I'm sitting at my desk at the church and my monday morning jobs are done. I'm glad to be here today because I didn't think I'd make it in for my regular monday (van in the shop for the millionth time since friday!) After my husband called and said he made a way for our day to go on as usual, I started to get ready to come and I got to thinking.... and when I think about something for an extended period of time, the thoughts almost always pour out here!
Do you love your job?
I haven't always loved the jobs I've had. My first job was at McDonald's and I actually really liked it. There I learned hard work, clean as you go and the camaraderie of being a team.
My next job was as a receptionist - actually I started as a file clerk and was promoted to receptionist. I liked that job enough, I'd say. I liked the feeling of working at a desk and not ending the day covered in grease. There I had to overcome my some of my insecurities - go figure, answering the phone was part of that journey and heaven help me if I had to make an outgoing call!
From there I moved to a very large insurance company where I became a claims adjuster. I liked learning the computer programs and becoming confident in my abilities but began to find working in a small cubicle lonely and meaningless. (which isn't to say that work is meaningless - it was how it made me feel!) When I had my first baby, I went back to the insurance company after 6 months away. Every dissatisfied feeling was magnified now that I had a beautiful baby at home that my husband was getting to spend the day with! I quit after 2 months and spent my time "working" with my children!
The amazing thing to me is how the Lord has used the experiences in these jobs to help prepare me for what I get to do today!
"In your heart you plan your life.
But the Lord decides where your steps will take you."
Proverbs 16:9 (NIRV)
I started taking piano lessons when I was 8. Apparently this was rather late for a beginner, but the playing field was leveled as I quickly moved up grade by grade. I enjoyed playing the piano, but wasn't the most dedicated practice-er.
When I was thirteen the regular (and only) pianist at our church left to attend elsewhere. The leadership was at a bit of a loss, so they looked around and saw 2 girls who were taking piano lessons and called us to duty! How gracious the people of that congregation were as we struggled to learn to play from the red hymnal. We submitted lists of songs we could play (relatively well) and worked to add songs with more sharps and flats.
By the time I left for Bible School, I had come a pretty long way, baby! I continued to take piano lessons through this time and had added voice lessons, musicianship clubs, school programs and more. Music was a big part of my life but I was beginning to realize that of all the things I did, church music seemed to be my strength.
At Bible School I was introduced to the concept of a live worship band. I was so honoured to be invited to sing with the Focus on Worship Band. I didn't contribute much (besides harmony!) but as I watched gifted leaders arrange music and lead worship times, my mind was being stretched.
Returning home a year later, I was on fire (Bible School will do that to you!) for the Lord and tried to share my passion for worship. I met a guy who liked what I was saying (I mentioned it here) and encouraged me by providing opportunity. This guy and I fell in love and got married. The church he attended became "our" church and we worked together leading Sunday morning worship, building a band bit by bit.
This is certainly not the short version of the story.....
Five and a half years ago, we moved from our hometown for my husband to pursue his academic career. Over the course of 3 years and 2 separate congregations (in 2 different countries), I was blessed and encouraged to serve with the worship ministry and learn from two people who quickly became friends. In our church in Ontario, the Worship Pastor was not only a gifted musician but had (has) a passion for leadership and developing new leaders. This friend pushed me out my comfort zone (graciously) and inspired me to explore what the Lord could do with what He'd given me.
And so here I am today. In my third year as Worship Director at the church where I first attended with my husband. All the pieces come together and I feel content, blessed and in awe of how the Lord works. I love the organizational part of my job. I love the opportunities to get creative with music and more in order to inspire people to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. I love working with friends who are devoted to serving in this way and I (like my friend in Ontario) have developed a passion for encouraging new leaders to emerge! Directing a choir for the first time ever has been an enormous blessing to me and I still get to play and sing for my Saviour on a regular basis.
Sure, there are things that are tough about this job... working with volunteers, maintaining vision and persevering through personal dry spells, not being able to take weeks of vacation during the summer - it's a real balancing act at times.... but when you are sure that the Lord has brought you to a certain place, you simply can't complain!
If you made it through to the end of this long post, I hope you've been encouraged. God does indeed work all things together for His good and I will never be able to deny that He always has a plan.
"For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness."