Karen Baldwin

Forgetting the “What Ifs”

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,

but of power, love, and self-discipline.

1 Timothy 1:7 NLT

My high school piano teacher gave me her own bracelet to wear every time I had to perform in a recital. This verse was inscribed inside…it often helped in the moment, though honestly, my fear of playing in front of people to this day inhibits me from using the gift I once spent hours to perfect. The problem was I really wasn’t good enough, like all others seemed to be, to put myself in the category of a college music major…say less one with a degree in it! I’ve had many ‘what if’ moments in the past 31 years…what if I had not feared so much…I could’ve been a music teacher…I could’ve taught private lessons and lived by my own schedule…I could’ve easily found work wherever we moved…my kids might have not feared so much.…

Today I choose to let go of the ‘what if’s’ and the questions that, quite honestly, leave the fear right there in my mind and keep me from pursuing what is right in front of me.

‘Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself’ Matthew 6:24

The older I get, the more I realize that God has given me many incredible experiences in my life that would’ve never happened had I been a music teacher.  Those experiences were not because I thought I could, but because HE KNEW I could…None of it is a mistake in my mind, but His path took me on a really windy, rugged, narrow…and often uphill road.  But as I get higher and higher, closer to the top of my mountain, I can now look back and see the beauty in the fields I have walked…and of all the things I see, it’s the beauty in the wildflowers that I’ve encountered along the way…it seems like an unending field of diversity and beauty…and the vibrancy and colors have not faded, but instead have only grown brighter and more beautiful with time. My regrets all of a sudden become small, and the fears are released. And I just thank God for giving me the fields and valleys of beauty in my life. And the music is there! It so vividly adds to the artwork I see. Today I will just bask in the music and sing right along. It’s an everyday experience for me, and it brings a certain comfort, peace and joy.

As for today, I think I’ll just thank God for the gift…the true love for music, how he has used it in my life, and those I’ve had the pleasure to share it with all these years…including my neighbors, who I’m sure have heard it…

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