I guess I’d have to say that my most cherished possession (other than my Bible) would be the one I lose the most: my 5th generation iPod Nano in cobalt blue. I got it the summer before 9th grade in 2009, and I can feel the nostalgia as I write this. Even though I’ve lost it more times than I can count, it somehow never fails to find me. I would lie awake at night dreaming of celebrity crushes while listening to Jewel or Norah Jones.
During the summer my grandma had open heart surgery and my first love left me, I remember listening to “Colorblind” by Counting Crows and “The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe until my tear-filled eyes sunk into dreams. I was so lost, but then again most people are in high school.
Third Eye Blind was a late night discovery I made while listening to the iPod’s radio sometime after midnight. I replayed the song “How’s it Gonna Be” as many times as it would let me as I lay on my grandma’s old couch, watching her cat catch a spider on the floor. I was almost a sophomore and self-conscious about everything.
Radiohead got me through my angst. I can still smell all the hair gel and feel the dark eyeshadow caked on my lids. I discovered Incubus during one of the roughest periods of my adolescence. They helped me through my first breakup, giving me a channel to vent my pain.
I remember tuning the radio on that little device to my favorite alternative rock station. I was (and still am) a station hopper. I stayed up all night sometimes, either in a panic or crying, not realizing that I was clinically depressed. Desperate, I looked for consolation by way of radio signals.
Somehow God ended up signaling me one night during late high school. While all the other stations were on commercial break, the local Christian alternative station was playing some melancholy ballad. I don’t remember the lyrics or the name, but I remember thinking, “isn’t this what Bible nerds listen to?” I’d always believed in God, but I never knew Him. But somehow I felt hope when I listened to that song.
This was the hope that led me to church. This hope, flowing from the ear buds of an old iPod, led me to Jesus. That iPod has been through everything, the bad times and the good. From jamming with my friends or cleaning my room, it’s still there in the background.
Now I’m in my twenties and still a bit unsure of myself. Though no longer lost, I still find myself wandering though life with curiosity and confusion. That’s okay–my iPod is still sitting on my bedside table, ready to help me navigate the challenges and celebrations of this decade.
Sometimes I still find myself late at night, forgetting my phone and reaching for my iPod to tune the radio. I scroll through the stations and always pause at the Christian ones. There are no longer tears in my eyes as I wait to hear that song again–the one that led me to hope.
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