Have you thought back over your life seeing moments with clarity and you know, without a doubt, it was a God-Moment? This particular story has been on my heart all week. I’m sharing my story purely as an encouragement to anyone who feels like you feel you are out of Options, you say YES when you want to say NO or Believing the wrong voice, the voice that says “Don’t try…”
We never know God’s plans for our lives. I never thought I would play the piano, and a deaf person would clap for me. I hope my story shows what happens when you don’t buy into what others say. And you say YES when you want to say NO!
I know some great and gifted pianists. Pianists who I could listen to all day. A few are educated pianist/musicians. Others are able to hear the music and play it as if the composition belongs to them. But whether educated or not, they are gifted. They feel the music as it resonates within their heart; it flows through their fingers to the white and black ivory keys. Watching them play is a work of art! Their whole being is invested in each note they play!
My mother and my aunt were attempting to live their dream of playing the piano vicariously through me. Living their dream was hard, if not impossible. They thought I could play, but I didn’t. It makes a huge difference when you don’t think you can! When you hear your peers criticize you and say “she plays too loud,” that doesn’t help either. Nevertheless, I played as little as possible in church but at home, I played for my own stress relief and enjoyment, and I suppose I wanted to make my mother and aunt happy.
What happens when you see no-way-out? What happens when “NO” is not an option. This what happen when I was asked to play for a church in Ohio. I could see no-way-out of it. My mother and aunt knew and asked, “Darlene, are you going to play for the church?” What was I going to do? I felt like the cards were stacked against me. Me? Minister of Music! Why? I would have to start reading music again. I would have to make time for practice. Oh, and don’t forget rehearsals; dealing with members of the choir. I shouldn’t be doing anything with Minister in the title. This was no easy task. I’m not crazy; I knew I could not do this on my own. But God!
Prayer of URGENCY!
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t always sought God for answers. I can and could say “NO” easily. But in many ways this wasn’t a normal situation for me; my options were all played out. In spite of my own self-will saying, “you know you don’t want to play” I prayed. I remember the prayer as if it was yesterday. I prayed “God if you will help me, I will play.” It was a simple prayer of urgency for me. I believe my prayer was His will because He stayed with me. For six years, I gave my best in service to God and the church. However, the time for change came and the position ended; I was moving to California!
Moving to California!
Moving to California! WOW! People begin to ask me all sort of questions, and one was are you taking your piano to which I answered: “Yes for my own mind’s sake.” I knew in my heart, I would not play for another church. But I need my piano. Little did I know I was on my way to where God would reveal His blessing.
Holidays away from home are different. You begin to create your own idea of holiday traditions. You make new friends and thus; new holiday traditions are born. This particular Christmas season, I was invited to spend it with friends. Great food along with wonderful conversation continued through dinner and on through the time when everyone gathered in the living room. Many discoveries were made about each guest, One of those discoveries was that we had a maestro among us. A young man had earned his doctorate in music and was writing an orchestra piece which in time he would direct.
We all wanted to hear him play. He sat at the piano, his hands placed gracefully on the keys and his fingers floated over the black and white ivory piano keys. It was beautiful. I was excited to hear someone of his caliber playing. The piano was out of tune and he still made it sound wonderful. As he finished and begin to move away from the piano, my friend said, “Darlene now you play for us.” She gave me no option to say NO! She didn’t leave room for me to say anything! So without grumbling, I sat down at the piano and played. I finished playing and I heard the clapping of hands. But to my surprise, my friend’s mother was clapping too. She was deaf so why was she clapping. I turned to look at my friend. She and her mother were signing. My friend said, ”you played loud enough for her to feel the vibrations of the music through the floor.” Loud enough! Did I hear her right? I played loud enough! I was excited and relieved. I played loud enough for my friend’s mother to enjoy the music. I was blessed to see how God brings His plans together. He is incredible!
What my struggles were about
Today I ask myself is this? God wanted me to be obedient. He didn’t ask me to stop playing loud or tell me I played too loud. He wanted me to give to do my best for Him and the church. He would do the rest.
Admitted to the 8th floor at Romans Hospital
This is one of those times I was admitted to the 8th floor at Romans Hospital room number 28 where God performs His most excellent, and exciting procedures for His pleasure and glory!
What is God urging you to do? Are you willing to obey His voice? What will you miss if you don’t obey? What will someone miss because you are not obedient?