Over the past year, I've struggled more with my mental health than at any other point in my life. These five songs have helped me through my hardest times.
Cody Carnes - Run To The Father (Official Lyric Video)
"My heart needs a surgeon
My soul needs a friend
So I'll run to the Father
Again and again"
Two months ago, my best friends from college either transferred or moved back home. Since my courses moved to a remote setting during the second week of the semester (thank you, Omicron), I experienced loneliness like no other. It was hard being away from those who supported me the most, the ones I could go to for anything.
The following week, I tested positive for COVID and my mental health conditions and loneliness got worse. It sounds silly, but work is what keeps me from feeling lonely, and interacting with my coworkers and customers helps me function. Having to stay in my bedroom all day, only leaving to use the restroom and make food, was isolating and negatively took a toll on my mental health. Not to mention I live where it gets cold in the winter, so no solo longboarding or walks around the neighborhood.
I had a meltdown on the phone with my mom, saying I could absolutely NOT be locked in my room all day. She mentioned that I could use the week to spend time getting closer to my Heavenly Father, as He is always there for us. That night, I prayed and felt at peace. I started to feel like this was His way of allowing me to develop a closer relationship with Him without any distractions. My Heavenly Father is the one I run to when my soul feels lonely and my heart is broken.
Lauren Daigle - You Say (Lyrics)
"You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don't belong, oh You say I am Yours"
This year, there have been times when I don't feel like I belong. All of my roommates this year are Wiccan and while I'm accepting of others' beliefs, it's often difficult to have a sense of belonging. I tend to feel left out, as I don't practice their rituals and such. We also have totally different interests and personalities.
I began my graduate project (similar to a thesis) in August, and started experiencing the grad school "imposter syndrome." I often wonder if I'm truly smart enough to be in grad school, compared to my classmates. A majority of them are earning their second master's degree. While I'm almost a straight-A, 4.0 student, I doubt myself. Last semester, we had to peer-review our classmate's papers and these thoughts always flooded my mind. This song helps me remember that I'm a child of God, and when I lack a sense of belonging, I am still His.
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family - Thy Will (Official Lyric Video)
"Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that You’re God
And I am not"
I absolutely love this song. For about 2 years, I've struggled with food and body image to the point where counting calories became an obsession and took away my happiness. Some months were better than others, but these last 9 months have been the hardest when it comes to food. In November/December, it was impacting my physical health to the point where I didn't know what was going to happen. Was I going to have to be in some facility, away from my loved ones? I still don't know what God has planned for me. I do know that I'm getting lots of help from my counselor, applying what I've learned from these sessions into my life, and putting my trust in God. His plans are better than mine, and He is faithful. I know He will use my disorder and turn it into something beautiful someday.
Chris McClarney - Crazy Love (Live)"And what can break addiction
Your love Your love
What can heal diseases
This crazy love"
As someone who's doing my graduate project on mental health in my community, this song has a whole new meaning to it. It makes the top "song request" list for my church's worship nights, and it moves everyone in some way or another. Part of my project involved going to a homeless shelter to learn about mental health and addiction, and how they are contributing factors to homelessness. As mentioned previously, I've experienced addiction in the sense of calories and body image and this reminds me that He is the one who can heal me and those struggling with addiction and diseases.
MercyMe - Even If (Official Lyric Video)
"I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone"
I hope to get the words "Even if" as a tattoo for my graduation gift to myself. It reminds me that even if it feels like my prayers aren't being answered, and things are going downhill, I will still put my faith in Jesus because He is the one who holds my future.