This past weekend was the weekend of what has become a yearly visit of James Hersch to our church. James plays a guitar and sings, mostly to his own songs. I don't know how his voice remains so strong over so many years - but it's a great, high tenor voice that sings various stories. These are his stories, but they are written so they can be applied to the lives of others, and every year, a few of them apply to my life, and in a way they feel like they are also my stories. I suppose we can share them.
It's been a time of change in life - then again, it seems like life is always changing in one direction or another at all times. I don't think I can imagine life without a bunch of change. Right now I'm ending my time at a company where I have been for almost 15 years, and I'm going to another company. Definite change - I'm pursuing my dream by going to an organization where I can apply analytics and policy to healthcare. It's not advocacy for anything either, and that's also exciting. I can look at things as they are, very objectively.
As this change is happening, I see my daughter quickly growing up, almost 10, and experiencing her own constant changes. It hasn't been an easy time for her - I will skip details - but I make up that she questions her value, she questions whether her presence is missed when she is not there, she questions whether others even notice when she is not there. And then there were the children who died in Connecticut, and I can't tell what she thinks of that - she doesn't want to talk about it - but it bothers her. And so I see a bit of anger, a bit elevated.
So we have James Hersch at church, me thinking I have found my dream, and my daughter struggling a bit. What to do with this?
Church is where my daughter feels safe. I can sense that. She has a favorite song that James performs every year because she loves it. He performed it again this year, once on a Saturday night concert and again on Sunday, when she sang (very quietly) with him. After the Saturday concert, she wanted to tell him something and waited patiently, but people went in front of her, and she came to me crying. It's the feeling forgotten thing. I told her we would wait, there was no hurry. But I could tell this was another reminder, in her mind, of perhaps being forgotten. In a miracle, James came over to her to tell her how special it was that she was there every year, and that he loved seeing her smile. She was not forgotten - in the place where she is safe - church - still safe - and perhaps building back the sense of value she used to have, so strongly, in herself.
In my world, with changing jobs, there has strangely not been uncertainty. I'm ready, it's time, and I'm following my heart, even if that sounds cheesy. There is a song called "What Your Heart Loves Best," that I heard on a CD recently, sung by James. I turned his story into my story, as the song goes, "ain't it funny, ain't it strange, how we choose our lives... someday we're gonna change... and what matters most, is what your heart loves best." James sang that song, and I really feel it. Before this job, there were other potential jobs, but there was always some hesitancy in them, with me wondering if they were right, wondering if I should leave where I have been for almost 15 years. But the hesitancy has gone with this job. I had 5 interviews - a lot! Each interview made my desire for this job be even stronger. I better be right! But I think I am right.
By Sunday we had heard many songs. On Sunday morning my daughter sang with James and I think she may be making a turn. By Sunday, she was getting excited about an upcoming dance performance. After church, while the adults had our annual church meeting, she and her friend built airplanes and made them open into huge houses. When I dropped her off at dance tonight, she was excited. Hopefully the feelings of value she gained over the weekend will continue. She really loves dance.
I think my husband may be the only not having huge change! When it comes down to what is important, it's "what your heart loves best." And James sings this to us, and reminded my daughter that she is special, that she is not forgotten.
God has found us in the midst of all of this. Often I have questioned, God, if something is really out there for me, where is it? God, this new hurdle with my daughter... why? She is a child.
Not everyone gets their prayers answered, even with God in the midst of it all.
But this time, prayers were answered, amidst all the change.