Today is a good day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and my neighbors are barbecuing something that smells delicious. Here in Calgary, we just came out of the winter that wouldn’t quit. It was a cold, dark, and extra snowy season. I normally like winter but this one was a bit much, even for me! Now the weather has turned and it feels like spring. In fact…today feels positively…summery! People are planting flowers and things are slowly turning green all around. It is wonderful.
Spring feels like hope to me. Like possibility. Like new life. And that feels amazing, wouldn’t you agree? I may be a tad obsessed with how the natural world often parallels my own emotional and spiritual situation. It has been an interesting time for me, since reducing my teaching days and spending more of my time and attention on music. It has stretched and challenged me in many ways. I have questioned many, many things. Like… why on earth am I doing this? What was I thinking? Why isn’t anything HAPPENING??? To be honest, it has felt a little dark and cold…like the winter that wouldn’t quit. Other things in my life have felt a bit like winter, too. Personal things. God has patiently listened to my ranting and perhaps even a meltdown or two (or more…but I’ll never tell…).
I believe that when we ask, God answers. He doesn’t always say exactly what we want to hear, and He doesn’t always respond the way that we want Him to. The answers aren’t always really clear, or within the timeframe we would like, but He does answer. Now…we have to be listening. For me, that means keeping my heart open and listening for His voice. The more I grow in my relationship with God, the easier it is to identify when something is “His voice”. And He speaks to different people in different ways. He can do that because He knows us so well, and cares enough to meet us where we are at, and to speak in a language we will understand.
So when I freak out and ask “why on earth am I doing this?!?!”…God reminds me that He created me with purpose, placing passions and interests in me, and that the gifts I have are from Him. In fact, last weekend He reminded me by saying “Don’t be afraid to stand and sing, for I am the one who placed that song in your heart!”…like, that is literally what He said to me!! And there was more, but some of it was just for me to hear. : )
And when, in my doubt and fear I cry out “what was I thinking?!?!” and question not only the call on my life, but my present situation, He reminds me of His faithfulness…how He has guided my steps and provided for me in every way. He reminds me that I am here right now because I have listened to Him in the past and followed Him. He tells me that I am where I am right now for a reason…and that I don’t have to fully know or understand the reason for that to be true. I don’t always need to know the whole plan (even though I really want to know the whole plan, and seriously God, couldn’t you just submit your plan to me for approval beforehand???).
And in my frustration and impatience, when I demand to know “why isn’t anything happening?!?!” I’m pretty sure God smiles, and shakes His head a little before responding so gently…that His ways are so much better than my ways, and that His timing is so much better than mine (and don’t I know that to be true!!!)! And not only that (I’m pretty sure He says “not only that, my dear impatient girl…”) WHO SAYS NOTHING IS HAPPENING?!?! Not everything that is real and worthwhile can be seen and measured by my limited understanding.
So, with my music (which is just one example of this struggle…), I feel frustrated because I am having a hard time with writing, a hard time with making progress on the business side of things, and a hard time with making connections and booking shows, etc. I have become distracted by these details, and have found myself losing sight of the music. But then God reminds me that the measurable things are not really the things that matter. And He shows me all that He has been teaching me and revealing to me in this season of growth and stretching and uncertainty. And all of that will eventually be written into my songs, and those songs will be heard by someone who is wrestling with something just like I am now.
Remember when I said when we ask, God answers? And that He speaks in different ways? One day God will speak to someone through one of my not-yet-written songs. And it isn’t because of anything super spiritual that I will have done, or because I’m extra-special or anything. God will speak through me because of my obedience, and because my songs are (and will continue to be) about what is in my heart. And you know what is in my heart? Jesus.
God uses you to speak, too. So many times, He has spoken to me through what someone has said in a conversation, or what someone has written in their blog, or what they sing in a song, or what they have painted on a canvas, or how their life is a shining example as they parent their children, or demonstrate patience and compassion when dealing with a difficult co-worker…..and I could go on and on and on. We all get to partner with God and let others hear His voice through us, if we are willing.
So today is a good day. Today I feel refreshed and refocused. I feel energized and excited about what lies ahead. I have no idea what that is, but I know the one who does…and He is pretty good at taking care of me so I don’t think I need to worry. : )