Music is My IV

I’ve been listening to music during my latest illness flare. A lot. You could say music is my IV. 

Music has always been a lifeline for me. From childhood days when I would sing songs softly to God at bedtime, through teenaged years of alternate rock and angst-ridden folklore, to now when I sing for the pure joy of making melodies, there is something magical about music. 

There is something magical about music.

It doesn’t matter to me if the music is technically ‘Christian’ or not. Sure, there is something uplifting about singing to God, closing my eyes while I let the words of his truth circle around me and bathe me. At the same time, there is other music that does not identify itself as particularly religious or spiritual that I find just as uplifting. 

(I am not here to argue the relative merits of listening to ‘Christian’ v ‘non-Christian’ music. My lived experience says both are beneficial. And, for me, God can be found in both.) 

I love all kinds of music. Rock from the 60s and 70s, classical music, alternate and indie rock, soaring soundtracks and instrumentals, Celtic traditional verses, chaotic jazz tunes, bombastic anthems and acoustic vibes all resonate with me. I love musicals, everything from the classic Sound of Music to the contemporary hip-hop rhythms of Hamilton.

All of it, every beat, every note, every nuanced lyric, is an IV. 

Music saves me. It’s not just the words, though words can have a magic all of their own. Music speaks its own language, one that cannot be translated because it transcends words. It touches our hearts, lowers our defences, reaches out a caring hand to us, resonates when we thought we were alone and no one could understand us. Music is a confidante. Music understands.

Music is a confidante. Music understands.

As much as I love words (I am a writer, after all), sometimes I need music without words. I need to be transported without having to think or analyse or interpret. I need to switch off my brain and let my heart speak. Music crosses boundaries, meeting us where we are at. 

I have found music to be especially helpful—nay, necessary—when I am sick. Recently, I have been in so much pain it has been a struggle to sing at all. I need something I can simply absorb without any effort on my part. Music is a perfect solution, while providing a mental escape and an emotional outlet all at once. 

Music has also saved me when I have struggled with other problems, such as the frustration of unwanted singledom and the grief of ongoing childlessness. When I am down, tempted to despair, unable to see a way forward, music again comes to my rescue. 

Music comes to my rescue. I like to think God is present in that.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like to think God is present in that, whether or not the artists identify as ‘Christian’ and whether or not the song has lyrics that sing directly about God. I reckon God is present in any and all good things. Everything that blesses us, everything that helps and heals, originates with God. And I am grateful. 

Do you have an IV in tough times? Do you turn to music, another creative outlet, a hobby, a loved one, nature, a pet? How has God been present in and through these things? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

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