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Onward and upward…

March 1, 2011

Well, here it is another year of existence and full of promise and exciting adventures.  I will not lie and say that February was a piece of cake, but the challenges that rose up only set me up for where I am now.

I was in AZ for the annual convocation that my community has every President’s Day weekend.  On the ride over, my roomie & I were talking about the possibilities that lie before me: grad school, getting the music out there…and I told her that I figured it’s really up to God what I do next…I have hopes and dreams, but even the “good works” that I desire to do may not be what God has planned for me.  That may be another topic at another time.  I’ve really been struggling with the “letting go” of every hope and dream I have: for marriage & kids to music & more schooling.  All of these things are really good, but I found that I needed to surrender these things and be brave enough to ask God what does HE want me to do.

I ran into a couple of amazing musicians in AZ (well a LOT of amazing musicians), but one particular vocalist who truly “gets” where I’m at with sharing my music.  She was expecting me to give her my cd (we’d talked about this before…), but I wasn’t ready yet.  With a gentle push she reminded me that the music’s not for us alone.  I told her that I would send it to her since the first copy got lost in the mail mysteriously.  *grimace*

The talks at convo were just what I needed to hear…that the detachment from the things I am familiar with is normal and part of the path to holiness.  Relying on the Lord alone is difficult and there are two ways of handling it: surrender: allowing the Lord to take the lead and defeat: “FINE.  YOU win” attitude.  The first is definitely the better of the two.  It’s not easy, but it’s a grace that He gives when you ask for it.  I surrendered everything to Him (again) and decided that His plan is ALWAYS infinitely better than my own.  (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

The week of my “dreaded” birthday, I received the grace to let my walls down…to allow some BICs & SICs help me process the difficulty of turning another year with very little to show for it.  I realized that the feelings I was going through are “normal” and it’s okay to go through them.  Then I received an invitation in the mail to share my music with a company in L.A. as a songwriter to shop my material.  Now, I have NO idea who gave my real name & address to this company, but I realized this was the sign I needed.  So that night, I went out & bought the materials to make copies of my demo from November 2009.  I stayed up late that night, producing my own little humble packaging for this beautiful gem, knowing that it would be my party favour for my guests to the last minute celebration of my life.  I didn’t know it would be so hard to let people celebrate me…that it would make them happy just to hang out with each other and to love me with hugs, kind words and encouragement.  But I let them.

The weekend started off with a prayer meeting that knocked me off my feet.  It is SO good to praise Him with every fiber of my being.  It brings me life and joy and peace.  Saturday was the Lord’s day in the middle of a hail storm…full of music, good food, dancing & prayer.  People from all walks of life came over and loved each other.  Family, school friends, community & beyond all under one roof.  TOTAL joy.  They walked away with my party favour along with the prayers I said for each copy to touch their hearts.  Then the big day came with very little sleep, but quiet time with the Lord in Adoration, lunch with the family.  My mother cried when I showed her the letter on my birthday.  She said, “all in God’s timing” and she reminded me by her embrace that she has always been and always be my biggest fan.  This gift is also a part of her…even though she can’t sing a note, it’s still part of her…because I’m half of her, too.

The gospel reading for Sunday is Matthew 6:24-34.  It is NO coincidence that this would be the gift I would receive from the Lord.  I shared with the youth my struggle with letting God take care of me.  I played for them one of my own compositions as a part of prayer, sharing with them the gift of taking time to just stop and breathe.  The night ended with big surprises from my beloved Youth Leaders and I let them love me with their energy, their brilliance and their own prayers.  Being a CYM makes my heart soar, too.  🙂

With tears in my eyes, I realize that this life is truly not for me alone.  There is a time and a place and a reason for my humble existence.  I don’t know exactly how and where I am to go from here, but I do know that I need to get out of my own way and share what I have been given.  It is not up to me to say whether or not the music is “good enough” for the masses…it is for those who receive it to be inspired, to be healed, to be comforted, to rock out to.  It is for those who make the music to truly LIVE and relish in the gifts they have been given.  With these things in mind, I am giving myself permission to be me…and no matter what this is what I was made to do.  Thank you, Lord, for loving me through these amazing people, these experiences and through YOU.  I am YOURS.

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