I'm pretty sure when I made that statement to a friend 3 years ago, at that very moment somewhere up in heaven, God started giggling. I mean, I had no idea the twists and turns my life was about to take, but He did. Man, oh man.... I could never have predicted what He had planned for me.
Three years ago, I was trying to get my youngest child through high school, taking care of my elderly parents, doing sessions in Nashville and writing a bit. An amazing husband, 2 other grown children, a wonderful circle of friends, two beloved dogs and a marginally-loved cat (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!) all gave me a lovely and full life. I was content to be home and easing into a different "season" of life. My early days of running around the world as part of a touring band were behind me (or so I thought) and I was happily looking into other means of success. Or maybe not "success" so much anymore as "significance". Things change along with your perspective as you age... which is one of the things I adore about the aging process. But that topic is for another day, another post.
|Double-decker carosel... Nimes, France|
Which leads me to NOW. July 2015. I just got back from a lovely morning walk through the streets of Nimes, France.
I'm on tour as a back-ground singer with one of my favorite singer-songwriters from my youth, the incredible Christopher Cross.
|I found a matador...|
CC's first record came out in 1980, the year I graduated from high school. I have vivid memories of the first time I moved out of my parents home... everything I owned packed tightly in the back of my 1977 Chevette (it was red w/yellow racing stripes down the sides - yeah, I was cool like that.....HA)... and as I pulled out of their driveway to move far, far away (35 whole miles!) I was cranking up "Ride Like The Wind", "Sailing" "Say You'll be Mine", "Minstrel Gigolo".. and all those classics songs from the 5 time Grammy Award Winning Record that became the soundtrack of my "coming of age".
|One of the many little sidewalk cafes....|
Never, never, NEVER would I have EVER dreamed I would get the chance to not only meet him, but get asked to be a part of his touring band at the innocent young age of 51. :-) I could not have planned this.
But God had plans I could not see.
The last two years have been very hard. I buried my mother, my father and my two beloved dogs, Django and Ellie May. I have cried... no, wailed through tears at God for taking so much from me so quickly. "Why God? I can't take any more loss. This is more than my heart can take." But through the pain, I have learned that the one constant I can always count on is that my sweet Lord never leaves my side and walks along with me. Hurting with me. Crying with me. Comforting me as no one else can. So I am grateful for the pain, as it only brings me into a more intense relationship with my God.
But today... I am grateful for the new joy that God has brought me. And as I share pictures on social media of my trip through Europe this month, I don't do it to brag. I'm not sharing with the intentions of showing how cool I am, or how amazing my life is. No... I share it to show how cool God is. I show it so that someone else out there who may be going through a very difficult season of loss can see that there IS life after deep pain. There IS life after deep loss.
... and you are never "too old", or "too young" or, "too anything" for whatever God has planned for you. He will equip you for what he has planned for you, no matter your age, gender, or ethnicity. No matter your fears, your worries, your perceived limitations.
|via Pete Wilson, Crosspoint Community Church, Nashville, TN|
Remember when I said I was "too old to get in a tour bus".... so God said, "Ok, then I'll give you a gig where you only fly, no bus"... "But wait God! I'm afraid of flying!!".... "Oh yeah, about that. I'll remove that fear from you -- just step out in faith." Sure enough... my fear of flying was completely lifted from me! I mean, really... God just shows off sometimes. Seriously! :-)
So back to my original question... I literally asked myself today, "How did I get here?" I couldn't have written this story. I couldn't have predicted this. I couldn't have imagined this in my wildest dreams.... but God could. And God did.
God brought me here. It's the only explanation.
....and I am grateful. I am grateful for this break from two years of life's storms. And I am grateful that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that when the storms hit again.....
... God will walk with me and bring me to the other side.... once again.
Now, I need to go figure out what I'm going to wear tonight... we are opening for TOTO tonight at The Arena of Nimes.. a Roman Amphitheatre that holds 16,000 people. WHOA.
|The Arena of Nimes|
Love y'all.... M