I’m not sure if the 2 1/2 cups of coffee I’ve had or the abundant sunshine in Chicago have anything to do with my energy level today, but I feel so happy I could explode and therefore felt compelled to write another post on optimism to follow up on yesterday’s…because it’s just one of those days!
Jon Acuff, one of my favorite author / bloggers, wrote a post on setting and reaching goals yesterday, called “How to close the gap between ordinary and extraordinary.”
The main gist:
“When we see people we admire, we tend to assume they arrived at the platform they’re on via catapults. They cleared a million miles of life experience in a single bound and probably don’t even have any cavities.
That’s not true.
They got to where they are the same way you will. Inch by inch. Step by step.”
Meredith Carter, pictured in the photo above, is only 22 years old. When we met last spring at the Contemporary Music Center in Brentwood, Tennessee, I found out she had already started her own company, Stealing Hollywood LLC, a ministry for middle- and high-school aged girls that seeks to “provide the Hope of Christ to girls by combating the views of Hollywood.” I then found out Meredith had been interviewed by Air1 and K-LOVE radio earlier that year, talking about how she has been able to travel the country with her company, leading worship and workshops for girls addressing issues of self-image and worth.
My jaw dropped, and I asked how in the world she managed to be president of a company in addition to being a full-time student, amazing songwriter, musician and friend. She laughed, and responded – “It’s totally a God thing. Only God could open the doors that He did for Stealing Hollywood – I never would have been able to do this on my own.”
I will never forget her response – it was, to this day, one of the most encouraging things I’ve ever heard in my life. A girl who had been interviewed on national radio stations, written original songs that sounded amazing and started a company was saying GOD did all of it? My mind was blown!
So, when she asked me if I wanted to play electric bass in her band for one of her original songs, “Image in the Mirror,” I almost cried. The girl who trusted God with everything wanted me to be a part of her ministry? How could I say no!
When I got home from Nashville, I found a piece of paper from my freshman year of college. I had written a list of the top five dream jobs I had – 1) DJ, 2) Rock star, 3) Chiropractor, 4) Author, and 5) professional athlete. I almost fell over when I realized I had officially accomplished each and every one of these things in one degree or another (production intern at a Top 40 radio station, bass player in Meredith’s band, (failed) pre-med student, blogger, college varsity golfer). Each accomplishment had snowballed from a series of challenging, sometimes boring and dry daily responsibilities and choices, but had eventually built up to something significant. It wasn’t until Meredith showed me how to trust God with every single one of my endeavors that I realized that any and all of my worthwhile successes come from trusting God the whole way through, and that faith will makes the challenges seem like blessings (obviously, things like being a chiropractor didn’t work out, but that just means He has a better plan for me)!
Here’s a couple of music videos featuring Meredith Carter and Audrey Claire (now in a band called YouPlusMe), filmed in Nashville, Tennessee during my time at the Contemporary Music Center in Spring 2012. Looks like my dream of being a rock star wasn’t so outlandish, after all – that’s me on electric bass! – and is just one example of the many ways God has blessed me throughout my life. It’s easy to forget about the blisters, frustration and tears that came with my learning whole setlists, but it’s SO important to remember He was there in every rehearsal and every meeting leading up to the filming of these videos.
As Meredith said so wisely, it’s important to trust God each and every day, with everything. We are a part of something bigger than ourselves, and God will be with us the whole way through if we surrender and trust His plan, because, even when it hurts and even when it’s hard, He is making everything beautiful.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
– Matthew 19:26 –
So, what’s next for you??? DREAM BIG!!!
Meredith Carter performs her original song, “Image In the Mirror,” at the Contemporary Music Center in Brentwood, TN, spring 2011 – all rights reserved
Meredith Carter Music: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meredith-Carter/183483725025065
Stealing Hollywood: http://stealinghollywood.org/
Featuring Alex Kruser on electric guitar, Chris Belcher on drums, and Allison Althoff on electric bass.
Audrey Claire performs original composition “Speak,” at Best Semester’s Contemporary Music Center in Brentwood, Tennessee, spring 2011 – all rights reserved
Audrey Claire’s band YouPlusMe: http://www.facebook.com/YouPlusMeMusic
Featuring Alex Kruser on electric guitar, Chris Belcher on drums, Allison Althoff on electric bass.