JUST SHOW UP.
I'll be honest, I wrestled with what to write about this week. I had plans and a topic that I really wanted to talk about but something about it felt so forced. My original blog post was going to be titled, "When God Shows Up" and I was going to re-tell a story about a moment that I found myself in when God really spoke to me (I promise to still tell the story one day...) but, I was really struggling with the title because... God doesn't have to show up. Because he never leaves us to begin with. But, sometimes when WE show up, we hear him speak to us and see him move in ways we never have before.
I spent most of last year... and the year before saying "no" to a lot of things. Some of those "no's" were warranted because I really needed to break a cycle and walk away from things that weren't good for me anymore. And so far, they've proven to be good choices. But, some of those "no's" were encouraged and pronounced in fear. And that's never ok. For example, when I first moved to Nashville I immediately immersed myself in songwriting. I was writing songs by myself and making time in the week to meet for co-writes with other writers. And then somewhere along the way after a few failed co-writes, I let that little voice tell me that I didn't know what I was doing and that I wasn't good enough. So, I stopped. And for two years, I completely disconnected myself from the songwriting world and the writers in it. I stopped returning calls from friends to make time to write together. I bailed on the co-writes that I had scheduled, blaming it on anything and everything. I stopped appearing and singing the songs that I had already written at songwriter shows here in town. When someone said, "We should write together!" I'd say, "Totally, text me sometime!" knowing that I would find an excuse not to actually ever meet. I stopped showing up.
You know the problem with saying no out of fear and not showing up? It starts to spill over into everything else. I started saying no to myself. NO, you're not good enough. There's NO way you're ever going to make it. NO one will ever give you the chance. And the worst part? I believed it. I was feeling pretty terrible one day and I said to myself, "I don't ever want to feel this way again." So, I stopped. I started doing everything I could to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually grow stronger and build that confidence back. I started every morning in my bible, learning more about who God is and what my role in his Kingdom is going to be. I started reading books and listening to podcasts that featured successful writers, musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, and I realized... EVERYONE FEELS THIS WAY!
Everyone goes through a rut and feels doubtful and afraid. Everyone experiences a shift and change. Everyone wrestles with the little voice that tells us we can't. In my bible reading, I'm currently in Exodus and coincidentally, our church is walking through Exodus as well during Sunday sermons. You know Moses? The man who God used to liberate the Israelites and lead them out of Egypt? Do you know what he said when God told him he'd be the one to free his people? He said, "Please Lord, send someone else." (Exodus 4:13 CSB) Moses didn't want to show up. Because he didn't think he was good enough to do the job! But God assured him that he'd be right there with him through it all and that he would equip him with all that he needed to be successful. And the very same truth applies to us. Praise the Lord!
So, I had to jump right back into songwriting. And was I SO afraid of that first co-write! I hadn't written a song with anyone in more than a year and I was afraid I'd lost all my mojo. But, you know what? It was great and it felt good to be back in that place and doing what I love. And with each write, I get stronger and better. Not every co-write is a home run but that's ok. I still choose to show up. Because you can't do it if you're not there.
I was listening to a podcast this morning - as I do most mornings. I like to switch up what I'm listening to between music business related series and general life & positivity depending on what my week looks like. Tomorrow, I have a co-write scheduled so I was listening to "And The Writer Is" by Ross Golan. Ross (who is a successful songwriter: Ariana Grande, Lady Antebellum, Selena Gomez) interviews other accomplished songwriters across various genres and together share their experiences. Today, I listened to legendary country music artist & songwriter Rhett Akins (That Ain't My Truck + more than 40 hits for other artists... oh yeah, and he's Thomas Rhett's dad) share his story. At the end of the interview, when asked about his experience and songwriting process, do you know what he said? "You just have to show up. The number one this is you have to show up."
All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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