Rainy Days & Mondays: writing "For The Rainy Days"

A lot has changed for my husband and I in the last couple of years. Sometime in the spring of 2012, I realized that I had really gotten caught up in workaholism at my corporate sales job. I began seeking God about my calling to music ministry as I had never sought him before. I began researching how to get started in Christian music ministry, and I found Eric Copeland with Creative Soul. I started by reading a free e-book called Getting Started In Christian Music and in June I met with Eric & Diego for a Christian Artist Workshop —which was especially easy since I’m in the Nashville area. 
I came out of that meeting with so much excitement, and I was ready to get started on an album! The first song I wrote after our meeting felt really good and I’ll tell you more about it later in the week. We didn’t have money set aside for recording, but I made plans to save and start within a year’s time. 
And then… the unthinkable happened. I was blindsided by a corporate layoff. I’d been with the company for seven years, and could barely remember my professional life before this. All of my plans and dreams depended on my income level. What would we do now? Why would God wake me up to dream again, only to let life crush my aspirations? I mourned the loss. If you’ve ever been laid off unexpectedly, maybe you know exactly what I’m talking about. 
One of my former customers liked working with me so much and had so much confidence in my skills that he offered me a remote position with his company. I accepted, but we figured out pretty quickly that wasn’t going to work because the role really needed someone who lived in the area, and so I searched more carefully for something “meaningful.” 
Meanwhile, I had a spot near my eye that hadn’t gone away for months, and I finally got it checked out. It was basal cell carcinoma, and that meant I would have to have surgery. ASAP. I didn’t have a job, and we couldn’t afford it, but I scheduled the surgery for late April 2013. 
I finally found a company I really wanted to work for; although they didn’t have a sales department, I met with the president several times and they hired me as a territory sales rep. The work they were doing was so important, and this felt right! I started in March and they made sure my benefits kicked in right away. They were so understanding and supportive through the surgery, although I insisted on coming back to work after only taking a long weekend to recover. 
Unfortunately, I struggled to figure out what exactly I was supposed to be doing at the new job. Though the people and the mission were great, I needed more structure. This frustrated my supervisor, and I felt the tension. I was also the only person in my “department” and so I spent most of my time at work alone with a phone and a computer –which is just about the last thing I need, as a bona fide “people person.” After one particularly challenging day where nothing seemed to go right, I had a private pity party (complete with a good cry) on the way home. This job had been such obvious provision from God. How could it not be right? How could it be so hard? These are the questions I asked him—along with revisiting the question of why He would awaken my dream but not let me realize it. (I had raised enough money through generous supporters to be able to afford to do one song at a special discounted rate, but I had no vision for how I was going to accomplish anything after that…)
But then something changed in my heart. I started thanking God for what He was teaching me through this situation and praising Him for the plans He had for me. And so I started singing:
Today feels like one big mistake; everything I do seems to come out wrong
But today,
(I find a smile on my face… this line came later)
Because I know that today I’m right where I belong!
And, of course, it was pouring down rain. The weather was miserable for the drive home, which had added to my frustration in the moment. I thought about how I had consciously been avoiding the sun since my bout with skin cancer. It was actually doctor’s orders, to help the scar heal as nicely as possible. 
I wanna say thank You for the rainy days , even when I kinda miss the sun
A flower never grows if the sun is all it knows
What is easy’s not enough
I wanna thank you for the rainy days!

If you’ve heard the song or read the lyrics from last week’s post, you’ll see that I wrote the second verse first. That happens a LOT! I think the reason is because songs are all about the message for me, and the second verse is usually the most content-rich. You have to set the stage in the first verse, so you don’t always get to say much. But I had a lot more to say! Not only am I thankful for today, knowing that God has me in the palm of His hand, but I’m also thankful for yesterday - I started thinking about that little sing-song phrase “rain, rain, go away; come again another day” and it took me to:
Yesterday’s troubles JUST WON’T go away; clouds are hangin’ low
But they can’t keep me down for long!
Because yesterday doesn’t have a hold on me – It can’t change what I believe
It can’t hold back my song.

I played this song for days or weeks before I came up with the bridge. While I wanted it to be a happy, upbeat song – I feel like you have to acknowledge the struggle because we all have them. And that’s where I started with this song. So I wrote:
There are times when I struggle to believe
That anything of worth could grow
From such a tiny seed.
But the water’s what I need…

You know what’s really cool (and annoying) about writing a song like “For The Rainy Days” and sharing it with people? When I get down on life’s circumstances, if I don’t throw that line back at myself, someone else usually will! Yes, it can be annoying in the moment. But if I can learn to be thankful even in the middle of the hard times – choosing to seek out the good that God has purposed through them – not only does it bring glory to God, but it helps me to choose joy. I find that I actually AM thankful for the rainy days.  

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

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