A note from Kelly King: How does music minister to you? Whether it’s in sorrow or in joy, there is power in the words, melodies, and rhythms of songs. If you’re hurting today or you find yourself ministering to someone who is struggling, consider Kaye Hurta’s encouragement to listen to music and make your own playlist!
When it comes to helping hurting women, have you ever considered the healing effects of music?
According to Franz Wendtner, lead clincial psychologist in a clinic in Austria, “Music is an important part of our physical and emotional well-being, ever since we were babies in our mother’s womb listening to her heartbeat and breathing rhythms.” Research indicates that music makes a connection with the autonomic nervous system (brain function, blood pressure, and heartbeat) and the limbic system (feelings and emotions).
When we are stressed, overwhelmed, hurting, or just needing a pick-me-up, we instinctively turn to music. It calms us in the doctor’s waiting room and relaxes us at the spa. It inspires us on a nature walk or run, and it prepares our hearts in worship at a church service. I have even heard it said that music is the language of the soul.
If all this is true, and anecdotally from my own life it seems to be, then perhaps we should “prescribe” music as a means to minister to hurting women. I’ve done it before. I have recommended to women in pain a song or two to listen to, cry through, and pray through. There are moments in our lives when the pain or hurt is overwhelming, and we find ourselves without words. Music, particularly worship music, bridges the gap between the cry of our souls and the words we can’t seem to find. The beauty of music combined with the power and truth of transformational lyrics is a powerful combination.
We have already discussed the importance of having helpful referral resources in your ministry to hurting women. Consider including a list of songs that speak directly to life’s struggles and pain. Some examples might include: It is Well with My Soul, Great is Thy Faithfulness, No Longer Slaves, What a Beautiful Name, Blessings, My Help, and Good, Good Father to name just a few. Honestly, the choices are endless. I would love to hear back from you with your suggestions.
I love the last line of Zephaniah 3:17: “…He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (NLT). Let that promise sink in deeply. The Wonderful Counselor is singing over you. It is my belief that using music prescriptively can be a powerful and useful tool to facilitate the healing of a broken heart or wounded soul.
Let’s practice what that looks like now. Take a moment and unplug from whatever screen you’re reading these words from. Press play on whatever device you use for music, close your eyes, and listen. If you have a “go to” worship song, play that one. If you don’t, try “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong. Listen to it twice. The first time, listen simply to listen, and let the truth of the words land on your heart. The second time you listen, pray through the lyrics. Here’s an example of what I mean: the opening line is “You were the Word at the beginning, One with God the Lord Most High.” Let that phrase prompt your prayer. For example, “Jesus, You were at the beginning, You were at my beginning. Thank You for Your presence in my life.”
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.