An Unexpected Life

A few years ago, when God made it clear to me that He had made my voice for Himself and for ministry, leaving the operatic world was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced and though I’ve tried hard to ignore and cover that heartache, the truth is that I’ve carried that pain in a deep place in my heart unable to rid myself of it.  But our God is a compassionate, intimate and joyful God and just two weeks ago I experienced an unusual set of circumstances that seemed like a touch from the Master during which that pain, so ever present in my soul, was completely removed.  In its place is peace and joy.  I know that sounds like a greeting card, but it is some kind of quantum truth I hardly know how to explain.  I now have a better understanding of all those Biblical references about being “set free.”  Being set free from heartache is the most miraculous thing I’ve ever experienced and it speaks volumes about how compassionate is the love of Jesus.  It seems to me that hanging on to the pain of broken dreams is a stumbling block to moving forward with whatever God has planned for our lives. And sometimes our hurts are so deep that only the power of Christ can remove them.  The words “set free” have such rich meaning now.  As ministry continues to open, one of my prayers has been that God prepare me for whatever comes next.  Wow!  Be careful what you pray for, because when He answers, you may just be blown off your feet.

I’m living a very unexpected life, far from the excitement and sophistication of the classical music field, and the weird thing is, I could not be happier. It is a life that I am so grateful for.  God has shown me that no response to an operatic performance could EVER mean as much as hearing that someone who has heard my story of transformation wanted to explore a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Oh, how very, very humbling and thrilling all at the same time.

Don’t be afraid if you find that God has derailed your master plan of success. If you allow Him to, He will replace it with His own plan for your life, and it will surpass your wildest imagination.  Hang onto Jeremiah 29:11.  Sometimes that’s all we have to hang on to.  I cleaned out my wallet this morning and found a note that I had scribbled a week or so ago while sitting at the gas station.  It reads, “I was hurt and panicked when God wanted me to “give up” opera, but I can see now that He just wanted me to leave the unimportant stuff behind so He could get me to the good stuff.”  Amen to the good stuff.

Taking Wing

I was reminded recently about an interesting experience I had on the east coast a few years ago.  A pair of doves built a nest in the eaves just outside my dining room window and sure enough a few weeks later they welcomed two or three little ones into their crowded nest.  Every morning at promptly 4:45 a.m. they started chirping hysterically in anticipation of breakfast. Yes, you read that correctly.  4:45 am.

When the time came for the youngsters to take wing and leave home, the last one out of the nest became so flustered and confused that instead of flying away, he flapped his wings furiously, landed on my window sill and just sat there for hours looking terrified.  I picked him up and held him for a few minutes (which was a wonderful experience,) telling him that he could do it and that all he had to do was trust that he had been properly equipped for this new adventure. The next morning, he had disappeared from the window sill and I knew he had “found his wings,” so to speak.  Oh, that is a sweet memory.

As my life continue to change and new adventures present themselves, I am constantly reminded of that little bird on my window sill.   I know that God would not open the door to new experiences he has not prepared me for and as I”m starting to travel with my own ministry, I need to rely on that fact more often than not.  Ministry is a great and wonderul blessing, but it does come with new challenges that are  constant reminders that I need to rely on God to be the wind underneath my wings as I hurl myself off the occasional “window sill.”

Now I know how that wee bird must have felt.  I can just imagine him thinking, “I’m supposed to WHAT?”  How like that little bird I am?  – Not completely sure how to flap my wings in just the right way to accomplish the task at hand.  But also like that little bird, the process of embarking on this new journey – my own ministry, will someday become second nature. So as I face the challenges ahead, I will rely on God for all things and I”ll remember what I tried to communicate to that  little dove.  “You CAN do it.”  “God has given you everthing necessary for the task at hand.” “Rely on your Maker and he will be the wind under your wings that will keep you aloft.”   I know that God has properly equipped me to keep moving forward into this new and exciting time in my life and I”m sure I will grow in unexpected ways as I face a little bit of the unknown.

Welcome!

Hello, everyone!  Welcome to my new web site.  If you had told me years ago that instead of a career in classical music, God would call me into ministry, I would have had a hard time believing it.  But life is full of surprises, isn’t it?  Through these blog entries, I’ll be sharing honest reflections on the challenges, triumphs and surprises I’m experiencing as I continue to follow my calling to sing, even though my destination has changed.

On many occasions when I’ve presented ministry programs, people have been most interested in what following the dream has taught me and how it has changed who I am and what my future holds.

Here I will openly and honestly share answers to some of those questions, and the surprising realization that the depth of that conversation has eclipsed even my love of opera. Oh, don”t get me wrong. I will never stop singing and enjoying my beloved arias and the passionate stories from which they came. However, the deeper journey of what I”ve learned beyond the arias, about myself and my relationship with God, intrigues me even more.

The film, “Laundry and Tosca,” which chronicled my pursuit of a career in music and the experiences surrounding the film have changed my life in many ways I never could have imagined. Though my aspirations have led me to places I did not expect, I urge you, if you have a dream, to take risks and follow that dream with all your effort and courage. You may find that your life will become more deeply enriched than you could ever have expected and that your relationship with God will grow deeper and more intimate as a result.

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