This is no rare happenstance. There is nothing coincidental about this life we live. As I sit here, surrounded by fellow humans in pursuit of music-making, as I listen to very talented (that’s an understatement) musicians perform, I find myself becoming more and more connected with my own goals and dreams.
The honest truth is that I have no the slightest inkling of a clue as to how my dreams could ever come to fruition or what that would even look like. But for now – prayer, sweat, and the occasional tears are all I have. And that is more than enough for me.
I’m not quite ready yet, to reveal to the world-wide-web what exactly it is that I’m chasing after, but just know this: it’s big. The good news is that my God is also big and He holds me and my future in the palm of His hands. So far, things have played out far better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined and I am SO excited to witness and experience whatever it is that He’s got for me next. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I’m a fighter. I’m a dream chaser! Watch out world, because here I come!
(Let’s be real – the best part about traveling is the fun coffee cups you get at Hampton Inns!)
In other news…
This summer has already been quite the journey. And I mean that very literally. I have driven through so many states already…
I’m currently at Innsbrook Summer Music Festival in Missouri! I have met some absolutely stunning people. Maybe it’s just that I’m older now, I’m not sure what it is exactly – but the conversations I am having with people FEEL so much more fruitful. There are people here who I can share God with and talk about bible verses, people who I am comfortable coming out of my shell around, people who hear my story and instead of reacting awkwardly or pushing me away – they welcome me with open arms. It is totally refreshing to feel heard and validated and to be seen for the true person that I am.
My teacher is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful and the daily hugs, encouragement, support, and musical challenges have gotten me back “in the zone” so to speak, after a few weeks of laying low (aka: not practicing haha). It’s been nice to hear some amazing performances and meet new faces and make new connections.
My host family…wow, there aren’t words to describe my thankfulness for them! They have been absolutely wonderful…carting me around from place to place, letting me drink all their water bottles and diet cokes, fixing me a stellar breakfast each morning, and making sure that I am always comfortable and have everything I need. It has quickly started to feel like home and I have been so blessed by this couple opening their arms, their home, and their hearts up for me!
There will always be challenges in our lives. It was initially very uncomfortable for me to go through the process of explaining, “Well I’m going to be a sophomore in the fall but I’m actually 22 right now…” yada yada. It felt, I don’t know, almost demeaning?! I felt a bit ashamed about revealing that part of my life. But then I met others who had experiences similar issues with completely school in the “traditional time line” and they were open and transparent about it which gave me the strength to also be transparent.
I have been reminded of the value of carrying our own truths with our heads held high. It is so vital to our own mental and emotional well being to feel confident in our own stories – we don’t have to love what happened to us, but we are allowed to love how our experiences shaped us into who we are today. This is something that I am striving towards each and every day as I face daily struggles and obstacles. Some which I simply step right over and others which require more strength, focus, and determination to conquer.
I am His and He is mine. The Lord my God is always on my side – fighting for me, leading me, and writing my story. He knows the number of my days and the number of the hairs on my head. He knows the paths that are and will be laid out before me and which ones are the right ones to take. And I’ve found that if I stay focused on Him, He will NEVER lead me in the wrong direction. He is all encompassing, all empowering, loving, forgiving, and the ultimate example of grace.
God’s grace wins every time. And I am living proof of that.
I’m still climbing mountains. I’m still fighting battles. I’m still striving to live, to love, to become all He has planned for me to be.
Day by day. Hour by hour. I am encouraged and strengthened by my God.
“Joy is the best makeup.”
― Anne Lamott
“Courage is grace under pressure.”
― Ernest Hemingway