etude // dissonance and an ecclesiastes 3 heart

Hey y’all!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter! I don’t know about you guys, but this was one of the most powerful Easters I’ve ever had. I cried a lot, and while that doesn’t say much lol guys she’s crying again what a surprise, I think we are all just going through it right now. I don’t have anything figured out right now, and I think that that’s okay. This time, both Easter and otherwise, is driving me to lean closer in to God.

And as I think Steven Furtick said this Sunday on their livestreamed Easter service (it was fantastic btw), “This is just the beginning of the Easter season. We celebrate, but this is just the beginning. Don’t limit it to one day.” Something to that effect. I choose to live in the Easter mindset right now, because honestly I just need some good news. There is too much going around to be focusing on the bad stuff. There is no point. Look up.

One of my favorite things right now has been my “schtüdyingg” playlist. Yes, that is the title. It has the entirety of the Anne With An E soundtrack, Tolkien soundtrack, several songs from the Finding Nemo soundtrack, and a LOT of classical pieces. My favorites are from composers such as Satie, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.

All of these classic pieces are just lovely to listen to while doing anything that I need to focus on. Hence the title. But perhaps my favorite is Etudes Op. 10: No. 3 in E major by Frédéric Chopin. (sorry, Gnossienne no.2) Apparently, Chopin was quoted to have said that this was his most beautiful melody. I believe him.

I think it’s most beautiful to me because it doesn’t stay pretty and serene. Don’t get me wrong, I love that kind of composition. But at the same time, what is music if there is no difference in what you play? About two minutes into the song, Chopin throws in a whole bunch of dissonant chords and basically plays the entire piano, quickly returning to the original demure melody from the beginning.

Now why do I bring this up? Do I just love music? Do I have an analogy for this piece? Yes and yes. You bet your COVID-19 quarantine mask I do.

I believe that there is meaning in everything. I believe that Chopin in his Etudes that he captured a wide range of human emotion. There is beauty in a piano piece, but there is even more beauty in knowing that we as humans have the ability to feel through the piano piece. We are God’s magnum opus; it’s only right that we should live through someone else’s.

Here’s the thing. Sometimes we have to go through the dissonance before we get to the calm again. It sucks big time, but this is how life works. We know and trust God, putting our hope not in things on earth (because that never works), and hold onto the promises that He has made.

There have been many “dissonant” times in my life. My mom and I were recently looking at photos from a few years ago, and after a while, it hurt. I went through some STUFF in 2015/2016. It changed me through that process, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it, but I wouldn’t live through it again for anything you could do or pay me. There is no way around it; it downright stunk.

But here I am, I am still breathing. I am better, and I am whole. God calls me safe, and I believe him. I made it to the “calm” section of the etude once more.

However, right now, things are kind of in a dissonant state. They haven’t reached 2016 levels yet for me, but I have been really sad the past couple of days. No, sad isn’t the right word. I’m not sad. I just don’t like change. And hey, this is a season of change.

One of my friends is leaving her nursing job and will be heading to the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 for ten weeks. That’s really hard for me to take in. I want things to stay the same. Even though there is so much changing, so much dissonance, I still choose to plant myself in God’s grace.

With everything the media has been throwing at us, it’s hard to remember that God has seen so much worse. Millions of horrifyingly awful things have happened each day, and that isn’t even counting the thousands of years prior to our time on earth. The black plague, the crusades, the two World Wars, not to mention the constant persecution of Christians around the world.

And yet, no matter the atrocities, He is Adonai El Roi (The God who sees me). He is Sar Shalom (the Prince of Peace). He is glorious beyond what we could ever come up with. He holds time in His hands, and because of that, I know I will be okay.

A passage I think really fits this season is Ecclesiastes 3. It’s one those of us who have been around church people for most of our lives know well.

There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; … a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; …

He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end… I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4-5, 11, 14, (HCSB)

I made that last sentence bold. God works so that we will be in awe of Him. If there were coffee shops still open, I would take any one of you lovely readers to get a beverage of your choice (I’d get a honey lavender latte), and I could tell you of all of the amazing things that my Abba Father has done in my life. It’s an understatement to say that I am in awe of Him.

In times like these, I ask you to remember how far you have come. What has the Lord done for you? He is worthy of our praise, and personally, I stay sane when I talk to Him about everything. I encourage you to do the same.

Recently, it was Passover. If you don’t remember fully, Passover is a Jewish holiday, celebrating what God did for the Israelites in the Exodus. They were slaves, and He got them a Greyhound Bus out Egypt (not really but kinda). Crazy things went down, and it took a series of miracles. Rivers turned to blood, the sky went dark for three days, livestock and people alike were killed; but the Lord kept his promise.

He told them, “Get ready and pack up.” After having them mark their doors with the blood of a lamb, the angel of death passed over the land. Egyptians’ firstborn sons were killed, but the children of Israel were untouched. And so, they left.

I’ve been praying a lot recently that this season would pass us over. I actually even wrote a song about it. Yet even in the midst of this, I know God is so good. So in the middle of the crazy, I pray for revival of the Christians, that we wouldn’t cower away from the time God has given us to stand up and shine. I pray for our leaders and the choices they have to make. I pray that people would be drawn to the Lord because there are situations that I’ve read about that it is impossible not to see Him in the middle of. He is the great provider; He is the redeemer.

There is nothing that this world can throw at me that could convince me otherwise.

So while we wait at home, I encourage you to wash your hands and keep your distance because yep social distancinggggg, but also to remember who holds your heart. You are safe. Again, listen to your authorities but don’t watch the news. There is nothing but fear in the headlines.

I pray blessings and healing around you and your families. In this time of dissonance, I encourage you to continue to live boldly and pray boldly. One of the best things anybody’s ever told me is to “pray bold prayers.”

I’m always here if you have any prayer requests, so don’t be afraid to leave those in the comments! 🙂

I love you all and wash. your. hands. ❤ Stay safe, friends!!

~m

12 thoughts on “etude // dissonance and an ecclesiastes 3 heart

  1. Thank you so much for sharing!

    I love your analogy with Chopin’s dissonance piece! It is so fitting for this time of life we’re in now, and also for life in general. There have been plenty of times in my life I’ve felt dissonance and it’s so refreshing to know that God’s is turning it into a beautiful composition.

    Also, I like how you brought up those verses in Ecclesiastes. They are very fitting verses for this time as well. (After all, it does say “a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing”… That kind of speaks to social distancing, in a way! ;P )

    Stay safe and be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maddy this is a beautiful post. Also you know I played that Etude right? Like. For CM and my graduation recital. I PLAYED that etude man and those two pages in the middle? Can confirm they suck XD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay I absolutely love this. Thank you for sharing your heart here, and it’s such an encouragement to know that we are safe and in God’s hands.

    But I just wanted to let you know, I loooovvveee your posts so so much, and they always encourage my heart, even though I normally don’t comment, know that I read them and appreciate them.

    Liked by 1 person

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