Modern music is filled with songs that resonate for betrayed spouses, probably because infidelity and pornography addiction are such a huge epidemic. There is no shortage of songs about the woman who was wronged. Some explain her pain, some her anger and some her hope for restoration.
For a few years, music was the only thing that came close to stopping the intrusive thoughts when the PTSD reared its nasty head. Headphones in and specific songs on repeat was sometimes the closest I came to relief from the assault on my brain. Over the last 5 years, I have had different battle songs, depending on what I needed at the time. Some sad ones to remind me I wasn’t the only one hurting and validation that despite my ex-husbands obvious dismal of my pain, my pain was real. Some angry songs empowered me to say ENOUGH and make boundaries. Some songs were filled with hope and I clung to those when his actions or my trauma made despair seem like the only valid option. Music mattered.
“What you focus on increases.” I have heard that attributed to more than a few people but no matter who originally said it, the concept is so very valid. The Bible directs us to focus on what is good and holy.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
My musical choices are almost always intended to reflect or direct my mood and I am not alone in this, music carries so much power for so many people. There is a reason they say music soothes the savage beast. I have heard countless stories of women using music to get through the hard times. You can learn a lot about where a person is by paying attention to the music they listen to. Music matters.
As I was baking yesterday morning, I had my “recovery” playlist on. It’s filled with assorted songs that helped empower me when I felt defeated and was questioning everything. Music was often my strength when I had little to none of my own. It’s been a long while since I needed to listen to that playlist and as the list shuffled, I could feel my mood shifting. I wasn’t feeling particularly needy to begin with but both my girls are struggling with issues related to their abandonment by their Dad and that always stirs up my own stuff. So, I thought I was ‘powering up’ to be able to enjoy my day off.
Taylor Swift’s ‘white horse’ and Keith Urban’s ‘stupid boy’ were on this list and while they don’t fit anymore since he didn’t want reconciliation, the words still stirred my anger. My heart remembered the anger these songs used to represent. A year ago I needed that anger to keep me grounded in my reality, the one where he chose porn and not repentance. That anger motivated me to change my situation and demand more from my life than someone else’s bondage, to demand my wedding vows be honored and my heart respected. The anger gave me the courage to finally say I will no longer be the only one honoring a covenant. The anger gave me the courage to look at the life I was living and the life I was promised and when they didn’t match up, it gave me the courage to say “ENOUGH.” But I don’t need the anger anymore.
The truth is, I don’t want to think of my ex-husband as a stupid boy. I don’t want to be angry at him. I don’t want to hate him. I don’t need that empowered RA-RA I am woman hear me roar stance that I needed to break free. They have served their purpose. They told me I was worth more when nobody else would and when my ex-husband’s actions were not showing me my worth. That isn’t my life anymore. I am free now. I am happy. I know my worth. I pray he knows his. Trauma or his addiction or my own sinful choices – none of those own me anymore. So while those songs served their purpose, they no longer do and yet I was sucked back in so easily. Making buckeyes as a present one minute and seeing flames darting from my eyes the next.
Music matters. Use it wisely.
While not a song I would classify as a Christian song in any stretch of the imagination, I was thrilled the day I heard Kesha’s ‘Praying’, a secular song written after a betrayal and it is a secular battle cry speaking of forgiveness, even if there are still hints of righteous anger. Some of her words are just so raw, so real, so dead on. Hats off to you Kesha, I pray you find the freedom to forgive, there is nothing that only God can forgive but many things you cannot forgive without His help, I pray you find it. I pray we all do as there is an unimaginable freedom found at the foot of the Cross and in forgiveness.