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When God Closes a Door He Opens Others
Jesus Christ Superstar Mary Magdalene's "I Don't Know How to Love Him"
Duet with John, Ft. Drum, NY, 1984
A little background about the videos - the "Jesus Christ Superstar" clip is of opening night. I had a horrible cold and I had NO VOICE - until I had to sing. It really was a God story. Also - every single time I sang that song, I cried real tears at the end - just like I did here. In rehearsals, no matter when I sang it, I cried. I believe it was my lost heart crying out for the REAL Jesus Christ Superstar.
The second video is a duet with a soldier at Ft. Drum who was leaving the Army the next morning. He had a gorgeous voice, as you can plainly hear even in this less than excellent video. In addition - the mike wasn't working when I first come onto the stage - so if you can hang tight for just a bit, you'll hear it turn on.
This Hub has been weighing heavy – I have hesitated to write
it because it seems so self-serving – so self-centered to write it. However, I
hope the message becomes clear when I explain why I have a link to two videos
of me singing. I know – pathetic one might think. Now that she’s been on T.V.
she has that “bug.”
I stand before God as my witness when I tell you the only reason I will ever actually seek the limelight is to promote my not-as-yet-published novel. If you read the Hubpages interview, you’ll see, I no longer seek the limelight.
That was my “old” life. The one where I lived for attention, where I lived for the approval of others. One very dark day in my life, when I had gone to the very bottom of that pit – when I couldn’t see any hope left, my life changed. Here’s an excerpt from a book I wrote years ago – never published – it is the same book that I wrote about in another Hub where I was scammed out of a lot of money by a fake publisher.
Here is the excerpt from the opening of the book:
“Be like-minded, Carol… Know like you know like you know… Believing equals receiving. If you’re not living life abundantly then you are practicing incorrect believing…” I stood there in front of the bathroom mirror, these voices echoing in my head. Anger smoldered deep inside me. I was in complete despair. Hope of finding the happiness I had been seeking my entire life had faded to a black nothingness.
I couldn’t have the man I wanted; he was married, yet I could not let go of him. I couldn’t feel the love I should for my husband no matter how I tried. I was unable to measure up to the only organization that claimed the exclusive true teachings about God. I never found the proper fit no matter how hard I tried.
This was ALL God’s fault. Trembling, with a closed fist held high, I shouted at my reflection in the mirror, “Why God? Why? How could you let this happen to me when all I wanted to do was know you?”
I walked into the dining room, lined up the codeine pills on the table like little tiny soldiers and poured myself a glass of whiskey. I wrote letters to my children telling them how very much I loved them. Bent over as I tried to carefully choose my words, I wept. I was beyond wretched; hopelessness consumed me covering my body like a weighted shroud. How had my life come to this? I needed the pain to stop. Seeing no other way out of this mess, I grabbed a fistful of pills with one hand and with the other lifted the glass full of bitter amber liquid…"
It was after this chapter—excuse the pun—that my life forever changed. A friend called and delayed my actually swallowing the pills. Later, I ended up throwing myself on my face in my bedroom that evening and I asked God to take it all away. I was so weary of trying to “fix” things myself. I was exhausted from trying to run my own life. I had made a horrible mess of things and I wanted God, if there really was a God, to take over my life because I no longer had the strength to go on.
A miracle happened. It didn’t happen in one day, it was a process, but it was an amazingly fast process that led me to a complete deliverance from my almost crippling low self-esteem and my all encompassing need to be approved of by others.
I was no longer depressed – waking each morning trying to figure out what “thing”, what material object, what device could I use to draw attention to myself to possibly help me crawl out of what seemed to be a constant companion. Depression. I was always sad on the inside. I hid it most of the time, but inside I was pretty miserable. And no matter what song I sang, no matter what play I was in, no matter what band I was in and even with the success of our bookings, I was never able to fill the holes in my life. After that evening when I fell on my face, arms outstretched, before God, I gave it all up. And God, true to His Word, true to what He tells us in the Bible, came through.
