I sang at Carnegie Hall.

So much has happened in the past week and a half.

But one of the biggest moments of my life so far was a sentence I still can’t believe I can say.

I sang at Carnegie Hall with one of my childhood heroes, Steven Curtis Chapman! I sang in his choir of 280 and watched as my childhood hero was given an amazing gift by God while, at the same time, I was given several amazing gifts by God.

There are no words to really describe how amazing and wonderful this event was. God showed up and He definitely worked in the lives of every single person in attendance. I’ve heard so much from so many people who were there and, again, it’s beyond words.

I can’t tell you how the concert sounded because, well, I was right behind the drummer and French horn and couldn’t hear much but the audience has said it was absolutely amazing.

Here’s the thing: I actually don’t care how we sounded.

Yes. You read that right. I don’t care that much how we all sounded singing at Carnegie Hall. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad we sounded great, but what God did in Stern Auditorium was even more awesome.

Randomly, SCC broke into “Bless The Lord” (off script) and there were 2500 voices singing worship to God. It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. In that moment I didn’t care about my childhood hero standing 20′ from me or the fact that I was on stage or the fact that we were in Carnegie Hall in front of a sold out stern auditorium. In that moment I closed my eyes and worshipped and thanked my God for the blessing of being there and for showing me that He is good.

A lot has gone “wrong” in my life lately and having this experience of the entire weekend and the performance and the special moments — it’s like my heart just knew God was saying “I AM GOOD! SEE it. Believe it. And, kid, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! I’ve got so much more in store for you.”

I’m not saying I’ll ever be famous nor will I ever be some beyond amazing musician or anything like that. But I am saying that God gave me an opportunity that was impossible without Him. That opportunity was an experience of a lifetime and that made me realize some things that, looking back, I can see God has been trying to show me for awhile.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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I met my childhood hero tonight.

So, despite my hiatus, I wanted to stop by and tell everyone about this.

I met my childhood hero tonight and, actually, talked and joked with him through the evening. For anyone who has ever listened to Christian music in the past 30 years — you know him. He’s THE man. Steven Curtis Chapman.

I already had met his sons (Caleb and Will) several times and I was pretty excited to see them again. We’ve chatted at their different shows I’ve been to. Tonight, though, everything was totally cool and different. It was really amazing.

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From left to right: Caleb, me, Steven and Will Franklin Chapman.

So. Yeah. That’s my update.

Oh.

And I’ll be in the choir for SCC’s Carnegie Hall show on Feb 8th.

Yes, that is this Saturday. Yes I am freaking out.

I only got my sheet music about 3 weeks ago, so, if I have barely been around — THAT IS WHY.

Sorry about that.

- PreMedGirl

Are they actually judging me?

Many people today often feel emotionally trapped by feelings of being judged. All too often people get self conscious and feel as though their life is under a microscope. In some cases, this can even cause people to have a low opinion of themselves.

It’s easy to feel as though everyone is judging you. Just one look through your twitter stream or facebook feed and you’ll see people spewing hatred about how someone else is acting. Makes you wonder what people REALLY think about you, doesn’t it?

Often, though, that feeling doesn’t come because people are actually judging us. It comes because we THINK they are. That doesn’t always mean they are. We begin to feel as though we have to act a certain way to be accepted so we put all this pressure on ourselves and begin to feel trapped.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why?

We lack confidence. It’s a universal need to want to feel accepted but what we really need to do is accept ourselves.

I encourage anyone who is going through this to find the beauty in themselves. Recognize the good things and understand that some of the things that make others think you’re flawed are not always bad things.

PS: It’s very easy for people to get the wrong impression of you. If people are actually judging you then THEY are the ones in the wrong. They often don’t have enough information to come to the right conclusion so even if you are being judged – let them judge. They’re probably wrong anyway. If you know they’re wrong then don’t let it bother you. Don’t change the way you act to prove them wrong.

Open Letter to Taylor Swift

So this is completely random and off topic but it was bouncing around in my head today. I’ll start by saying I love Taylor Swift but I am concerned with the messages shes bought into and is thus reciprocating.

