Gratitude Day 23: Answered Prayers

"Sunkissed"
Brilliant sunshine illuminates a colorful maple tree in front of the Sugarlands Visitors Center.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

© 2014 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved
I've had this weekend circled on my calendar for many months. It was Stake Conference for the Knoxville Stake, a regional cluster of 10 congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in and around Knoxville, TN. It was my responsibility to arrange for music for several large meetings. It takes time, much thought, networking, and a lot of prayer to make the music happen but in previous conferences I was able to do what was needed to without huge issues. I can't say the same this time around, mostly because I have been so overwhelmed with personal & family issues that I haven't had the energy to devote to long-term planning for conference music.

When I'm in a tight spot and need things to get done and done well, I turn to trusted friends. I also smile, beg, and even whine a little. I know -- no whining but I'm pretty sure I've done more than my share lately. The whining increased as my anxiety levels increased and the circled dates drew near. I shouldn't have been so stressed out when organists were unavailable, choristers ill, and volunteers for the choir simply not present, but I was. By last night my stress was bordering on panic. Friends were very kind and supportive last night and this morning as I fretted. One showed up to substitute as chorister even though she had a pinched nerve and wasn't feeling her best. Another agreed to play her violin with the choir with only a few days notice. The choir director has been my rock all summer and fall. She picked up all my broken pieces and made it work with the willing and able assistance of an accompanist who played even though I never really properly asked her to play. Friends were holding me up -- again.

At the beginning of rehearsal at 9 AM this morning There were 6 or 7 people present -- not nearly enough. I was trying to not freak out, knowing I had turned everything over to the Lord in prayer a few minutes earlier. I handed out black folders and music and tried to breathe. Then the miracle started happening as one by one they trickled in -- the ones who usually come to sing and, bless their souls, a bunch more who were less comfortable but came just because they knew they were needed. The director worked her usual magic and we had *amazing* music. Amazing!

I've been so wracked with guilt feeling like I've neglected my responsibility. No, these last few weeks have not been my finest hours, but the Lord understood my heart. He answered my prayers. Wonderful people followed promptings and served even when they weren't sure about being there. Angels. Angels with lovely voices, talented fingers, and big hearts. I thank you from the bottom of my not-nearly-so-big heart. Today I witnessed Christ-like love in action. It was amazing. Amazing. Grateful, once again, is not adequate to express how I feel tonight.

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