Touch

TouchedTouched By “Touch”

Thursday nights have become one of my favorite nights of the week because of the new TV show called TOUCH. That may sound silly to some folks but I am captivated by the different individual stories, watching them unfold and discovering how the characters lives are intertwined. I love how the show embraces the concepts that

we are all here for a reason and we are all interconnected.

Not one of us is insignificant and we have a much bigger impact in our world and each others lives than we ever imagined possible!

The show also makes it clear that embracing the idea of being an important part of this world is not an easy task, nor is it always welcomed by others. It pushes people out of their comfort zones when you introduce something outside of their daily routine. It’s much more dangerous emotionally and sometimes physically to do something out of the ordinary, especially when it involves reaching out to other people. However, this one decision may be the most life impacting experience for the receiver and who knows possibly you, too.

Needing A Touch

When we first moved to Boise I remember saying, “God, help me be a light here in Boise.” I said that not because I want everyone to think I am swell, which not everyone does, but because I wanted to make a positive difference in the world. I didn’t know how, but I knew that I wanted to be open to that possibility. Within a year or so of making that request I discovered my hands had recovered enough from chronic pain that I was able to start playing my guitar again. I had not played for 5 loooong years and now here I was strumming out a tune again!

Connecting

Playing the guitar most of my life, I enjoyed it a lot. Now I experience joy on a whole different level. When I am up there, leading or performing, smiling or really seriously focused on the moment, I am not trying to look or act a certain way. I truly feel I have been given back an amazing gift and I am so very thankful. Every time I play it’s like a welcome back party for me and I want to share that with others.

Writing and recording songs is my way of actively trusting that, in fact, there is someone out there who needs to hear one of these songs for a reason. It’s not my job to know who is being impacted or what it is that is connecting with them, but to just have faith that by doing this I am shining a light in my home town.

What’s your experience? Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Sean Rogers1 via photopin cc

Finding a Path In & Through Chronic Pain

flower heartChronic Pain Makes A Visit

My love for music was useful in my career as a Youth Minister for 7 years.  My favorite use of my music skill was playing for the preschoolers. It was so much more than useful…it brought joy!  What a hoot!

And then it ended. Not just my music. Everything came to a halt when I developed chronic pain in my hands.

It became so severe that one day, after work, I was cutting up vegetables for dinner and the knife just fell out of my hands. There wasn’t the strength to hold onto it. After seeing several doctors and getting no relief or answers, plus physical therapy making the pain worse, I had to quit my job.

I was only 30 with a 3 ½ year old who I was unable to pick up or play Legos with.  I spent many days sitting on the couch in tears, with my baby girl looking at me with such big sad eyes.  Depression became a large cloud that loomed over me so much of the time that I prayed God would just take me home.  I figured I was all used up.  I felt like a worthless wife and mother, unable to care for her child and the home for her husband. Chronic pain had come to visit and now wouldn’t leave.

Silver Linings

Instead, God used my love for music to survive chronic pain.  He showed me I could write music even if I couldn’t play it.   A couple months before stepping away from youth ministry as a profession, I met a fellow youth minister who had written music before.  We had talked about giving co-writing a try.  A couple weeks after quitting my job we gave it a shot.  Within an hour we had a chorus and a verse.  My co-writer looked at me and said,

“I think we have something here.”

We ended up writing a CD together, doing a few concerts, and now there are churches around the country that use some of our songs in their worship service.  Truly amazing!

Fast forward a few years: we moved from Yakima, Washington to Boise, Idaho.  Lots of changes!  We’d lived in Boise for almost a year and I survived new-town loneliness by writing songs and slowly making new friends.

A New Path With Chronic Pain

One day my husband said, “Why don‘t you try picking up your guitar again?”  I thought he was nuts, but my hands were doing a bit better.  I was terrified to find out whether I could play or not.  For five years I had felt like I had lost a limb.  The idea of reliving that was almost more than I could bear.  But my curiosity got the best of me and I played for 5 minutes and stopped.  Normally, by then I would have been in so much pain…and it would have lasted for a month!  But I was feeling okay. A bit weak. But okay.  I played for 5 more minutes and put the guitar away.  I was feeling pretty good.  I almost didn’t trust it but after a few more tries I realized that if I played just a little bit I could actually do it.  Slowly, I regained much of my strength back.  One Sunday, I had the guts to get up and play and sing one of my own, self-written songs for church, for the first time.  Afterward, I sat down and cried.  I couldn’t believe it.

In addition to writing and playing, I have even taught guitar lessons.  Never in a million years did I think that could happen!  My hands still aren’t back to normal, but I can play my guitar again.  God took a very difficult situation and did something amazing!

What’s your story with chronic pain? Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell via photopin cc

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