What an amazing post! God has his arms open and is ready for you to take him into your life. Everybody deserves a fresh start . . .
I wrote this poem almost 2 years ago, and published it on a poetry website under my real name (Carrie Leigh is a pseudonym). When I sat down that day I wanted to write something to inspire a couple of friends that were going through very difficult times in their lives. This is what poured out of my ink pen. God was working on me even before I opened my heart to him. Faith in God is all you need. He will take care of the rest.
Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying about my career. I can’t shake the feeling that the career I feel in love with so many years ago is not the career that I am meant to retire from.
I fell in love with radio when I was just 9 years old. I would lay in bed late at night listening to the d.j.’s on all of my local radio stations in awe of them. At 14 years old I saw the movies Pump Up The Volume and Good Morning, Vietnam for the first times. When I saw those movies I knew without a doubt that radio was what I wanted to do with my life.
Radio d.j.’s always seemed to me like the coolest people on the planet. They got to play great music for a living, give away prizes, and let’s not forget the perks like free concert tickets and free c.d.’s from the record labels. I wanted to be one of them! I enrolled in broadcasting school when I was 24 years old. I wanted to enroll much sooner, but I let myself get talked out of it by someone who thought I wouldn’t be able to do it.
The day I walked in for my first day at broadcasting school I knew I had finally found what I was meant to do. I had found my dream career. I had classes in announcing where I worked on diction, presentation, and news writing and delivery. I had classes in radio advertising sales (not my strong suit). But my favorite classes were in commercial production. To be able to take a few informational points about a business and write a commercial for them, then to voice it, find the perfect sound effects, and the perfect music . . . I fell in love. I could easily spend two or three hours on one commercial, not because I was slow but because I wanted it to be absolutely perfect.
My instructors loved me and I excelled in that school in a way that surprised everybody in my life, including me. I was never one to excel in school, until then. My placement director had such faith in me that he started very early on at working to find me a job. I still had about two months left in the 10-month program when he sent me out on a job interview. I ended up taking that job and technically never finished the program at school.
Thirteen years ago I walked in for my first day at a real actual radio station. My dream had come true. I was going to have a cool radio name, play great music, and give away prizes. It was all I had ever wanted. There was never anything else. Never! I never even made a back-up plan or considered that one day I might want to hang up the headphones and leave the airwaves.
For the past few months I have been considering just that very thing, and now I feel a bit lost.
I have been talking to a friend for the past couple of weeks about what I’ve been thinking. Today he asked me what I would do if I were no longer in radio. I have no idea. I have no other skills. I could do office work, but I would be miserable. That same friend then asked me what I would do if I could do anything I wanted. Immediately a picture popped into my head of notebooks and ink pens laid out in front of me. I would want to write . . . poetry, short stories, the next great literary masterpiece.
There are a few problems with that idea though . . . One, there would be no income from me while I was writing my masterpiece. My family can not survive on my husbands income alone. Two, I love writing. It is one of my favorite hobbies. But that is exactly what it is . . . a hobby. The moment that I decide to make a career of it then it ceases to be a hobby. It becomes work. It will no longer be something that I get to do for fun. It will be something that I have to do to pay the bills.
Writing is my passion though.
Radio used to be, but people grow and change. Moving to a new radio station would reignite that fire temporarily. Just as it did when I came to the radio station that I am currently at. But eventually the need, the desire for change would come out of hiding and settle in again.
I’ve been praying a lot lately about all of this, about what direction God wants me to go, if he wants to leave the airwaves in pursuit of something else. A few weeks ago an idea fell into my lap like a ton of bricks to put together a magazine-style publication for my church. I was talking to my husband about it on Saturday night when the idea grew to publish it for free through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service. Inspirational and uplifting poems and stories from children of God . . . imagine how many non-believers that could reach and possibly (hopefully) lead to Jesus.
