An integral part of my CMC journey was self-evaluation. I started realizing that I was more of a risk-taker than I thought. I realized that I loved to be crazy. I embraced my uniqueness. I celebrated my friends’ uniqueness, and rejoiced in the untamed heart. I discovered a deep inner process that is occurring inside my heart.
One of these self-evaluatory revelations was the tangled webs that infest the human heart, and the process of redemption that God imparts by sitting down with us and unraveling it. I know that I’ve been in an intense “unraveling” process for a while now. A part of the human condition is wrestling with insecurity, poor self-esteem, negative body-image, which tends to directly correlate with a twisted understanding of who God is. All of those things are the twisted strands that make up a tangled web. God’s love and peace unbraids all of that, however. God invited me on a journey of discovering who He is, and He is Love. God is Love. Three words that have an entire universe of meaning, but are so simple. I realized today that the Narrow Path that Christ refers to might be this process. I think it means many things, but for me in this moment, it’s that beautiful, simple, straight, and narrow line. The Narrow Way that is free of legalities, inadequacies, insecurity, and the like. It’s full of peace, purity, simplicity, and it is always composed of love. Jesus was always full of simplicity, and that’s why people hated him. His Spirit encourages me to trust Him, like a child, and let go of the fear. Let go of the overanalyzing, and embrace the Way. The Way that leads to life, to peace, to righteousness. The Way of Love. I am thankful to God for this untangling process, and I would never go back.
Furthermore, I encourage anybody who reads this to embrace themselves, and embrace each other, and to never settle. Always let yourself flow freely, without any tangles.
For my first blog, I feel like an account of what happened at the CMC is more than appropriate. That place
changed my life. Or, the people that I met did. I don’t think I will ever be the same!
I must confess, I didn’t feel this way initially. I stepped foot in Nashville, TN kind of skeptical, certainly scared, and all my guards up! I didn’t know what to expect! 28 random people from all over the country who I am supposed to make music with? All the CMC profs were convinced that this was going to work. I remember the first night we were there. We all sat down in a circle, and shared our biggest fears of the semester. I was completely honest-what did I have to lose? Failure. Inadequacy. Not “making it” as a musician. We were all in the same boat, and we were all scared! It gave us permission to confide in each other. That night was the beginning of a wonderful adventure, where music was just the background, highlighting the true story of CMC Semester 22!
As a student in the artist track, we were required to submit a song to Rick Elias, our songwriting professor, to critique and rework. One of my biggest fears of going to CMC was being criticized! I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle it! Meanwhile, I was the first song that he looked at. My heart was beating so fast! I was deathly afraid of what he might say. I sat in a chair right there with my lyrics on a huge screen with everybody watching and listening. The song needed an overhaul, and I spent the next several days working hard to make the song better! I learned that day that songs are a tangible expression of the heart, but the focus is always the song. I learned to always be open and ready to improve a song so it can express what needs to be said in the best way possible. I realized that criticism can be a good thing, and to never be afraid of it.
More to come on my time at the Contemporary Music Center…