Music and Memories

By: Julie Thompson

“Sometimes it’s not the song that makes you emotional, it’s the people and things that come to your mind when you hear it.”  Tiesto

I love music. Whether I’m in the car, at work, or at home, I usually have music playing in the background. If you were to look through my music collection, you would probably use the word “eclectic” to describe it – classical, oldies, pop, rock, hip-hop, rap, country, Christian – I listen to it all.

My love of music started as a kid and was evident by all the “mix tapes” I would create. I recently found some in a box and had so much fun going back and listening to them. I was surprised that I could still remember the lyrics to the songs after all these years. Sometimes I can’t remember where I parked my car, but play a song from years ago and I can start singing along.

Music is powerful. Hearing a song can immediately take you back in time. It’s amazing how a few notes/lyrics can bring back specific memories and feelings.

I was reminded of the power of music when I went to a three day Christian music festival. David Crowder, one of my favorite artists, was finishing up his set. He started playing a few notes, and immediately the song seemed familiar to me. As he started singing the first verse, I felt an even stronger connection to the song, but I wasn’t sure why. Then, after the first word of the chorus, memories came flooding back. As he sang the rest of the chorus, tears starting streaming down my face:

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives.”

“Because He Lives” was one of my mom’s favorite hymns. Before my mom passed away, she wrote down the songs and Bible verses she wanted shared at her funeral. Everything conveyed a message of hope and comfort. This was one of the songs she wanted us to sing. At her funeral I remember singing this song through tears. I knew life was going to be hard without my mom, but the lyrics reminded me that I could still have hope because God would be there to help me face each day. In the midst of pain, life was still worth living. 

Out of the thousands of hymns that exist, David Crowder chose to play a hymn that was one of my mom’s favorites. The notes and the lyrics immediately brought back memories of my mom. I miss her everyday, but in this sweet moment, sadness mixed with joy and comfort. In the middle of thousands of people at the music festival, it was as if my mom was speaking directly to me – reminding me that she is with God and to continue to trust Him with my future…even on those hard days. 

“Because He Lives” is just one of many songs that bring back memories of my mom. Just as certain song lyrics stay in my head, certain people stay in my heart. My mom is one of those people, and I’m so thankful for the music that helps me remember her.

What songs bring back memories for you?

To read more blogs by Julie, check out her personal blog: .

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