As a little girl I dreamed of learning to play an instrument. I had a one-year stint in the orchestra playing the violin, but soon discovered it really wasn’t for me. As 5th grade year came to a close, the guidance counselor asked us to start thinking about what we wanted to do once we got into middle school. Whether band, orchestra, sports, or other clubs and activities. I had an interest in volleyball, softball and band. They had us try out different instruments to see what best suited us, but I didn’t have to look for very long, the flute was a clear choice for me. Shiny, mellifluous, and the ultimate girl instrument, I didn’t have any doubts that this was the winner!
I practically skipped home from school that day as I hurried to tell my parents the news. I had to wait all summer until the start of the next school year to begin learning my passion. On the first day of band class, many of us didn’t have our instruments yet, but that didn’t stop the director from placing us in our assigned areas. We were giddy with excitement as we met our new section mates and potential friends. Ready to start this new adventure, my mother went out and purchased my instrument. When I walked into the house, I saw a black box with a handle waiting for me on the dining room table. Although I briefly thought to myself that it was little bit too big to be a flute, that didn’t stop me from unhinging the handles and opening the box with a big, juicy smile on my face.
Pulling back the top lid, I yelled, “Mom!” She came rushing into the dining room and responded with an innocent, almost childlike, “What?” I began to explain to her that what she had purchased was in fact a clarinet and not the silver, beauty of an instrument known as the flute. She paused for a moment, looked at my dumbfounded facial expression, and then inspected the box. These next few words will never be forgotten to me, as they were so dramatic in the moment. She looks up from the instrument and says in a sarcastic tone, “So…you’ll play the clarinet”. Really? My mother’s response to my well planned out, much anticipated dream was to, essentially, get a new one.
Little did I know that this would be the blueprint for the rest of my life. Proverbs 19:21 (NIV), “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” So many times I’ve made plans or mapped out dreams, but ultimately it was God’s plan that prevailed and I had to be open to making that shift. I’ve had my heart completely set on something, but then God came along with a, “So…you’ll do this instead.” That may sound too deep based on my little clarinet story but hopefully it provokes thought. I have since decided to never get so set on one idea that I can’t entertain the notion of something else, especially if it has the potential to be greater. I went on to play the clarinet for seven years throughout middle and high school. During that time I had a high chair placement, participated in many competitions, and met some incredible friends that are still in my life today.