Good evening to everyone reading this post. Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted. Things have been pretty crazy here, between school, homework, and preparing for a talent show that I sang in tonight. In part, that’s something that I’d like to talk about. Nonetheless, that’s only a small portion of what I’d like to talk about in this post. In this blog entry, I’d like to talk a little bit about what God’s been showing me over the past couple of years.
I’ve always loved movies, namely, underdog style movies. One of my favorites to this day is a movie called Lemonade Mouth. I know that if you haven’t seen the movie, the title probably sounds a bit weird. Truth be told, it’s not so much about lemonade as it is about making a mark on the world, and speaking up. The storyline follows five high school students with different lives, conflicts, and personalities. Through a series of twists and turns, they all end up in detention together and form a band. They face opposition both from the “cool” kids at school and the principal (The principal, because they protest the removal of the school’s lemonade machine). Nonetheless, in the end they rise above their circumstances and make a difference at their school.
Honestly, that’s only one example. I could easy name of plenty more movies like it. Nonetheless, that movie gives you a bit of a glimpse into my psyche. As I entered high school in my freshman year, I knew I wanted to have one of those moments. I wanted to have a shining moment that would encourage others in a positive way and make a difference. A movie moment. I began working intensely hard towards that dream. I began writing song lyrics, learning to play instruments, and taking voice lessons. After hours and hours of hard work and dedication, I achieved my goal. However, somewhere along the line with some personal reflection, I realized something.
It’s not just in the grand events that our light shines through, it’s in our every day life.
I based the song that I sang tonight around the Bible verse Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Hopefully, people in the audience were uplifted and inspired. I got some positive feedback from some of the people there, which was encouraging. But, it shouldn’t be just one moment that we let our light shine and make a difference, it should be something that we do in our daily live. Both in the extravagant, and the mundane. It’s the times that we befriend a new student, speak out about something that’s important to us, and show kindness to others. In the movie Soul Surfer, an inspirational Christian movie about overcoming trials, Bethany’s character (portrayed by Sophia Robb) says, “Surfing isn’t the most important thing in life; love is.” The same could be said for singing, or writing, or acting. Those things are definitely important and definitely fun but at the the end of the day, those aren’t the most important things in life; Loving God and loving people is.
Secondly, I’ve grown to understood more deeply the value of hard work and perseverance. There were times when quitting would have been easier than pushing through. I was advised as I worked tirelessly on my instrumental track to choose a different song, but that only pushed me to work hard and get better. It’s been a very exciting experience to see where I was three years ago and where I am now, as I’ve improved with my singing and composing. Sometimes things in life aren’t going to be easy; My song wasn’t. Neither is acting, getting up the courage to talk to new people in a new environment, or public speaking. There have even been points in writing (which is pretty much second nature to me) that have been difficult, as I’ve had my share of “writer’s block” moments. But, all of these things have been worth it. Not everything in life will come easy to us, but in the end, hard work pays off.
Lastly, I’ve found that God has a special way of shining through each and every Christian, and that’s deepened my faith. For a while, I came to a really frustrating point in my life. I had some negative experiences that made me feel like an incredibly weird Christian. I had a lot of questions and I wasn’t quite sure where to go next in my walk with God. In short, I felt like something was wrong with me. Nonetheless, in gaining the courage to ask questions and and be real with God, I ending up growing in my faith. I came to realize in my heart, the way I already knew it in my head, that God gave me my personality and passions for a reason. I began attending a new church that has helped me grow leaps and bounds and I’ve found a diverse group of role models that have proved that God really does shine through people in different and incredible ways. Because of my deepened faith, I was able to make this song, and this night, about God. Not about me. We shouldn’t ever be afraid to commit our dreams and goals to God, because in the end, He works in ways that He couldn’t have if we had kept them self-focused. There have been times that I’ve been afraid to surrender different aspects of my life to God, but I’ve found that God doesn’t take away from you when you do that, he helps you become more of you. The you that you were created to be.
In a way, completing such a big goal is a bit like the closing in a chapter in the story of my life. But, unlike movies, it’s not the end. I know God has more plans for me in the future. Do I know what they are? Not entirely. I like to think that I have some speculation, but only God knows the future. All I know, is that whatever God calls me to, I want to be faithful. And, I want to keep “letting my light shine”, whether it looks like singing or taking the time to talk to someone who’s having a bad day. I know that God allowed tonight to come together and I’m truly thankful for the opportunity to sing a song that I wrote live, and, I trust that whatever’s next for me is going to be good. In the here and now, the future looks crazy and uncertain. But, from God’s view, I know it’s a story that’s just waiting to unfold.
For you. For me. And, for every single person on earth that God created.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13