I read Keelium’s blog post about her playlist for strength in difficult times and her discussion as to why she’s called it ‘My Worship Music’ provoked some thoughts. She talks about how it’s music that brings her strength and hope and joy, like worship music used to for her back when she was religious.
I’m in the same boat. I used to be so very Christian. I went to Church every Sunday, was involved in my youth group, went on Church/Christian holidays and went to a Church of England Secondary School. I made an effort to read my Bible regularly, and prayed a lot. I sought guidance from more experienced Christians when I was struggling and turned to them when faced with bereavement. But a lot bad things happened, and essentially, it felt like my Church, my Faith, abandoned me when I needed it most. And I haven’t forgiven them for it.
I still have my collection of music by Delirious?, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman et al*., and the lyrics to all my old favourite childhood hymns/songs are still in my head, but I find these days that I cannot listen to any of it because RAGE, or more accurately, heartbreak. I’m still too raw and hurt too much to have the music rub in my face the things I have no longer. When I find myself singing worship songs, the self-concious part of me wonders why the hell I’m singing praise to a God I’m either a) not sure exists or b) don’t care if He does.
One of the defining moments in my path away from Faith was the realisation that the joy and hope and release I found in church worship could also be found at a goth club night. That feeling of dancing away, inspired and hopeful, forgetting the concerns of daily life and feeling connected to the people around me is something so freeing and so essential to my wellbeing that suddenly discovering I didn’t need Church for it started a new chapter. It didn’t free me from the guilt I feel for turning my back on the Church but it did provide me with a space to explore the things I love in new ways.
These days, I don’t need to go out goth clubbing every week but every so often a night to myself, to loose myself in the music, amongst strangers, to just be in the moment is exactly what I need. And I have my non-church music for times when I’m out on my own or in my room moping or struggling with life in general. So yes, like Keelium, I still have music that inspires me, music that I love to dance to, music that I will weep with, rage with, despair with, smile with, and I hadn’t thought of it as worship music until now.