There are so many amazing moments every day, moments that we many times overlook, moments that could brighten our moods, or someone else’s, or moments that could change everything. It is when we choose to take the time to live in those moments, revel in those moments, and cherish the moments that we truly live and thrive.
I believe that many of the beautiful moments of my life have been ordained by God. He has opened doors and blessed me in amazing ways, and now that I look back on my life, I can see his Hand in all the moments.
Moving to Kansas City in 6th Grade from my childhood home in Alabama was a moment that impacted my family and my life. It was a challenging move for the family, but in the end it was the best decision- it was a God ordained move. My dad had been feeling a call to go to Seminary and he decided that Central Baptist in Kansas City was the right fit. His mom, my grandma, had gone there and he could get a small amount of tuition taking off because of that. Although I am an extrovert, being in a new city, a new school, not knowing anyone or the area was a shock for me. I prayed before we moved that I would like my school, have good teachers, and find friends and that moment arrived.
It was my first day of middle school at Lakeview Middle and I remember all the jitters as I walked through the huge hallways, probably feeling the same as the other 6th graders. Yet,many of the students I walked the halls with knew each other, they had grown up with each other in their elementary classes; I was the outsider and I was nervous about fitting in. Not only was a new, which was obvious and could not be overlooked, but I also had a huge southern accent…. “Great!” I thought… ” like I need anything else to make me stand out more!” But God knew what i needed and gave me that moment at lunch.
Lunch, the scariest part of the day for a new student at a new school. I had a ton of questions and anxious thoughts circling me head as I entered the cafeteria… “Who will I sit with? I don’t know anyone? Should I sit with someone I recognize from one of my classes earlier? What if I try to sit down and the other kids don’t want me sitting with them?”… As I proceeded to pay and walk out of the lunch lines with my tray, a girl walked up and said “You can sit with me!- I’m Jewels!” A beautiful moment turned into a wonderful friendship. Jewels became one of my best friends and introduced me to some of the most fun girls that I remained friends with up til College. Jewels and I have that friendship that keeps going even when we live far away and the phone calls are infrequent. I can always count on her to call me on my birthday and talk for hours as if we had just seen each other. Those kinds of friends are rare- You should hold on to them if you can.
One of my favorite photos of me and Jewels taken after getting ready for Homecoming.
The moment we found our home church in Kansas City was a significant part of my journey and had a huge impact on who I am today. We got involved with a wonderful church with an incredible youth group, with pastors and youth leaders who cared for us as people but also about our spiritual walk. Seems like a duh statement, but I know that I became deeper in my walk with Christ as a result of being a part of this church. Wednesday night youth group, discipleship group on Sunday night, Sunday school and church on Sunday mornings, and Fine Arts… I was at the church many times 4-5 times a week. This was one of my happy places… I felt a sense of belonging, comfort, joy, and excitement. This was the very place that I had a moment with God that would alter my career path.
I had many passions and I felt as though I knew what I was going to study and where I wanted to study. But, I had not yet felt it confirmed in my life. My love of art and music were at the top of my list for jobs. I picked art since I absolutely loved my art classes and my teachers, and I wanted to have the opportunity to be the crazy art teacher that the students were always excited to see what new project she had come up with. I took every art class I could in High School and could be found many times in either the art hallway or the orchestra hallway. Music had been a part of my life since I was baby, but I wasn’t sure that I loved it enough to make a career out of it. The uncertainty of choosing became one of my earnest prayers, that God would give me a sign, a verse, or cause me to somehow know which path to go down.
Now there were a couple different moments leading up to this big moment, but at church on a Wednesday night, sitting in the alter, I experienced a pull in my spirit to do music. I loved worship and felt called to be a worship leader. I wrote songs and played with the worship team at church on Sunday and Wednesday nights. While playing during worship, I would many times think… ” If I could only do this forever, I would be content.” One of my youth leaders, knowing that I had been praying and seeking God about my future, felt God leading her to give me a message on that very evening as I waited in God’s presence. It is still one of my favorite verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ” He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. ” – Question answered I was to choose music- I knew God was calling me.
I set out on that new pathway, unsure of what in music, but knowing that I had been called. As I entered College at Evangel University, I decided to get my degree in Music Education. My thought was that if being a worship leader or traveling with a worship group never seemed to work out, I could fall back on teaching. But my “calling moment” came in the Fall of 2010 as I stepped into the orchestra room as a student teacher. That was when I stepped into my passion for students and teaching strings.
There are big moments in life and little moments. Some are the moments that take you down a new path, or the ones that unsettle you a little bit. Some moments are the simple joys of life, like a smile from someone as you pass by, a high five from your student, a compliment you receive, a thank you note from someone, or a sweet note from a friend or a student. Or maybe it is the moment that completely changes everything for you. Whatever the moment is whether big or small, take time to enjoy them, learn from them, be challenged, and never forget to cherish them.