Two years ago I wrote a poem about having faith in God no matter what. I published it on a poetry website a few months later. I have gotten requests for permission to use that poem on three separate occasions. One was by a woman who was putting together a collection of inspirational writings for her church. Another was from a woman who was indie-publishing her story about her fight and victory over cancer. The other request was from an author who wanted to use an excerpt of my poem in a novel she was writing. I gave permission to all three requests. How could I not give permission?
God gave me the words to write that poem even when I had still not opened my heart to him. He then sent 3 different people to me who wanted to share those words. That poem was not mine to hold on to. God put the words in my heart. I was merely the holder of the ink pen.
Tonight the novel author sent me a message on Facebook that said she is putting together a collection of poems and short stories. She asked if I wanted to submit anything. Earlier in the day my friend asked me how I could support myself as a writer until my masterpiece hits the bestseller list if I got out of radio. Freelance writing gigs, of course. But I want to write what I want to write, not what someone else wants me to write. If I submit a piece to the author then I will get to write for me, not for somebody else. That will be writing that I am truly happy with.
I prayed for guidance in all of this. Is this God’s way of saying, “Hey, Carrie, here is your opportunity.” He gave me the love for writing. He gave me the ability to write poetry and stories that entertain others. Now I am being given the opportunity to share my writing with more than just friends and loved-ones. Is God sending me an answer to my prayer for guidance, or am I just seeing what I want to see?
I am terrible at reading subtle signs. I need neon, flashing lights, blinky arrows, bullhorns, and sirens before I see what is right in front of me.
I will write a piece for the author. I will submit it to her. I will continue to pray for guidance. Everything happens in God’s time and the way God wants it to happen. I am just here to be his servant.
Until next time . . .
Today is the first day of Spring. Spring is the season of rebirth. Everything old withers and dies in winter. But in the Spring everything is reborn fresh and new. That is exactly what it is like to be reborn through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Without him in our lives we are in perpetual winter. But with him you are reborn. You are made fresh and new. God gave his only son on the cross so that you could have a fresh start, so that you could move out of the winter of your sinful live. Jesus took on all of our sins when he died on the cross so that we could move into Spring, so that we could be reborn fresh and new.
Go outside. Turn your face to the sun. Let it warm you. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the birds. Life your arms and feel the Spring breeze lightly dance over your skin. That is God. He warms your face with the sun. He is that gentle breeze on your skin. He is the music that you hear in the bird’s song. God gives us Spring so that He can make everything new again. He can do the same for you. He wants to do the same for you.
Now maybe you are like I was. I had all of the excuses for not letting God into my life. I thought that God would never forgive me for all I had done. I lied to those I cared about. I put work before my family. I put too much importance on money and possessions. I broke the vows of my marriage and was adulterous. My life was going directly against God’s word, and the worst part is that I knew it and I didn’t care. I thought I was chugging along just fine in my life. I justified everything I was doing even though I knew it was all wrong.
But sometimes God lets us fall down so that we will better be able to see how high he can lift us. God never stops loving us. Never. His love is patient and never-ending. It doesn’t matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter how far you have fallen. There is no distance that God won’t reach to lift you back up. There is nothing that God won’t forgive you for. Adultery, addiction, hatred or anger toward your fellow man . . . nothing!
I turned my back on God for many years. My grandmother fought for a long time against Cancer, but through it all so remained strong for her family and steadfast in her love of God. When she lost her fight it broke me. My heart was shattered. I was angry at everything and everybody, including God. I couldn’t understand why He would give her that horrible disease, let her fight so hard, and then take her from me. Yet, He let my drug-addicted father go unpunished. I got pissed. I raged and yelled at God for taking the one that the world needed and leaving the one who had become useless and selfish.
Late one night while standing on the front porch of my home, shortly after my grandmothers funeral, I let God have it. I screamed and cried and cussed and blamed him for everything. My neighbors thought I had gone insane. I told God that I didn’t need or want him in my life ever again. After all, how could he kill one of the most important people in my life? How could he give her Cancer and take her from me?
