It’s kind of a bad cliche for pop artists to emerge a few years after obscurity as a worship artist, but hey, if there’s anything in this world that will make you realize how much you need Jesus, it’s got to be the struggles and challenges of fame.
Avril Lavigne, the skater-chick pop star most 90’s kids will remember well, seems to have made this transition herself, but in her case, it was a struggle with a terminal illness that set her off on a spiritual path.
Lavine has been out of the spotlight for five years, following a diagnosis of Lymes disease.
In the recently-released track “Head Above Water”, she cries out to God and asks His help to keep her from drowning, a reflection of her battle with the disease.
She explained that the songwriting process, according to FaithWire, began when she literally thought she was dying:
“I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.”
The song lyrics reflect a struggle any believer will be well-acquainted with, whether you’ve faced death or simply endured the day-to-day blows of life in a fallen world:
I’ve gotta keep the calm before the storm / I don’t want less / I don’t want more / Must bar the windows and the doors / To keep me safe to keep me warm / Yeah my life is what I’m fighting for / Can’t part the sea / Can’t reach the shore / And my voice becomes the driving force / I won’t let this pull me overboard
The song shifts towards Who she reaches out to in these moments:
God keep my head above water / Don’t let me drown / It gets harder / I’ll meet you there at the altar / As I fall down to my knees / Don’t let me drown / Don’t let me drown
So pull me up from down below / ‘Cause I’m underneath the undertow / Come dry me off and hold me close / I need you now I need you most / God keep my head above water / Don’t let me drown / It gets harder / I’ll meet you there at the altar / As I fall down to my knees / Don’t let me drown
I think it’s cool how God can use anyone to glorify Himself. For an entire generation that remembers Lavine’s music well as a teenybopper, odds are there are bound to be a few who will come to know the Lord through her worship of Him.