One of the other things God began to place on my
heart after He began this process was that I didn’t need to sing any longer. It was my
greatest passion. I lived to sing
ever since I was a little child when my mother put me up on the coffee table in
front of company and I sang several songs from “My Fair Lady” with the cockney
accent to boot. I was in elementary school and I believed I was put on this
earth to perform. God had, after all, gifted me with a strong singing voice. But I never gave Him the credit, seeking all the credit for myself.
God was merciful enough to make this the slowest change in my life. I used to have to sing in order to “feel whole.” It was the device I used to make myself “feel better” about myself. I know this all now in retrospect. But God slowly showed me that I wouldn’t need that any longer.
At first I thought that meant I just wouldn’t be in plays, or be the lead singer or be in entertainment programs on military bases. Later on though, it became clear because what used to be as easy for me as breathing, began to become difficult. At one time, when I was lead singer for a band called “Hot Fun” we had bookings one year in advance. In this band, I must have known the words to over 250 songs, and with a moments notice, could sing any one of those songs as if I had rehearsed for weeks.
But after I realized deep in my heart that singing wasn't what would sustain me, as God worked His work, I began to have trouble
So I sang in church choirs or small Christian ensembles. I compensated by holding the music in my hand, and that worked for a bit. But then fear became my companion whenever I sang. I sang in church choirs for years but in 2004 when we moved to Lansing, Michigan I knew, I was hanging up my singing hat. I haven’t sung in a formal setting (Karaoke with the family doesn’t count) since and I don’t miss it – not even a little, not even a smidgeon.
All the while God was showing me another passion in my life. Writing. Sure, I now had my completely restored marriage. I had my children, but the thing that floated my boat for all my life was singing and performing. God was gracious enough to replace it with a longing and passion for writing.
What you may not know about me is that I have a provisional patent pending as well. It has been a God-given idea, a long, long time in the making and one year ago when I presented it to a very successful patent lawyer who only cherry picks his patent projects he took on my case. He not only agreed to write up the patent for me, but he liked the idea so much himself he said he would front me all the money, including the cost of the patent, if I would agree to partner with him. That was a no brainer. Currently, I just found a manufacturer who will make the “invention” and we believe we can sell the idea shortly thereafter. The details however, are another Hub!
God has brought me on quite a journey but I have never been more richly blessed as a result. I will soon be celebrating my 31st anniversary, my son is expected to fly out of Afghanistan after a year there as I write this, we have three gorgeous wonderful grown children and a grandchild I am so in love with, leaving her just about kills me!
I have this cool patent pending that can really be helpful to hospitals and I have a true passion for writing.
I show these two videos because I want to offer you
encouragement. In these days and times, some people are truly suffering great
losses. I’m not trying to be trite at all when I say, it really is true that “When God closes a door, He opens another.”It happened to me only He opened a bunch of doors!
There are some bottom line criteria however. You must place your faith and trust in Him freely and completely. It’s not an easy thing to do, I promise you, I know this. And then when you do and you open your heart to Jesus Christ as I did, heart, soul, mind and body – you must then continue to dedicate your life to following Him. With those two things – I guarantee you will be blessed. Does it mean you will never suffer any pain in your heart? Not at all. But the promise is, when it all comes crumbling down, He’ll be there ever present, ever loving, holding you securely in His arms. Then He'll open up other doors.
And you’ll know a peace that is inexplicable even during the storms of your life. I have known great sorrow and grief since, but through it all, I had an inner core of peace that has always been unshakable.
So watch these videos and consider trusting Him. Even if it means giving up something. If someone had told me, “If you follow Christ, you’ll stop singing.” I can tell you right now my stubborn butt would have said, “NO WAY ALL BETS ARE OFF!”
But I am here to tell you, even if you have a song and it is taken away – either by God or by God allowing it to be taken, He’ll give you a new one. My new song is writing and a life so filled with God’s blessings that the person standing in front of that mirror who had lined up those pills to end it all is gone completely. I don’t recognize her – I became a new person, inside and out and I never dreamed my life could be so blessed.
If you feel despair, there is hope, I promise you, there is hope! Trust Him and you can and will rise above whatever situation you are in. I did and I never once regretted it.