The guitar felt good in her hands.
Adrenaline washed over, pumping through her limbs as she stood on the stage. She allowed her eyes a momentary scan of the crowd, a sea of faces, bathed in lowlight. Her heart thudded in her ears.
Her left hand’s fingers found the strings, pressed them to the fretboard; her right hand ripped down the sound hole. She stepped up to the mic; belted out that first note. The rush consumed her.
She was born for this.
What is your dream? What makes your heart beat faster? What are you living for?
In the movie Grace Unplugged, Grace Trey longs for a life of music. Her dad, a famous rock star, now a humble worship pastor tries to dissuade her, trying to convince her of his own emptiness in the industry, but she refuses to listen. Instead, after a final fight with her dad, Grace runs away, chasing an opportunity in California.
What Grace finds is everything that she ever wanted–fame, fans, fortune. But just when she reaches her highest point, the opportunity that she’s always dreamed of, she realizes her own emptiness.
She thought she had everything she ever could want, but she realized that she was missing the only thing that she ever needed.
The story of Grace Trey struck a chord in my heart.
Probably because mine is similar, only not so extreme. My dad and I sing together, we’ve led worship together at various events and churches over the years. The thrill of hearing my voice paired with my dad’s or stepping up to a microphone, or just when the music just flows… it makes my heart beat faster.
I was about 13 and I dreamed of becoming a recording artist. I played my guitar religiously. Song lyrics oozed out of my brain (though I was never able to finish one… go figure, lol). I worked my voice–timidly at first, being only 13, but at 14 I grew more confident, and well… loud. As I’m sure my family and friends will testify.
But I was missing something. At first, I was driven by my love for music. My love for the thrill. My love for my dream. But it was then that God got a hold of me, shortly after I turned 14.
We had gone through a tough year, God and me. I won’t go into gross detail, but suffice it to say, 13 isn’t the easiest age. I had learned what it meant to be forgiven and loved. I had rededicated my life to Jesus. But I hadn’t really learned what that all meant…yet.
I still remember, lying there in bed, headphones on, listening to a CD my parents had gotten me for Christmas, Passion Hymns: Ancient and Modern. The last song came on.
“Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise…
Here am I
All of me
Take my life
It’s all for Thee…”
As the song went on, listing assets in life–surrendering them all to God.
And it hit me. Everything. He wants everything.
Because it’s about His glory. Not my dreams.
Maybe He would use my dreams for His glory, but that was up to Him to decide.
It was mine to give them to Him to do with as He saw fit.
It was then that I realized that I already had everything that I needed. His love is enough. His love is sufficient to fill me with the thrill, the passion, the pulse that drives my heart–and make it beat faster at thoughts of His glory. With His love, I don’t need my dreams to feel fulfilled. With His love, I don’t need the approval of man.
With His love, I am a princess, daughter of the King of the universe, beloved of the Prince of Peace, Bride of the Lamb, Chosen of God.
Now, my hands strum my guitar, my voice belts out His songs as an overflow of my heart filled with His love. People have made comments about the smile on my face when I sing. To this, I take no credit whatsoever–because it’s all because of Him. I can’t help but smile when I think about the words that I’m singing. Words that express His love.
Without His love, my dreams are empty. With His love, I have all I’ve ever needed.
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing…But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.“
~1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13