When I was a preteen and a teenager, Avril Lavigne was one of my favourite singers. I wouldn’t say I was a very rebellious girl, but I didn’t care about what others thought of me and had no propensity to deal with bullcr*p, so I did have the spirit for it. Mix that in with a bit of angst and you can see why I gravitated towards Avril’s music. Today I am appreciating her for a different reason, and that’s her new song, “Head Above Water.”
Lavigne has been battling Lyme Disease and explained that the inspiration for the song was when she was lying in bed, her mother holding her as she felt her body shutting down, like she was drowning, and she prayed to God to keep her head above the water. She is now making a full recovery and back after a 5-year break from the music industry.
This song really resonated with me due to my own trials, not with physical(?) illness but with insomnia. When you’re operating on less than 3 hours of sleep a night for weeks – even months – your mind feels like it’s swimming in turbulent waters as you struggle to focus on the simplest of things, like grasping for a piece of driftwood that keeps floating away. Half the time you feel like you’re just fighting to keep “functioning.” I have no idea how my grades didn’t slip more than they did last year and how I didn’t lose all sense of reason; I owe it all to the grace of God. I have learned to fully rely on Him as a result of my struggles because I cannot explain how I never just completely shut down. Coffee only helped a little bit since I refused to up my intake, so eventually, I became somewhat immune to its effects. It was only when I fully stepped into the strength of God that I pulled through.
I’ll be honest that my fight with insomnia is not over, and I don’t know if it ever will be. My sleep has improved substantially, yes, but last night, for example, I didn’t sleep a wink, following many nights where I’ve at least gotten 6 or 7 hours. I was completely numb this morning, mentally and physically, but I had a lot of work to do. So I blasted this song in my earbuds a number of times and leaned into the Lord as I worked. My mind actually cleared up quite a bit and I feel oddly energized. I did have my usual coffee this morning, but I feel refreshed in a way that coffee just can’t do for you when you’re exhausted; it increases your heartbeat, sure, but you still feel like dying.
So I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for the Lord today, for the reminder that when I am weak, then I am strong, all thanks to Jesus.