If you had the opportunity to select a soundtrack for your life, what song would you choose to best describe your most defining moments?
[tweetthis]… What song would you choose to best describe your life’s most defining moments?[/tweetthis]
For some, the mental scrapbook of friendships may form a perfect melody with Green Day’s “Time of Your Life.”
Perhaps you have suffered through heartbreak but still choose to live an upbeat appearance while holding onto pieces of your “Achey Breaky Heart” (Billy Ray Cyrus).
Maybe you can define your choices as chasing too many “Waterfalls” (TLC)…
…or simply trying your hardest to continue “Hang in’ Tough” (New Kids On The Block)
through the spins of life. Can you tell that I’m a true 90’s child?
As humorous as it may sound, I believe each one of us can identify at least one soundtrack playing not only in our minds, but in the roots of our hearts. Through every moment, life event, circumstance, decision and step of faith, we listen to our heartbeat defining if we are full or empty, whole or broken, thriving or in need of a life-jolting pulse. If our little world seems to be cruising along just fine, the melody may pick-up a bit as we enjoy the mountain-top view. When storms come crashing in on our convertible-cruising adventure, we question if the song that once brought our heart so much joy can ever return again.
Have you ever been there? As you crawl into bed at night and dim down the lights of the noisy world around you, what song do you hear your heart singing? Friend, are you whole or broken? Is your heart beating so fast it yearns for rest or barely beating at all?
What is the song of your heart saying about you?
[tweetthis]What is the song of your heart saying about you?[/tweetthis]
My life soundtrack was first discovered on Sesame Street.
Now, before your smirk continues to grow into an all-out laughing party, let me try to avenge any sense of dignity I have left. First, I did not resonate with this song until my older boys started their “Elmo-is-the-coolest-red-monster-ever” phase. To most moms of toddlers, this portion of our lives is defined by hearing this high-pitched yet so darn cute little guy’s voice echo in our dreams…or nightmares. In fact, I distinctly remember placing our middle child gently on the changing table, embarking on my attempt to stay dry and sane while flawlessly and unknowingly humming that dreaded theme song! Elmo’s World had collided with my busy mommy world and I was stuck until my child found a new interest. (As a side note to moms currently going through this blessed phase – yes, there indeed is an end…I promise!).
However, on this particular day as my boys had gathered to watch Sesame Street, I remember hearing a song that made me stop right in the middle of my errand-running chaos. Yes, I truly believe God cracked a bit of reality into a place of my masked-over heart that I so desperately fought against revealing to anyone. God, after all, has the power to use anything, even red furry monsters to grab our attention.
At the time, our family of four was settled in our first non-rental home in Florida. My husband was neck-deep swimming in the sea of exams and clinicals attempting to ride the tide of nursing school. I was working full-time as a family minister at a Christian church, gearing up for yet another Fall Festival. I was also pregnant with boy number three and his younger brothers were energetically filled with excitement. Did I mention that this was also a very high-risk pregnancy due to my recent battle with double brain cancer? Pressure was mounting on me as I was striving to meet expectations within my family and the various needs required at my job for the church. Yet deep within me I knew I was sinking, fast.
While folding yet another load of laundry and pairing-up mis-matched socks, I heard this familiar tune:
“One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?”
The insanity of misaligned pregnant hormones took over full gear as those words reached my wounded and tired heart. As my kids simply smiled and connected with a song teaching strategy, I was ambushed with a reality that I had been trying so hard to hide down deep for much of my life.
A piece of life that I had accepted as truth and had been tirelessly working so hard to prevent others from seeing, judging and labeling.
I was different and therefore I did not belong.
I was a blue sock wishing to fit-in with all of the red socks. No matter how you roll them up, they simply do not and will never match.
This feeling of not belonging was more than simply missing the mark in ministry or even the feeling of failing my family. No, this uncomfortable, ever-present reality was rooted much deeper and defined my purpose at core level. I had no place where I seemed to fit. Deep within this confident mask I was wearing, hid a little girl searching for a place to be fully accepted simply the way I was designed to be – whatever and whoever that even was. My heart was more than broken, lifeless and stone cold – it was lost. That’s a whole lot of reality smack-down coming from a huge yellow bird and his little monster friends.
Today, I am able to fully embrace the reality that it’s acceptable to feel lost in the off-beat rhyghem of the world as long as you have found yourself in the everlasting arms of your Abba. Because in reality, not a single song compares to His. Nothing feels right after exoeriencing the love that He provides. Did you catch that? You can be different from those around you and still find the acceptances out long for through your Abba! My soundtrack has drastically changed and my life has a new sense of freedom and possibilities outweighing anything I could even possibly imagine. Yes, I have found peace, joy and fulfillment in being different – none of which occurred quickly, without pain or at all relying on my own effort.
For most of my life, I suffered with the daunting, defining reality that I was created different than most of the population in my sphere of influence. Born with vision-loss, hearing-loss and a short right arm forever labeled me before I even had an opportunity to choose who I wanted to become. Every morning I would squint my eyes to the morning light and truly dread facing another day of being alone. With every step I took, I questioned if the awesome Creator God of the Bible really loved me or if it was all just a cruel joke. I was tired – exhausted from trying so hard to be that person others wanted me to be. Most days, if I’m completely honest, I went to bed praying that I didn’t see the next morning. I felt trapped with no way out and I blamed God.
And aren’t you glad there is more to the story? Oh yes you are (and so am I).
For most of my life, I lived believing I was the only one that felt this way – different and alone. You may just be realizing for the first time that another human being has felt the same way you have for most of your life. If so, grab a seat and an iced-coffee and make yourself at home!
People in this world have never felt more alone, labeling their life as a mistake and silently ashamed to admit the way they are feeling to anyone around them. As I started blogging during my battle with cancer a few years ago, I quickly noticed through my readers insights that I was not walking by myself through this journey. Slowly as I started to share, others would email their stories to me expressing how they went from feeling completely alone to suddenly “understood” simply through the words of my blog posts. My writing and the encouragement I received through my posts literally guided me during the lowest points of my health crisis. I felt safe writing. My readers felt encouraged by responding.
There is simply something remarkable that occurs when a writer feels secure enough to be vulnerable and a reader is brought to their knees feeling acceptance for the first time.
For some reason, God has gifted me with the ability to write in a way that others can relate to and grow. It has been quite the journey but because of Him, I no longer live out of fear of being a mistake, but rest in the confidence rooted in being called His child.
Perhaps Kari Jobe’s “The More I Seek You” would make the perfect life soundtrack. Especially for those of us brave enough to quit trying to fit in and start standing out.
[tweetthis]Quit trying to fit-in and learn how to stand-out. [/tweetthis]
Who is with me?
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[e] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[f] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Hold on tight! More to come!
Thanks for being so patient and encouraging as our family adjusts to my new class schedule. Blogging will continue to be on a randomized schedule so I can continue to focus on graduation, my book and of course my family.