- Davison, MI, United States
- I am a middle child,born to middleclass parents.Two older brothers,one younger sister.I am married,and have 3 children, Elizabeth who is married and has 3 little boys. She is lucky enough to be able to stay home with them. Her husband, Alan is a Dr. of Physical Therapy. Jonathan who is single and has just finished college and is still trying to figure out life. Katherine, who had a brain tumor and died at the age of 11, 18 years ago.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I have been struggling with an issue for a while about this whole “blog” thing. I have called it Unaccounted For, So Far for a reason. I feel I should have accomplished more with my life by this point, that I still have things to do.
Yes, I am a mother, and I worked hard at raising my kids to be adults who have good values and I am very proud of them. I have worked hard to be a wife that is loving and supportive to my husband. I was a good daughter who helped my parents with the unexpected crises and struggles that came during their declining years. I helped them to remain independent for as long as they safely could. I helped them ease into their final days with sensitivity and love so that they would meet God and join each other and their other loved ones again. I am not saying that I was perfect at any of these, but I tried hard.
I also worked at my various professions with passion. I was a social worker and then a manager for a state agency for 30 years. I worked hard to be fair, compassionate, and efficient with the tasks of the jobs. I tried to be nonjudgmental as much as I could, recognizing that it could just as easily be me sitting on the other side of the desk.
I spent 30+ years as a church musician at various churches. At each church, my family was actively involved in the life of that church. I started out as a nervous, frightened organist with not much skill, terrified of the minister and the choir director and absolutely sure I was going to be fired every week. I learned on the job and pretty soon I became confident and knew what to expect.
I eventually went on to become the minister of music at the last church that I served. I loved what I did. All three of my children joined the church there. My oldest daughter was married there and my youngest daughter’s funeral was there. My nephew and my in-laws funerals were also at that church. Then egos, politics, miscommunication, misunderstandings, misread expectations ended our time at that church. We actually left the denomination-partly because we knew that there was no local church we were going to fit into and partly because of the change taking place within the denomination. I didn’t want a split, a fight or hard feelings over my leaving. I didn’t get to say goodbye and that hurt. It just wasn’t going to be possible given the way things ended. I didn’t get closure.
This past Sunday, Pastor Phil talked about Palm Sunday-duh! Of course, it was Palm Sunday, after all. He talked about the expectations of the people who streamed into Jerusalem for Passover and to see the Man everyone was talking about. Many if not most were sure that this “Messiah” was coming into town with the plan to kick butt and take over the government. That was what they wanted, dreamed, expected. It was not what they got. He came with a very different agenda.
I really related to what he had to say. “Sometimes it feels just broken, hurt, and sad. It wasn’t the way we thought things would turn out. Everything changes now, and I can’t catch a breath! I thought it was going to be… but it was… A Knock You in the Gut Moment.”-Phil Owen
I understand those feelings. I am sure many of you have had those feelings too. Life hasn’t turned out the way you planned it. The very thing you thought would happen, didn’t. Things got worse not better. You did everything the way you were supposed to and still…
Eventually, our family found a new church home at New Covenant Free Methodist, as noted above, after spending the summer attending churches all over the area. We attended services in Southern Oakland County, all the way up to Northern Genesee County. I knew as soon as I walked into the building that I was home. For the first several weeks I started crying every time we sang. It was a cleansing, healing time for me. Wounds were deep and took time to close.
The style of worship was much more edgy and modern without the structure of our previous services. The music was mostly unfamiliar but comfortable, the size was large yet it felt warm and cozy to just be there.
I found a new niche there, eventually singing with the Praise Team, playing keyboard part-time, playing in the Jazz Band (which meant I had to really learn how to play jazz); and helping with stage design. All the while healing my heart as I felt accepted for whatever I could give or not give.
As time passed, my health (breathing) became a problem- pneumonia, asthma attacks, incessant coughing and I was unable to continue with my volunteer work. I was no longer a reliable volunteer. This happened at the same time I was retiring from my job with the State. Then my health crisis last August happened and that is where Unaccounted For, So Far comes in. The skills that I had worked so hard to develop over all those years, as a social worker, as a problem solver, as a musician; those skills that I was so proud of, that I told myself I felt closest to God when using, were no longer there for me. I couldn’t remember. I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t tolerate sounds. I couldn’t… You see I had desires, wants, needs, EXPECTATIONS that I felt God was not fulfilling. It sounds selfish now. It still hurts, and I still cry.
I have been humbled in ways that I never thought I would. When I stopped being a professional musician, I thought that was all that would get taken from me. I still had my music. I could still sing, play the piano. Surely, God wouldn’t take any more from me. I expected. I thought that if I never played in public again, it would be okay. I could still play privately, sing privately, and wait for His voice to tell me what to do. I could still advise, counsel, listen and provide suggestions of resources to people who were hurting and in need. I could still use my intellect to come up with new plans; new ways, new…but God had different plans. I have prayed, cried, waited, listened, started to heal.
Now, I find that I am at a loss about what I should be doing. I am still not back to my previous health and may never be. I think that eventually I may be able to volunteer in the music area again in some capacity. Some sounds are feeling more normal again but not all. I know that I am not ready yet. I once again cry during the music on Sundays, knowing the tears are both about loss and healing.
I am drawn more and more toward writing. I think it goes back to being unaccounted for, so far. I have accomplished some very important things in my life. Let me take that back. God has accomplished some very important things in my life. I have gone through some unique experiences in my life that give me incite that may help others. I don’t think that writing is about becoming a “famous author”. I think this is about baring my soul and finding my voice, my center again. It’s about listening to Him and healing my heart once again.
“This is our creation story. God breathed His breath into you. You are free. -God’s first commandment. We were designed for a healthy relationship. We were designed to have no shame. God is in the business of renovating us”.- Phil Owen
For right now, it is again a healing time-taking longer than I want it to, but God has a plan and I have to show patience as His plan unfolds for me. This isn’t a new plan. This is part of His plan from the beginning, from creation. I don’t understand it, but I am starting to actually welcome it. God is good all the time.