In just a few short months, my life has undergone extreme change — leaving my job, my orchestra, and my church to start a new life as a married woman in a new house in a new city and new community. Most of the time I’m loving all the newness, but sometimes it can be overwhelming.
On Saturday I auditioned for an orchestra here in the Denver area. The audition was a lot more intimidating than I expected, as I was critiqued and asked to play the excerpts over and over. I felt discouraged off and on the rest of the day. Is my playing below their expectations? Or did they just want to see how teachable I am? Steve stuck by my side all day — he was there when I needed a hug or a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen; he was there to cheer me up and distract me. I’m very thankful for his faithfulness to “bear my burdens” with me (Galatians 6:2).
Up until this point, most things have been going “according to plan” — God provided a new job for me, Steve and I love being together, and settling into the house has been wonderful. The tough audition really shook me though, and it was causing anxiety to set in and start to spread. I felt overwhelmed by change, discouraged about my audition, and afraid of still being “strangers” at church. I wanted to hide at home instead of going to church. Last week we went to Bethel in Greeley, where I attended for the past 12 years, and it wasn’t until we were there in the midst of the congregation, worshiping together, that I realized how much I missed it there. We have enjoyed being at Fellowship Community, but it is still not home yet.
But as I got ready for church, the Lord spoke to my heart and quieted my anxiety. Here I was, expecting things to go exactly as I envisioned, expecting God to replace everything I had to leave behind in the way I thought he should. When things weren’t exactly falling into place that way, I started wishing I could have some of the old things back. And it was causing anxious feelings because I was placing security and peace on specific things that I wanted.
I’m tempted to turn and cling to the past, but I was reminded that this newness is God’s plan. Everything is going according to God’s plan, as it always does. My peace is not going to come from getting things in life that I think will make me happy. My peace is not going to come from having things “the same” as they used to be. Real peace comes from my Lord. Real peace comes when I embrace His plan, trusting even when it doesn’t seem to be working out the way I thought it would. His plan is what is good. His plan is where I need to be.
I went to church feeling a little lighter and a lot more willing. This, right here at Fellowship Community with Steve, is where God wants me. We were greeted at the door by a man singing good morning to us. :) We were greeted inside the church by smiling faces. Everyone seemed excited to see us, even though we didn’t know them. I thoroughly enjoyed the worship music (especially because we sang a version of “How Firm a Foundation,” which is one of my favorite hymns and the one we had at our wedding). It felt refreshing to be there at church — listening, participating, learning.
After the service, a woman walking past us in the aisle shook our hands and cheerfully asked how we were. Steve thought she must know me, but I don’t remember ever meeting her before. We went to talk to the worship pastor. He was so excited to see me and was talking all about getting me to play with them soon. Another man standing there said, “She plays the violin? Oh, yes, we need a violin for worship!” :) As we stood there talking, I started to feel much better about the audition. Maybe God will have me play with a symphony orchestra again, or maybe He will just have me serve in the church and teach beginning violinists.
The pastor joyfully greeted us by name, and the Awana commander (who we met once about a month ago) recognized us and was excited to see how we are doing. He even remembered that I will be teaching with the Options program and asked if we’ve started yet. Everyone seemed so happy and friendly. Even as we were getting in our car to leave, someone rolled down their window to wave and wish us a good week! It was a warm welcome back and a reminder that God’s plan will be better, even if it’s not exactly how I pictured it.