Within each of us is a desire to fulfill our purpose. Within this pursuit, we encounter determination, set backs, great joy, and disappointment. My youngest daughter loves to sing and play the piano. Her love for music has led her to be curious about music’s impact on the brain and mood. She often tells me that when she sings and plays the piano, her mood is lifted, and her well-being finds a place to be restored.
This weekend we went to Raleigh, NC to audition for American Idol. She spent so much time preparing her song, organizing her paperwork, and finding the perfect outfit. We got up at 2:00 a.m. to make sure we had a good place in line. This allowed her the ability to be a part of the filming of American Idol. We had fun standing on the street cheering the American Idol bus as it came into town…..5 times. Each time we had to pretend like it was the first time. We talked with others in the line waiting, sang songs, and connected. We met someone from Emporia, and a guitarist who played some of our favorites like Amazing Grace and Reckless Love.
Upon entering the line to audition, the parents of minors went into the parent holding area, and the conversations were filled with hope, nerves, and prayers. Gold tickets went to the right, and if you were told no, you went to the left. Once I saw my sweet girl walking to the left, I could not get to her fast enough.
We had many conversations that allowed her to feel her feelings, something I’m promoting more instead of stuffing them. Once the feelings and thoughts were on the table, we found fertile ground to work with them, understand them, and reframe the messages running in her mind.
Friends and family sent beautiful messages of hope through text and Facebook. I read each one to her. Thank you. You’ll never know how that ministered to her.
We’ve been there in the big and small pursuits of life—the disappointment. It’s easier to find the balance of joy and disappointment when you are coaching a loved one, but when you, personally, are in the thick of the confusion, it just takes time to bounce back. Her older sister, Victoria, stood beside her, and she continues to do so— a friend and sister to help her bounce back. Great joy!
I’m older now. My third child. I can be in a situation and understand, but also I find I notice my surroundings more. I was overwhelmed by the presence of God in conversations, laughter, the love of family and friends, and seeing a mother wipe the tears from her daughter’s eyes. I noticed you—you do not know me—but I saw you while I was hugging my daughter on the left side underneath a tree. You walked by with your daughter who has grown taller than you. She was walking fast with tears running down her cheeks, and you just listened, trying to keep up, and reaching up to wipe her tears away.
One lady saw me taking a video of an audition, and she said, “Oh, is that your baby?” No, I’m just hoping and trying to get her singing from back here. I can’t see well. Two mothers united in that mother love. Her endearing voice and the way she said, “baby”, like it doesn’t matter how old they get, they are still our babies.
I’m surprised how long it has taken me to get to the realization of you can have both joy and disappointment working together for your good. Maybe it just takes time to be okay with where you are in life and the resources you have in the moment. As a friend at work told me when I reached out for help, “Be kind to yourself, Anna. You are doing the best you can in the moment.” God put her in my life for a reason.
My sweet daughter,
You can’t have great joy without great disappointment. Allow the joy to fill your soul and help you notice human connection in our disappointment, and let joy help you to be kind to yourself and others. Allow the disappointment to motivate and reflect. Remember that all humans wake up in pursuit of their dreams. How can we encourage and spur each other on? Be kind and generous with your words and acts of love. I’m proud of you, my daughter, for giving it your best, and using the opportunity to become a better you. Stay in the arena fighting and believing, and don’t let the critics change you. You know who you are. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of your baptism. No coincidence.
God is reminding you of your place, your identity, and your future.