Unexpected Reminders: Classical Music

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in church when something unexpected happened. A realization hit me so hard I sobbed through closing praise. On the verge of starting my first full time job (as a kindergarten teacher) and of leading my first small group at church, I assumed that all my energy and all my thoughts should be devoted to those two things. All other relationships, hobbies, and future dreams could be put on the back burner for awhile.

But instead, God reminded me of the last thing I would have thought appropriate to contemplate in this particular season: My love of classical music.

It keeps coming back at the most random times.

More than a Pianist

My love of classical music is a passion I have been hesitant to take ownership of. I always resisted letting my talent define me. Because it’s true, I am more than a pianist. I am much more than just that.

But while I may turn my back on classical music for 9 months, try to tell myself I can live without it, or not consciously think about it for weeks, it always comes crashing back. God reminds me again and again that it’s not something I’m meant to forget.

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True Desires

Two weeks ago, my pastor preached on Psalm 37:4:

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

During the prayer time after the message, God revealed my true desires to me and showed me that that is what He wants to give me.

He reminded me of a vivid dream I had had earlier that week: I had been at a piano recital and been given the opportunity to play, but I simply had nothing prepared. In the dream, I stared longingly at the piano, racking my brain for pieces I could whip up in the spur of the moment, but I was so rusty that I had absolutely nothing I could perform with any semblance of ability, so I walked away.

When I woke up, I was filled with an intense longing to perform. I hadn’t felt that desire in a long, long time. I had thought that desire had fallen asleep, or maybe died.

As my pastor prayed, “Some of you feel desires deep inside that you just can’t shake. Those desires are pointing toward the calling God has for you,” I remembered all the times God told me in the past year not to let go of this desire and dream. Despite all my excuses––it’s impractical, unnecessary, unfashionable––God keeps telling me that this hiatus from classical music is just for a season. He keeps sending people to me with encouraging words about it. He keeps putting me in situations that uncover this hidden desire so strongly that I can’t ignore it.

Power to Change the World

God even reminded me of a vision someone had about me once that my music was going out across North Korea. I had assumed they meant worship music. I’d been thinking that worship music and song writing might be enough music for me for the rest of my life, that that was the kind of music that would most powerfully transform the world anyway.

But as my pastor talked about calling and deep desires from the stage, I knew that I had been wrong. Worship music isn’t enough for me. Contemporary music isn’t enough for me. And it’s not supposed to be. There is a particular beauty in classical music, and that beauty can change the world.

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Elizabeth walks by faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. Amidst her frequent bouts of laughter, tears, and adventures in nature, she is constantly learning, growing, pondering, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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