Taylor Swift writes about love like she knows what its like and its a fairytale but somehow every breakup ends up on an album with strong negative emotions.

She hasnt found true love (yet). The way she writes the love songs makes it clear that shes built it up in her head to be this magical always happy thing. Real love HAS that, at times, but real love is not a never-ending state of bliss.

Sadly, I think she’s also completely building up each guy she dates in her head as they’re dating and that is where these STRONG emotions after 2 months of dating comes from. Many girls do it but dont realize it.

She’s set herself up for disappointment and is taking young girls with her.

But who can blame her when this is what Disney and Nicholas Sparks has taught us? I certainly don’t blame her. I doubt she’s aware of it.

Like I said, real love is NOT a never-ending bliss bubble.

It’s more like a roller coaster with your best friend where there are no handlebars and faulty seatbelts. You hold on to each others hands and pray to God.
Thing is, real love is hard work. Two people who have emotions, fears, morals, opinions and points of view that don’t match perfectly (thats every 2 people!) are GOING to have rough patches. Some things you can’t fix overnight. Some choices are hard.

The essence of true love is a deep appreciation, love and respect for your best friend. You want the best for them and while they know how to frustrate the CRAP out of – you are committed to making it work NO MATTER how hard it gets. It will get hard. Sometimes it feels more like a decision than an emotion. That’s okay.

If you can be mature enough to not storm out when things get hard then you might make it. If you don’t let yourself find reasons to leave when you’re bored or its hard or not perfect – you’ll make it.

And it will be worth it.

So girls, I guess, here’s my short version of mistakes to avoid:
Don’t build him up in your head.
Don’t build up what it feels like to be in love in your head.
Don’t think he will change too drastically. Be realistic.
If he cheats – walk out. No exceptions.
Don’t be so serious about everything needing to be perfect. Or classy. Or traditional. Or whatever. Go with it – so long as it’s clearly not an unhealthy relatipnship.
Don’t be stupid or blind. If everyone is telling you something – dont assume they’re “jealous” – Listen.
Don’t be petty.
Be willing to compromise on things that aren’t vital.
If he’s pushing for more from you physically – walk out. No exceptions. If he really loves you he won’t care. He’ll be willing to wait.

Lastly:
In every circumstance, both sides need to see the other ones side and listen to their feelings about whatever issue. Find a compromise if its necessary. (Sometimes just airing and respecting each others feelings is all that’s needed.)

Love is not a fairytale. Its not perfect. It’s not happily ever after. It IS infinitely rewarding and beyond worth it. It is great.

Just….beware of thinking you’ll be in a bliss bubble the whole time.

BC

Disclaimer: Bliss bubbles happen and can last for awhile but something will pop it and you have to work together to get it back. But you’ll get it back if you stick it out!

Invisible Illness: A call for empathy!

Before my battle with Fibromyalgia started, I would not have believed it was a real condition. From what it looks like to people on the outside: its easy to see how people could think it’s something that’s more likely to be an exaggeration of minor pain.

I can also understand the doctors side of this who saw it before we had the research we do today.
They’re taught to run tests, analyze the results and diagnose from there. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing that if you don’t see something: there’s nothing to see. That’s just not true.

We don’t know everything about medicine and we don’t know everything about the body. Some doctors seem to forget this along the way and perhaps forget how to be understanding and see that these patients aren’t complaining for no reason.

It’s not for attention; this isn’t Münchausen’s Syndrome (which, by the way, isn’t all that common).
These are sick people who are confused and frustrated with no one understanding them. I’ve talked to fellow FM patients who have been told the likes of “it’s all in your head”, “just ignore it” and ”Stop being a baby.”
You may think that doctors and caregivers have a good reason for saying things like this – they don’t. Some just don’t WANT to believe that the patient is sick. I’ve been through it myself.

Some go so far into their denial that every sickness the patient has is automatically nothing. One doc was remiss in drawing a WBC for me because he believed I wasn’t sick at all once I told him I have FM. He blamed my trouble breathing on asthma and really didn’t do anything. One week later I was in the ER unable to breathe with severe asthmatic bronchitis with a high WBC. I had no more asthma meds at home. They had me on a nebulizer for an hour (about 4 treatments). After finally getting the right treatment I was stunned with the thought that if he’d just listened – that ER trip would have never happened.