But God knew that I was angry. He knew that I was brokenhearted. He knew that I didn’t mean what I said. He is just like your best friend that lets you have your temper tantrum and then gives you a hug. I got over my anger. My broken heart healed. My father has been clean for 16-months, and he and I are close than ever. One day when God sees fit to bring me home I will see my grandmother again. I can’t wait to give her a hug.
In dealing with my grandmother’s death God let me fall down, and though I didn’t realize it at the time God was working in my life. He helped heal my broken heart. He gave me the strength and patience to deal with my anger at my father, and helped rebuild that relationship so that now my dad is one of my best friends. I tried to push God out of my life, but God stuck around. He watched over me and guided me because he loves me, even when I was mean and hateful to him. How many people in your life right now would do that for you?
God is watching out for you. God loves you and wants you to take him into your heart. He loves you and wants to be your friend. He is seeking out a relationship with you. Winter is when everything old dies away. Spring is when everything is reborn. Let God bring you into the Spring of your life with him.
Until next time . . .
All things and all people are reborn through our great and glorious Lord. Amen!
Today was a rough day. I heard from the drummer last night. Part of me knew that I would hear from him. It was Tuesday and he is nothing if not consistent.
The drummer is my weakness. If I were an alcoholic he would be my Bud Light. Having recognized this I sat down with him a week ago and told him that I need some time away from him to get my head and heart straight. It didn’t go well. He got angry. I lost my temper. A week later (yesterday) I told a friend that I finally felt completely positive that the conversation I had with the drummer was the absolute right way to go. I finally felt at peace with myself. The first few days after the fight I was riddled with guilt and shame because I had hurt the drummers feelings. I never doubted God and his leading me to rid my life of the temptation that I subjected myself to with the drummer. I am a people-pleaser and to hurt anyone eats me up. I wasn’t thinking that the one I needed to worry about not pleasing wasn’t the drummer. I needed to worry about not pleasing God.
Yesterday I finally felt the weight of that guilt was gone.
And then BOOM!!!!
My phone vibrated last night with a text from the drummer. Satan saw that I had reached a place where I was able to let go of that temptation and he threw it back in my face. I was weak. I took the lid off the proverbial bottle of Bud Light. I responded to the drummer’s text. He said that we need to get together for dinner soon. “Hey, Satan, do you really need to put the flashing neon on the sign? I know what you are doing!” I never said “yes,” but in my weakness I also never said “no.” I texted him back with my schedule over the next few days in the hopes that he would see that I am too busy and lose interest. He just texted back one of the most annoying messages that anyone can ever send . . . “K.”
I was completely distracted the rest of the evening. I told my husband about it as soon as he got home. Today at work I was still distracted. It was so bad that it was actually interfering with my airshift. My show was terrible today. That was how much I had let this get into my head. The thought actually crossed my mind a couple of times to throw in the towel, to get together with the drummer like he wanted, to give into temptation. That was the moment that I recognized that I was under attack. I couldn’t see it last night. As soon as I was done on the air I grabbed my purse and ran to my car. I drove to a local park and found a picnic table where I could be alone. I opened my bible and Hebrews 11:32-39 was the first passage I came across.
I read it and then re-read it and then thanked God for giving me just the words I needed to hear. God always gives us what he knows we need when we need it. Today he reminded me of that while I was sitting in the park.
Temptation is always around us. We all have a weakness . . . mine is the drummer. Yours might be shopping, or cupcakes, or work, or Facebook, or anything. We all have something that Satan uses to try to distract us from God. Last night and this morning I faltered. God took my hand and lead me away.
“Thank you, God, for your unending patience with this sinner. I am weak, but you give me your strength. Through you I am made stronger.”
Until next time . . .
This short story actually ended up being a bit prophetic. This is essentially how the conversation went with the drummer a week ago minus the car accident and death. I wrote this back in January and lost it. I forgot about it until I found it in one of my MANY notebooks a few days ago. It freaked me out just a bit at how similar this story was to how the actual conversation ended up going a month and a half after I wrote this.