Sober Soundtrack – Ashley’s Inspirational Picks
Music / / Mar 26, 2017
I remember coming home from work everyday just gritting my teeth and trying to get through one day sober. I specifically remember on the route I took home from work everyday I would get on the 91 Fwy West from the 5 North. The pavement on that connecting ramp is very bumpy and the tires make a loud grinding noise when you drive fast over them. That grinding noise would drown out my head for a total of 30 seconds each day. That was the most relief I got at that time. I would drive 100 mph on the ramp and pray that one of my tires would pop so that I would be sent over the railing. Needless to say I had a lot of road rage in those days. I was changing the stations on my car radio one day and I stopped on the Christian station. The music sounded very different than the Christian music I grew up with. I started to put the station on every time I was in traffic so that if I wanted to curse someone out I would feel guilty because I was listening to Jesus music.
The first voice that stood out to me was a singer named Lauren Daigle. (She’s basically the Adele of the Christian music world) There’s a line in one of her songs where she says, “When you don’t give the answers, As I cry out to you, I will trust…in You.” I heard this and I thought aren’t Christians supposed to have all the answers? That’s why they are always telling you about their faith? I looked into her music and I quickly became a fan. My favorite song is one where she describes being a women committed of adultery back when the punishment was death. She talks about shame and unworthiness. She understood some of the incomprehensible demoralization I had experienced.
I was missing my rock and roll roots so the next band I started listening to was Rend Collective. They are a band from Ireland and they play all kinds of strange instruments that I am not going to pretend I know anything about. They have a song called, “Desert Soul.” The singer describes his spiritual condition as a desert and that he is dead inside and broken. I was starting to think that these Christians understood my struggle a little more than I gave them credit for. They also have a song called, ‘The Cost.” The song is about counting up everything you have and deciding if losing it all is worth a relationship with God. Isn’t that exactly what we have to do to stay sober? I was such a fan I went to go see them play a concert at the Calvary Chapel in Santa Ana. I went with my girlfriend who was in full punk attire and wearing no shoes as usual. We had an awesome time and the music was fun.
If you are into Pop or Rap music I have a new adoration for Hollyn. She’s what I listen to in the morning to wake me up. She has a song called, “Don’t Leave Me Alone.” She describes her rebellious nature and how she continues to want a relationship with God regardless. I can absolutely relate to this song and am also rebellious by nature. I am so grateful that my God and the people in my life have not given up on me, but have rather tried to break through my defenses. I would not be where I am today without persistent grace.
And then there’s Hillsong United…
Hillsong United describes themselves as the most popular band that no one has ever heard of. They sell out stadiums with millions of fans all around the world. However their neighbors don’t even know who they are. They are a humble band from Australia and have been around since the 1990’s. Their hit song “Oceans” has basically been the theme song of my life since I heard it. The song Oceans set the standard for me immediately of exactly which love song I wanted my life to be like. I want to live a life completely dependent on my higher power without breaking my gaze. To look away means to die for me.
For more upbeat music, Hillsong Young and Free is a band made up of young people. They put their own modern mix on Christian music that I enjoy. One of their songs have the lyrics, “I live my life to the limit, well I’m at the edge of myself.” The life I live doesn’t mean more restrictions to me, but it means more freedom from self.
I used to listen to rock and metal when I was a kid. I used to fall asleep to Slipknot’s music. My favorite band as far back as I could remember is the Doors. When I heard Robert Plant, Jim Morrison, or Ozzy Osborne sing I felt it in my soul. They were usually singing about drugs or alcohol, but that was also my story. They wrote the type of love songs that transcend generations. I wanted that type of love in my life, because I had a lot of darkness in my heart. When I got sober I used the passion that I had for music to guide me toward a new relationship with a higher power. I wanted the type of love for my higher power and for life that I heard in those songs. That was my start. In sobriety I was reunited with my childhood God and I have found the love I was looking for. This list contains some of the love songs I live by now, only the meanings of these songs transcend into eternity.
I know I couldn’t have gotten far in sobriety without my God. The soundtrack for my sobriety just happens to be that of which the music industry categorizes as “inspirational music.” Does your music inspire you?