Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Story: Part 2 (in response to the youth at River)

Okay, take a minute to think of a time you were rejected. I'll wait... Got it? How did you feel? (e.g. Angry? Hurt?) Why do you think you felt that way? (e.g. Unmet expectations, hurtful words, identity crisis) Now turn to a neighbor and discuss how you felt and why.

As a review: I had applied to a mission agency in order to teach piano at Black Forest Academy, but I was rejected by that agency. And it was hard.

Part 2: Some very generous people had already given money toward my mission training that summer. I had informed loved ones that I would be leaving. And the night before I was to get on a plane for training, I got the phone call. "We do not feel you are ready at this time to go to the mission field." Ouch!

So I spent the next week handing checks back un-cashed and trying to be grateful and to sheepishly explain why I would not be going to Germany after all. I suppose you're wondering at this time as well why I was not going. Well, essentially, I was very honest on my application to the mission about some things that were going on in my life, and they were questionable.

It was a pretty dark time in my life. I had failed my last graduate recital hearing, which meant that I was not going to be able to give my recital yet. A boy had broken up with me not too long before, and now I felt like my spirituality was being rejected, too. I was hurt. Angry. Frustrated. Confused. Ashamed. Lonely.

Take one minute to think on your own: If you had a friend who told you he/she felt this way, what would you think? How would you respond to him/her?

I meant that it was a dark time in quite a literal sense as well. One afternoon I was feeling the weight of my choices while driving west on E. 21st Street. In my memory, the sky in front of me was pitch black, though I know it was actually around noon. At that moment, I hit bottom. Despair and exhaustion overwhelmed me, and without knowing what would come out I opened my mouth... and sang.

Praise. Praise came out of me in what seemed like an involuntary response. I couldn't help it. And I didn't understand it. (And I also don't remember it, although I'd like to think it was "Blessed be Your Name / when I'm found in the desert place / though I walk through the wilderness / Blessed be Your Name") I started crying and had to pull my car over. What a good God to give such a gift - hope. He was near. And He still loved me.

What song reminds you of God's love for you?

For the next two years, God began to surround me with truth about who I was. My pride and independence had built my identity apart from Him for a long time. I had been a pianist, a girlfriend and spiritual leader, but God was beginning to show me that I was His. I was chosen, dearly loved and holy only because of Christ. The pressure was off. It was no longer about me and what I could accomplish. It was now about Him and what He wanted to accomplish in me.

Two years later, in 2005, the phone rang again...

How did I end up getting to Germany?
Why is teaching piano in Germany considered missionary work?
What in the world is Kohlrabi, can you eat it, and why should you care?

Stay tuned... these questions and more answered in My Story: Part 3.

p.s. No, the truth is, I much prefer the original Fleetwood Mac version of "Landslide!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Suz, as your brother, I know a lot of this already. But, for you to be so open about where you've been is pretty cool. I didn't know about the sky thing. Anyway, love you kid, will continue to pray for you. And that wolverine friend of yours