of Clay
So carry me
I’m just a dead man
Lying on the carpet
Can’t find a heartbeat
(Dead Man (Carry Me) by Jars of Clay)
Back in January I was oblivious to what was happening in my life, I was working now for a couple of months, Christmas wasn’t that bad (the year before I was ill over Christmas up to New Year), so the drink had been flowing well, work equalled money, money equalled beer, so I was slowly becoming a Dead Man, people were carrying me, I just couldn’t see it, my friends, family and workmates didn’t know it, it wouldn’t be long before I was dead on the floor. When I first heard this song following the breakdown of my life, the lyrics hit me right between the eyes, I was that dead man, I was carried longer than I ever realised, I had been dead on the floor for years.
February: Monster by Skillet
My secret side I keep
Hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
(Monster by Skillet)
This is a song I had played many times, infact it was one of the most played songs on my Ipod over the previous three years, but I was again completely oblivious to it’s relevance to my life. The truth is there was a monster in me, I did keep it caged, but I couldn’t control it, I never let anyone see it, but it was there, I tried to fight it but lost everytime, it had control, I was it’s slave, a body and a soul consumed in torment.
March: Daylight by Brave Saint Saturn
Jesus Christ, Light of the World
You never did forget me
And when I bled in darkness, You held me
Still held me
(Daylight by Brave Saint Saturn)
To understand the song you have to know the concept of Brave Saint Saturn, the band have released three albums that tell the story of a space mission to Saturn, the first album deals with the departure, the second the mission and it’s failure, the third the rescue and return.
Daylight is from the second album, the mission has gone wrong and the crew are stranded in darkness with no contact with mission control. The song is meant as a metaphor for that feeling of isolation, that feeling I was going through, feeling lost and alone in darkness, unable to reach out for help. The crew members try desperately to reach mission control, but fail, then they hear a voice, as their ship comes out of the darkness. I felt the same way, I was lost, until a voice came through from mission control to bring Daylight to replace my darkness, Gareth Morgan came through bringing the light of Jesus with him, I truly made contact with mission control when I prayed for the first time on 21st March 2012.
April: Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North
Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won’t disappear
(Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North)
I’ve posted before about the song Healing Begins and the message I received to listen to this song, all through April this song was my guide, it stood by me through the pain and my struggles, it kept me on my path, even when I felt like falling back into the darkness, it kept my striving for the light.
May: Right Beside You by Building 429
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When you think there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you
(Right Beside You by Building 429)
Another song that I had listen to many times, but this song became more important to me as my journey with God took more significance and relevance in my life, I was still coming to terms with the pain and withdrawals, I realised when I was at my lowest, so close to succumbing to temptation, if I asked for help from God it was there, he was right beside me, it just hit a chord with me, it didn’t matter how low I was he was right beside me.
June: Dear X, You Don’t Own Me by Disciple
Dear shame, I was safe in your arms
You were there when it all fell apart
I would get so lost in your beautiful lies
(Dear X, You Don’t Own Me by Disciple)
This song was another I had listened to over the last few years, I really liked the song, but again never looked at it’s relevance to me, but as I became stronger and moved further away from the drink, I felt like I was gaining some element of control over it, I knew how to handle most of the feelings of temptation. So X, which in my case stood for alcohol really didn’t own me anymore, it was still there trying, but I was fighting it, I had an element of control now, DEAR X (ALCOHOL), YOU DON’T OWN ME!!!!!!
July: Unbreakable by Fireflight
Now I am unbreakable, It’s unmistakable
No one can touch me, Nothing can stop me
(Unbreakable by Fireflight)
On the day I was baptised I posted this list of songs on Facebook, without any real explanations, I was looking for a song for July that described how I felt that day, having been baptised in the amazing circumstances that happened that day, well I was so high on the whole experience that I felt Unbreakable, nobody could break how I felt that day, that feeling would last for sometime.
August: Rise Above by Fireflight
Counting scars and losing track
Afraid to crash we never spread our wings
And with every chance we take we find a reason
To give up on the hope that we all need
(Rise Above by Fireflight)
With my control over my problems gradually improving, out of the blue I found this song, it said everything I was feeling at the time, whatever came my way, I had to rise above it, keep going on my path, whatever was throw at me, I could not afford to let it bring me down, I simply chose to rise above it, so this song just said everything.
September: Run to You (+ Meet You) by Parachute Band
You are calling you are calling me to you
And i run and i run to you
I need you i cant get enough of you
I come alive when im in your presence oh God of my salvation
(Run to You (+ Meet You) by Parachute Band)
This was again another song I had added to my Ipod well before my world changed forever, but one morning on way to Church it randomly played, I was blown away by it’s beauty and the simple message, the song just hit me. Walking home from Church I listened to it over and over again, I just felt the song, it says everything to me really, it didn’t matter what I did or where I tried to hide, he would meet me, Christ would find me and I am so grateful that he did.
October: Times by Tenth Avenue North
My love is over. It’s underneath
It’s inside. It’s in between
The times you doubt Me, when you can’t feel
The times that you question, ‘Is this for real?’
(Time by Tenth Avenue North)
Of all the songs on the album Over and Underneath, this song originally I didn’t really like, I still wasn’t a big fan when my world changed, then after listening to their new album The Struggle, I revisited this song and I finally understood it. The song basically has two parts to it, in the first part the singer questions his relationship with God, the second part God replies that no matter what you do his love will always be there. At a time when things in my journey became real and I questioned if I was ready for it, I got my answers, this song played out in my life, I questioned, he answered.
November: Don’t Change a Thing by Seabird
Waking up before the sun came up, was a fight that I would lose
To fall in love without a heart must be the hardest part for you
If I could change anything I’d change everything but you
Please promise me you won’t change a thing
(Don’t Change a Thing by Seabird)
The reoccurring theme here is that all these songs were on my Ipod well before my fall, they were there, I had listened to them many times, they were on my regular play list, but I hadn’t heard them, I hadn’t taken their lyrics and questioned them or their relevance to my life, now I feel them, I see the words, I hear them, at times many of these songs still reduce me to tears, I just can’t believe I never really heard them before. If I could go back to that darkness I was in, with what I know now, I would change everything but Christ, in fact I have, the only constant is Christ, I have with his help changed everything.
December (hopefully): Merry Christmas, Here’s To Many More by Relient K
I made it through the year and I did not even collapse
Gotta thank God for that
I’m torn between what keeps me whole and what tears me in half
I’ll fall apart or stay intact
(Merry Christmas, Here’s To Many More by Relient K)
I know we are only in November, but I love this song, it is my all time favourite Christmas song, narrowly beating “Fairytale of New York”. I just hope that I make to through the year with out collapsing (again anyway), I will certainly thank God for that, though not everyone I love will be there to greet me, I will be thankful to have at least reached Christmas, things could have gone horribly wrong this year, between contemplation of suicide and being a heart attack waiting to happen, whatever happens for me this Christmas, I will be glad just to have made it.