Monday, August 20, 2012

Stuck in My Head

Music has a way of relaxing the mind and freeing the soul. It also has the power to float around in your head for days on end. Even the most pleasant of songs can easily irritate the nerves when said song is say, stuck in your head for a week! We all have had days and weeks like that, I'm sure. However, sometimes it's good to have a song with encouraging or motivating lyrics in your head during a challenging situation like taking a standardized test, using a new route to get somewhere, before a big game or meet and countless other times. I've had many experiences where a song that was in my head attracted help I didn't know I needed or give me enough courage to continue doing what I know is right (or what I believe is the right way to do it).

I will make a short list of a few events but one in particular still stands out in my mind. It was either the fall of my sophomore or junior year of high school. I rode home with my dad most days after school and that day was like any other. Except one of the tires in the car was a little low. However, being as knowledgeable with cars as he is, my dad was sure that we could get to Beavercreek (home) before he would need to put air in that tire. Oh, if only that was really the case. Almost a mile or two from the exit, the tire blew and we were left stranded on the side of the highway. My parents only had the one car, so my mom couldn't come get us. My brother was probably at work, so he wasn't available either. My dad was tired from the day and my backpack was weighed down with several books, but we decided to start to walk the mile or two to get to our exit and then it wouldn't have been too far after that to get to our house. The song, Maybe I'm Amazed by Paul McCartney was stuck in my head that afternoon for some odd reason. We hadn't even been walking for 5 minutes and I found out the reason why.

A boy (who was a grade lower than I) and his dad pulled over to the side of the road because he recognized me from our study hall. My dad talked to his dad explaining our situation and a minute later they gave us a lift to our house which actually on their way. About a couple minutes later, after I got settled in, I realized what song was playing on their Sirius car radio: "Maybe I'm amazed by the way you love me all the time..." I couldn't believe my ears but even as a teenager, I knew that God had planned those tiny little details out to the 't.' I don't know if it would've have happened anyway, but hearing the same playing song in their car that was inside my head may not have been a coincidence! It was like I had attracted to them to me (when we really needed help) just through that song. Or maybe that's what God wants me to think. ;) Regardless, from that moment on I understood a little bit more of the effect music can have on our own  personal realities.

Some days I wake up right away with a song (in English, Spanish or Portuguese) in my head that sets the mood (in a positive way) for the day. Other times, that song might be annoying and it takes nothing short of a miracle to get it out. I.E: Going to bed at 1AM only to wake up at 2:30AM by Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" song vibrating in your head and can't go back to sleep. Yeah, that was Halloween 2009. Other times a song can almost influence both my little and big decisions. Take a little trip with me and see what I mean:

Pat Bentar's song, Love is a Battlefield, actually did make me skip my one-and-only class in 10th grade. After two weeks straight in double Chemistry periods, wouldn't you want to be spontaneous and join the other rebellious classmates for just one period of freedom?

Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson, while I will not say it influenced my decision 100%, did make me realize that I desperately wanted to go away to college instead of spend another 4 years in Ohio.

Grace by Phil Wickham, I can almost swear, drew me to meeting a boy named Zac from GRACE College in Indiana on my flight from ATL to JAX in August 2009, on my way back to JU for another semester. Too bad this guy had a girl back home he was already interested in. Overall, it was an achievement for me because I hadn't talked to a cute guy before while naturally letting my personality shine through. Little did I know that that was just the start of conversational for the next three years and counting. :) That song had also continued to influence many other events that played out during that semester, but that one's another story for another day. :)

Any of John Mayers songs could describe the first semester of my junior year. He was all I listed to, minus worship song at church, for like two months. If I thought hard enough, there are probably several instances of individual songs of his that I can associate decisions or experiences with.

Fast forward to my semester abroad in Spain in 2010! For nearly all of February and part of March, it rained every afternoon I was coming home from class. . .Since, and probably the only reason, I was in another country I chose to listen to upbeat songs to keep my mood up and keep me motivated for all of the homework, papers and tests I had to complete. Rick Astley and John Mayer's music made walking in the rain with my umbrella something to look forward to! Well, I still hated the rain, but maybe thanks to my music, not as much. :P

After being in Sevilla for just three weeks I decided to take a short-cut (that I had only used once before, mind you) home at 2:00AM. God was on my side as always, but he put Bebo Norman's Pull Me Out on my Zune that night to keep me calm and help me find my way home before I could have run into the wrong crowd. We all know that nothing good happens after 2AM - whether that's in the US, Spain or even China! haha

This is Our God by Hillsong (in Spanish) was on my mind all morning one Sunday awhile back. To my surprise, we sung it in church that morning and I sang most of it in Spanish. Funny thing was, for the first minute I recognized the music, beat and everything BUT the words. It had been awhile since I had blanked on something in English. It really demonstrated to me just HOW much I had listened to the song in Spanish. Either way, it made me happy. :)

Just yesterday, I woke up late and wasn't sure that I would be able to make it to church on time but I did. From the moment I woke up, Eres Mi Forteleza (You are My Strength) by Hillsong was on my mind. "Has sido fiel, has sido fiel...Tu fidelidad nunca fallará." I have failed lots of times, in both big ways and small, but this song gave me the encouragement I needed to successfully make it to church. After all, it's not really about the church service itself, it's about worshiping God and being with the people--people I have come to love and appreciate so much these last few years.



If I sat down and made a list of all of the instances where a song influenced a decision or event in my life, I'd have a gigantic list. I'm not a musician, but I need music in my life. As my brother says, the only time he doesn't have a song in his head is when he's sick. I think I can relate. ;)

*I encourage you to look up and listen to any of the songs I mentioned in this post. Who knows, you might have (or have had) an experience with one of these songs, too!*

2 comments:

  1. I made it through some rough times last year listening to 'Half Asleep' by School of Seven Bells, and recently I've been really taken by Bach's Toccatta and Fugue. And I don't listen to Lifehouse much anymore, but anytime I hear one of their early songs it immediately transports me back to high school.

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    1. It's amazing what music can do to help us get through rough times in our lives. Haven't heard of the first song you mentioned nor am I deeply familiar with all of Bach's pieces - so I'll have to check them out! Lifehouse and Switchfoot are two of a few favorite bands of mine, although I didn't discover either of them really until 2006 or so. The movie, A Walk to Remember, (2002) did expose me to a few Switchfoot songs, though. Thanks for posting, Jonny!

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