I just deleted about 10 paragraphs of tragic, raw emotion. The following is the only thing I am choosing to keep:
If you ask me, here is the bottom line. It is two-fold.
One, what is inside must come out. For me, anyway. And for me, it comes out by playing music. Blogging helps a little. Crying and laughing help a little. Running helps a little. Playing with the dog helps a little. Hanging out with friends and family helps quite a bit. But absolutely nothing can replace the power of being part of 200+ turning around to face the home side of the Dome, playing Westward Yo to the cheers of the crowd. (Yes, if being in marching band were a job, I would do it!) Nothing replaces the feeling of singing the church songs I grew up with alongside the men who wrote them. Nothing replaces playing a piece about the Holocaust (at All-State during high school) and being brought to tears from the emotion of the music. Nothing replaces singing the Gloria from the Mass of Light with my choir friends on Sunday mornings. Nothing replaces listening to “My Heart Will Go On” (Celine Dion), “When I Look to the Sky” (Train), “Fly With Me” (Jonas Brothers), or whatever song strikes my fancy in the moment, and listening to it over and over until I can play it on the piano. (Next up: “Show Me What I’m Looking For” by Carolina Liar!)
I have to play. And sing. I have to. Like breathing. I can not neglect that need.
And two, nothing means anything without God. “I don’t know what I want” is only a tragic feeling when I’m not giving God His proper role in my life. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, not one or the other. He can’t save me from what is tragic in my life unless he also gets to be in charge of my life. On a practical level, I need God daily. A friend recently told me, that’s the most important thing. Go to church, don’t go to church. Be Catholic, be Baptist, be Evangelical Christian. None of that matters as much as relying on your faith daily, spending time daily reading the bible and strengthening your relationship with the Lord. I think she’s right.
As I’ve said before, I’m trying to get back into a habit of starting each day with devotional time. It’s been hard, but I recently read something at girltalk.com, a woman commenting on the practice of rising early to meet with God. She said she used to rely on her own ability and motivation, and therefore wasn’t consistent with her practice. I didn’t get it at first, but I thought about it for a couple of days, and I realized that for me, I think, oh, 5:30 a.m., I just can’t do it. Or, oh, I need to go to work early today, I have these things to do, I just can’t fit it in this morning. That would be good examples of depending on myself. What I need to think is, I can’t begin this day, I cannot go beat my head against this brick wall of teaching public school, I can’t be sufficiently good to my friends and family, without a big dose of God’s word first!
Not only is that part all you need to know, it’s all I need to remember. God, people, music. In that order. That’s me. My version of what the Duggars call “Amendment JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself.” Those are my priorities, those are the only things that are important to me. Those are the only things.