As I sit in my chair, enjoying a relaxing day, listening to Alexander Borodin’s ‘String Quartet No. 2,’ I can’t help but think about how beautiful classical music is. It is, after all, my most favorite music. I listen to it whether I’m sad, angry, lonely, happy, or troubled, and it always seems to leave me feeling a little better.
Classical music has been there for me since the days when my innocence was robbed from me. The mysterious heart of God reached out to me in the form of music- reassuring me I wasn’t alone and that I wasn’t forgotten even through those dark days. I wasn’t able to see this before, but throughout the last several years, I’m more and more convinced that I was saved through music.
This then brings me back to one of the people whose music has a lot to do with the woman I am today- Josh Groban. I remember hearing about Josh Groban when I was around 11 maybe 12 years old. I’ll never forget hearing his beautiful voice via the television screen as he sang ‘You Raise Me Up.’ I had heard many beautiful voices growing up, but THIS particular voice sounded like the voice of an angel. I was instantly hooked to Josh Groban’s music.
Coincidentally enough, his music showed up at a time when trouble started.
I was doing poorly in school due to loneliness, depression, and problems at home. My parents had already gone through a divorce, and that divorce didn’t pass without trouble. And a few years after the divorce was settled, even more trouble showed up- I was sexually abused.
My feelings and thoughts were tormented. I was confused and didn’t understand what was happening, and all I wanted was to be rescued even though I didn’t know how to call out for help. I spent my days locked up in my room, too depressed to come out or even engage with my family, who were unaware nor understood what was happening to me.
(I later discovered that many families, especially parents, within the hispanic community had little to no knowledge in caring for their child’s safety and well being, especially when they became victims of abuse, and either threw the fault onto their children for what happened or quickly tried to move on from the crime that took place).
During that particular time, I ran to music to keep the troubles out of my head.
Yet, I discovered that as much as I liked hip-hop and R&B, it didn’t quite offer me the inner peace I needed. I then turned my attention to the music of Josh Groban.
I spent my days alone, but his music brought me the comfort that I sought. Even in the midst of chaos, his music made me feel safe. In a sense, it brought me hope that things wouldn’t always be the way that they were at that moment in time. His music inspired me to dream of a better life and caused me to believe that I was meant for greater things.
My circumstances didn’t change overnight and I didn’t start seeing my dreams come true within 2 nor even 5 years. At one point I thought that dreaming big was not meant for a girl of my status or reputation. I felt that because of the abuse I had suffered and the poor choices I’d made as a result of it, I was not meant to enjoy a better life and go after the dreams in my heart.
The funny part was that in the midst of the pain and chaos, I’d prayed in my heart that I might meet Josh Groban one day.
10 years pass… by this time, I have already begun living out my dreams. I had already starting going after those precious things I had held in my heart for so long. I started meeting people who I had never, in my wildest dreams, thought i’d end up meeting- Benicio Del Torro, Zulay Henao, Flex Alexander, Oliver Stone… just to name a few- and yet… there was still one person I had not yet met and desired to meet with all my heart.
Pursuing and living my dreams gave me the confidence to once again pray for the opportunity to meet Josh. If I was ever timid and too scared to ask God for such a request before, I wasn’t anymore even though I wondered how much longer I’d have to wait.
Well, out of the blue, a beautiful friend of mine reached out to me and shared an event on my Facebook page- a meet and greet with Josh Groban…
I’m sure you can imagine the excitement, the doubt, and the happiness I felt when I discovered that this could be my BIG chance to finally meet the man who had saved me years before. This news seemed too good to be true but I got right to work to secure my spot at the meet and greet.
I’d always thought I’d end up either having to meet Josh Groban backstage at one of his concerts (and pay an exorbitant amount of money to do so) or fighting through a crowd of folks to get a whiff of his cologne out on the Hollywood streets somewhere, but this wasn’t the case, which is why I wondered if this was really, FINALLY happening.
Even as I arrived (super early) at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore where Josh Groban would be, fighting through crowds, buses, subways, and the streets of L.A. with a confusing GPS, I still doubted. ’10 years,’ I thought, ’10 years and I’m finally meeting him? Is this really happening? What if something goes wrong? What if the line closes before I meet him? What if he is not feeling in the mood to listen to anyone nor their stories? Or what if this bookstore blows up and security has to escort Josh Groban out before I get the chance to meet him finally?!?!’
Doubt has a way of playing with your mind.
Sometimes your mind keeps you from believing that good things are going to happen. It can play tricks on you in many ways that make you believe that what you’re thinking is true, even though you have the power to challenge it.
Finally, for what seemed an eternity, Josh shows up.
I’m standing in line waiting for my turn to meet him, trying hard to exercise patience with 2 children who are screaming and misbehaving while they are in line with their mother, who is also meeting Josh. ‘Dear Jesus,’ I thought, ‘if a bomb doesn’t send Josh running, these kids surely will.’ I pray that thought doesn’t become a reality and continue waiting patiently. I’m finally at the front of the line. I hand my iPhone to a security guard who casually takes a pic of me as I waited…
If this doesn’t look like excitement to you, then I don’t know what is…
The security guard laughed, and then finally gave me the ok to approach Josh Groban…
As I made my way over to Josh, I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks. I looked like a mess but I didn’t care.
‘Josh. Your music saved my life. I’d listen to it when I was experiencing sexual abuse.’
And Josh? Well, he was a kind gentleman.
Everything during that meet and greet was just what I had hoped and dreamed for… and it didn’t end there. I was later featured in Josh Groban’s ‘Stages Album Signing at Barnes & Noble, L.A.’ YouTube video.
You might’ve expected me to take a “professional” pic with Josh Groban, but after waiting 10 years for this dream to come true, I wasn’t taking that option.
I left that Barnes & Noble store dazed, in disbelief, excited, and all smiles.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Would I do it again. Definitely.
I not only got to cross this event off of my bucket list, I got the privilege to watch God use unexpected events, amazing people, and strange timing to make this dream a reality. Does this mean that my faith in God never experiences doubt? Of course not.
My faith in God increased, and it strengthened me for other events that took place not too long after my meet and greet with Josh, but I still have doubts. Yet, even when I do, I can at least look back and think of this day, and then remind myself that good things take time to unfold.
What about you? Is there a dream in your heart that you have abandoned because of circumstances, doubt, fear, or maybe poor choices? Have you been waiting such a long time to see something that you’ve wished or prayed for to come true?
And if I told you to hang on and wait or to go and make that dream a reality, what would you think?
While I may not understand what kind of situation you may be in right now, I’d like to leave you with two quotes that have helped me through the hard times. I also encourage you to find something that will keep you going when you think about doubting or giving up hope in yourself or in your dreams.
Never, never, never give up!’- Winston Churchill
‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’-Apostle Paul, Galatians 6:9