|Posted by Lorraine Serra on November 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM|
I am not quite sure when I adopted my motto, or even if it IS my motto….I probably heard it somewhere. But, a while ago I just began to respond to the challenges of life with: “It ain’t a perfect world, but we serve a perfect Savior.”
I did not come to that conclusion easily, nor swiftly. Life experiences are often the greatest teacher…perhaps, though, I should say that the AUTHOR of LIFE is the greatest teacher. And, for me, for this stubborn, know-it-all, self-absorbed heart, something huge was required to bring me to encounter my Great Teacher, Jesus Christ.
I have shared in past posts in this series, Finding Real Answers for Life, some of the hurdles in my younger life. Many have lived through much harder things than I, to be sure. But, our stories have contributed to our personalities, our opinions of ourselves, our attitudes, goals, ambitions, or lack thereof, wouldn’t you agree?
Psychiatrists and psychologists have been guiding patients to analyze their past for decades now. Initially, I am pretty certain that I was content to be one of the five girls in our family moving through the normal ups and downs of a busy life, obedient and oblivious! I didn’t need to be noticed.
I remember being quite shy and fearful in kindergarten and first grade, even suffering the embarrassment of being the FIRST to go DOWN in the school Spelling Bee. Oh, how I cried my heart out face down in the back of our station wagon when mom picked me up. I never wanted to go back to school again!
In third grade I actually peed myself standing up in front of the class with two other students in the process of some kind of quizzing contest. Aaaaaggghhhh!! Charlie Brown couldn’t say it any better!
Who I was, my identity, was wrapped in confusion and embarrassment for years. But, when I was about 9, in third grade, mom and dad managed to buy me a golden gift….an upright piano was pushed up against the living room wall. Lessons began and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was about that time that a seriously life-changing moment occurred.
It happened in church. We were attending Sunday service, as usual, seated in our customary pew. As we stood to sing the opening song, we heard an amazingly powerful and beautiful voice rising above all others. And as I turned to find its source, I saw a young girl, about my age, at the end of the pew.
She was amazing. And all eyes were fixed on her. And many heads nodded approval and admiration. She was glowing and basking in all this attention!
I never knew her name, and I don’t remember her face, but that day a jealous desire to switch places with her came over me! How interesting that out of jealousy was born a wonderful gift for music. How interesting that out of a common routine practice was born a spark of hope for a new identity.
Yes, indeed, I was jealous of all that attention, the good kind of attention!! Besides my disasters at school, since I was the oldest of 5 girls, most of the time I was the “second mama” in the house! If you are an oldest child you know what I mean! The younger ones demanded much of mom’s attention. I was often ordered to help this one,help that one. It is easy to feel “lost” in the shuffle.
Then, when I was twelve, the feelings of “lost-ness”, chaos , and hopelessness began in earnest as mom had her first nervous breakdown and was diagnosed as bi-polar, manic depressive.
So, here I am, a lifetime later looking back. Reflection has a way of putting the present in perspective. Was God with me then in those delicate formative years? Did the mess of circumstances have a purpose and was there a plan for my life being worked out?
It’s so hard, isn’t it, friends, to be in the midst of a mess of circumstances. On this side of it, though, I can see how God was indeed “working all things together for good”, because of all that has transpired since and where I am now, serving Him with all my heart and enjoying the blessing of knowing His great love for me, unconditional and eternal.
Life has a rhythm to it. Like an ocean wave: the deeper the trough or valley, the higher the crest of the new wave. It can be a crusher, or it can be a thrilling ride! It all depends on perspective and Who is piloting your vessel. Of course, as a child I didn't truly "know" my Pilot yet.
As the years went by and my talents developed, I was invited to play and sing in the worship band. I had become pretty good on a guitar as well.... Suddenly, it was my voice and my talent that got me all the attention I thought I needed. My "celebrity" status in my church community planted seeds of launching a career in the music industry.
Oh, my, how many television shows today are now feeding off that frenzy? Ha! There's a whole lot of great talent out there, and big dreams!
Well, two years after marrying my wonderful husband, John, I announced I was quitting my job to put fulltime effort into my career. I worked on my repertoire and played everywhere I could. Finally, after seemingly spinning my wheels, I auditioned for a band and began the craziness of driving one hour each way, three times a week, to rehearsal.
This went on for weeks, and John was losing patience with the whole thing. I expected an ultimatum from him, but before he had the chance, we got a gig! I knew my career was finally going to take flight. I felt giddy with excitement as I told myself,
"Today, the Desert Ramada, but tomorrow, Carnegie Hall!"
"Today, Victorville, but tomorrow Las Vegas!"
"Today is glorious so tomorrow just has to be....."
It turned into disaster......because after just two weeks of singing 4 sets 5 nites a week, my voice was gone...demolished....painful to speak, and painful to listen to. I was devasted. All that I had hoped for, all I had dreamed of and the gift I had been given was gone...trashed....destroyed.
Life was over. I never had a Plan B. What would I ever do now? What was left for me?
Oh, Lord, cause us to consider that You never leave us, and even in the midst of our messes, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. You reveal Your plan when we cry out to You. It's just so tough that some of us need to be crushed before we can be lifted up. All glory to You and Your perfect plan, Lord God Almighty.
Categories: Real Answers For Life