Part 4: In which I am given the best gift ever.
Not surprisingly, I was worn out when I arrived in Alaska. I couldn’t think about dreams or purpose anymore, not really, so I got a job and bought a car and started going to my brother’s church. I did eventually end up working at the University of Alaska. Over time I came to really enjoy what I was doing, even if it wasn’t everything I had dreamed of.
I truly believe the Lord gave me rest when I moved to Alaska. I started volunteering at church almost right away, and I had community in a way that I had never experienced before. I was blessed with friends, lots of them, and all of them in the same stage of life that I was in. I met people who loved music and helped me grow musically too.
Are you wondering why the subject of music is only now surfacing in this story of mine? Funny you should mention it, because that’s exactly what it felt like to me, too. I’d always been musical. I took piano lessons, I was in band for 10 years, I studied french horn in college just for fun, I started writing music in 2001 and I learned to play the guitar in 2003. I was writing music and I’d even recorded a demo. But until I moved to Alaska music had always been an afterthought. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t wrap my world around it.
At Changepoint (my church), I was valued for something that had come naturally in the course of my life. And I don’t mean valued in a weird or twisted way, I just mean that suddenly other people saw something in me that I had not taken too seriously before. My songs and words were valuable. All I had done was written what was in my heart, and it was valuable.
Somewhere along the way I remember telling a friend that music is to me the best gift. I love to sing. When I sing, I feel alive. When I share my songs and people are connecting with them, I know God is there. The fact that I get to have that gift and ability? I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is nothing I could do in my own strength. Everything I am in music is because of Him.
Looking back on this, no wonder music is such a compelling part of my life these days. In music God said to me, “Your heart is good.” Knowing that there is something in life that gives me so much joy? How could I not pursue it? I guess in that I understand what caused me to make such a drastic change. But now what?