When I was in middle school, there was a popular trend of creating your "Life Playlist." I'm sure my Myspace page was littered with them as each week a new song would be the perfect expression of what I was going through in life.
I was thinking of that today as I listened to my latest musical acquisition, so I decided to create my life playlist for right now to express some of my feelings connected to the physical and emotional things going on in my life.
1. "Oceans" cover by Cassidy Almquist
This is the song I was listening to when I got the idea for the playlist. This song has meant a whole lot to me over the last two years, but this particular cover is even more meaningful. When I was in the hospital just after my accident, a friend I knew in high school told me about another girl who had a similar accident to mine six months before me. She recently released an EP on iTunes which you can purchase here. This young woman has been working through a journey similar to mine, and where I primarily use my words to praise God, she uses her musical talent. The lyrics "Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me / You've never failed and you won't start now" are particularly meaningful for obvious reasons.
2. "Not Ready to Die" by Demon Hunter
I think the title speaks for itself.
3. "Still that Girl" by Britt Nicole
A few weeks ago, a wonderful woman I've never met sent me a CD. Little did she know how much of an impact that would have on me. Every line in the song "Still that Girl" fits my story beautifully. Thank you so much, Deb. I listened to that CD on repeat for three weeks solid.
4. "The Run and Go" by twenty one pilots
Now, I haven't killed anyone like the narrator of the song, but the chorus is really powerful to me. The last lines are "You'll have to watch me struggle from several rooms away / But tonight I need you to stay." That really fits my desire to push people away even though I need their help.
5. "Bist du nicht müde" by Wir Sind Helden
The title translates to "Aren't you tired?" I'm still tired all the time from everything I have to do. The summer is going to be exhausting as I travel around the States visiting loved ones. I'm already exhausted, and I haven't even started. Yes, I'm tired, and I'm ready to hand over all my stresses to the loved ones who are waiting to help me carry my burden.
6. "From Finner" by Of Monsters and Men
I love the whole album this song is on, but when I drove by myself from Portland to Denver years ago, I blasted this song and shouted along the lyrics, "We're far from home, but we're so happy, far from home, all alone, but we're so happy!" I'm far from "home" now, and I'll be far from "home" when I visit America. There's a strange feeling to be at home in multiple places because I'm also never at home again. This is a strange and unnerving feeling. When I travel to the place I called home for 24 years, it will be for the first time as a disabled person. It will be strange and new. It will be a huge loss of home in some ways as I discover it is not the place I left. Germany is my new home, and I will be far from it for the summer, but I'll still be so happy.
7. "Kill Your Heroes" by AWOLNATION
I like this song for many reasons, but the one I'll share here is related to the lyric "One more thing before I graduate: Never let your fear decide your fate." I'm scared of a lot of things. I was terrified of moving to Germany, and now I'm terrified of leaving. However, I refuse to let my fear decide my fate.
8. "Background" by Lecrae
This comes off the album "Rehab;" I like the coincidence. I've got a lot I could say about this rap, but I'll just pick out four lines for you: "So I don't want to take the lead, 'cause I'm prone to make mistakes / All these folks who follow me, gon' end up in the wrong place / So let me just shadow you, let me trace your lines / Matter of fact, just take my pen, here, you create my rhymes." When I write things here, I always hope that it will give a clear picture of my struggle, my successes, and most importantly my Savior who I follow.
9. "Dance with Me" by Evan Earwicker
I've loved singing this song since I first heard it. I used to sing it when I danced in the rain, when I led worship in high school, when I was just sitting alone in my room. As the song declares, "I don't want to sing of a passion I've never known." This is so real to me - and equally importantly I want to dance again. I still cry out "Dance with me!" to my King of the ages as I sit in my wheelchair. One day I will dance through the night around his throne. I pray that I will dance before him again while I'm on this earth, but I sing with confidence that I will dance again.
10. "Beautiful Times" by Owl City
I wrote a whole post on this song a while back, but it still fits my story right now. "This fight of my life is so hard, so hard, so hard, but I'm gonna survive." I'm healing, I'm improving, I'm getting better, but it's still so hard, so hard, so hard. I can't ignore that. I also won't ignore the beauty all around me. ("Beautiful Things" by Gungor is pretty similar to this; I'm feeling this beat more today.)
Bonus Track. "Get Up" by Superchick
Because anyone who knew me in middle school would know that no playlist of my life would be complete without a Superchick song. This one is worth googling if you haven't been all along. The first verse is, "I'm not afraid to fall; it means I climbed up high / To fall is not to fail; you fail when you don't try / Not afraid to fall; I might just learn to fly / And I will spread these wings of mine."
So there you have it, a look at one major piece of my mental state as I process the world around me. I'm grateful for your prayers as I put this playlist on my phone and listen to it on the plane tomorrow morning. Please pray for me to have peace as I fly, to be safe with all my medical complications, and to continue to glorify God on this journey.