Music is so important to me. The ability that artists have to put feelings into words is remarkable. The first aspect I recognize when I hear a new song is the lyrics. I hold onto an artist’s song lyrics like they are pages from my own personal journal.
One of my best friends recently made me a playlist of songs for me to listen to when I’m grading papers or singing in the shower or anything else in between. One of the songs caught my attention. It’s called My Mistake by Gabrielle Aplin. Please try to listen to this song without seeing all of your insecurities flash before your eyes as they turn into teardrops streaming down your cheeks.
That maybe does not sound like something you want to experience, but I have a thing for sad songs. They make me feel less alone in my sad moments, knowing that someone else has been there before me. Someone else has felt these same emotions, thought these same thoughts, been in a similar place, but they got through it. Somehow, they overcame that dark moment in their bedroom, wrote a song, and picked themselves up off the floor. I aspire to have that type of strength.
The lyrics start out with:
I got up late again today
And I’m scared of everything
I don’t dare to dream
I guard a dark imagination
I know how depressing that sounds, but hear me out. How many of you have ever felt like you had a dream only for it to be beat out by a feeling of incompetence? How many of you have ever felt like you’re stuck, you don’t know how to get out of bed, and you feel like everything about your life is continuously beating you over the head?
Maybe it’s just me. But in these times, I listen to music with lyrics that remind me it’s not always going to be this way. This person overcame this feeling enough to write about it, sing about it, and release that emotion they thought they wouldn’t ever be able to let go.
Also in these times, I cry out to God. I say simple phrases like, “Please help. I’m struggling. I don’t know how to get through this moment.”
The crazy, cool thing about Jesus is He has been there before I have. He’s felt the same feelings I have; in fact, He’s felt much worse feelings than I have.
Hebrews 5:7-8 says,
“While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him.”
Even more comforting than song lyrics from someone who has been through a lot of hardship are words from my Creator about His feelings when He was anticipating death. ANTICIPATING. DEATH.
I sometimes feel like I’m suffering, but I’ve never been in a place where I know I’m fully aware that I’m going to die. Obviously not because I’m still here.
How comforting is it to know that my Creator has been in the darkest places imaginable? I can hold onto His words when I feel like I have nothing left. I believe that you can too.
Back to the song. I think God speaks to me through song lyrics. This song’s chorus says:
Am I jaded?
Am I meant to feel this way?
I’m a loser, getting beat by my own game
But if I falter, well at least it was my mistake
Oh, at least it was my mistake
Cause I choose to be this way
I’m a loser, and I self-deprecate
So when I falter, well at least it was my mistake
The best thing about this song is that I can trust that I make mistakes. Sometimes, I feel like I am a loser and I am talking myself down and being negative. But I can be confident that God gives me grace. That He’s felt extreme suffering. He’s going to pull me out of this. And if He doesn’t, He’s going to use it to show others that suffering is real and it exists. But God is still bigger and He’s there to listen and help lift the burden of the suffering you’re feeling weighed down by.
Reach out to Him. Listen to this song. Remember that you are not a loser. If you feel like you’re continuously making mistakes, it’s okay. You were made victorious in Him.
Seriously, go listen to the song.