They don’t see or feel the pain that it’s giving the patient and can’t understand the anxiety, depression and myriad of other symptoms that come along with it.
As a person living in a body that constantly fights her, I can see it. I can feel it and I can empathize with it. What people don’t understand is that this is a very real and debilitating condition and those people with it have to live inside it every day…and it sucks.

It hurts, it’s stressful and uncomfortable and frustrating when you can’t do what you’d like to do because of it.
As I sit writing this, I’m laying on a heating pad with pain in my back, left arm, neck and a very slight migraine. It’s not comfortable to be blogging right now – and that’s not exactly something that takes a lot of effort to do. I’m not being a baby – I’m sitting here typing. I’m being productive, but what if my pain was worse? What if today wan’t a “good day?”

Living with fibromyalgia is hard . It’s even harder when the people around you can’t understand why you can’t do certain things. It’s even worse when you have no support system.

Fibromyalgia is real and it affects as many as 5 million Americans today. Before you think you know everything or that you “know better” than these patients – take a look around.
Do you know any of these people?

How about the many who go undiagnosed?

Better yet, take a look inside. If your body hurt and no one believed you, how would you feel?

If anyone would like more information on Fibromyalgia, click here.

Dating Don’ts for Ladies

Ladies in the dating scene:
This is based on a pattern of dating I have noticed since being in NYC. I’m very thankful I never had to go through all this, honestly. But here are some blunt, bold face truths about what some of the women are doing to ruin relationships.

• If you bounce from relationship to relationship while none of them last more than 6 months – reevaluate what you’re doing in these relationships.

• If you’re ready to do anything for him after a month – you don’t know what love is at all and if all your relationships end by guys just pulling away then maybe you should stop attempting to FFW through the courtship.

•If you “love” him after 1 (2, 3) months – you need to figure out what love really is. You don’t know anybody after a month (or 2 or 6 or 10). Additionally, if you fall “in love” twice or more a year then I doubt at all that you’re feeling anything other than the new-boyfriend/girlfriend endorphins.

• If you “love” every guy before 6 months is up then you need to consider that maybe the reason things go wrong is that you build them up in your head, fall in love, and don’t like it when the real man doesn’t match the man in your head. Don’t do this. It’ll never work.

• If you do the last 3 steps and every relationship goes bad before 1 year and its never you who breaks it off – maybe consider you’re rushing through the dating steps and attempting to settle yourself into the role of wife before 6 months has even come and gone. That’s bound to make a man run away because it feels like you’re trapping him.

Disclaimer: While it may be based on a common pattern in dating, it isn’t designed after any one person. If you know me and feel like this is about you, then maybe you’re in this category. I didn’t run everyone I know through my head when writing this.

Where have I been, you ask?

I’m so sorry for my hiatus! I’ve spent the past 4 months on a sort-of medical vacation. Hold on, fellow premeds — before you get too excited — this didn’t involve any training. Unfortunately, I was the patient. 

And while the extended hiatus due to a “medical vaction” sounds like a wishy washy way to say I went to rehab – I didn’t. I went home to stay with my folks because I could get better care there than where I currently live. You’d think in a city full of doctors I wouldn’t have such a problem…you’d assume wrong. Misdiagnosis’ and lack of communication between doctors and my condition all contributed to make it completely impossible to get answers here…and when you’re dealing with seizures — that’s all you want is answers. So it was part a medical trip and part a vacation where I got to spend some time with my family. :) It was great on both accounts. We got answers (even got the seizures under control!) and I had a good time with everybody back home.

So, no, I haven’t been in rehab or just neglecting my blog. I was on vacation and having some medical stuff looked at while i was there. :)

 

For those of you wondering, this is now my new blog. Posts will (hopefully) be far more frequent but unfortunately all my old stuff is gone. I may post as many of them as I can here but for now, this is what I got. I’ll be posting again in the next week or so about some things that have been running through my mind lately.

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