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You may have read my story; you may have heard my story in a concert setting.  If so, then you know that during my desert experience I heard God calling me to leave my legal practice to live a life in ministry through music.  But what you may not know is that my trip into the desert originated with one question from me to God: "Are you calling me into the chaplaincy?"  Truly, I thought I would be leaving the desert and entering seminary, because my heart felt tugged toward the chaplaincy.  Yet, I made a promise that I would go into the desert open and ready to receive God's Word for me; not go with preconceived notions of what God's response would be.  So, I asked the question, and I waited.  Not long after that, I received an answer: "Not Now."  Further desert waiting yielded the direction of God's next step for me, and you know that part of the story... where I gave up my dog, sold my house, sold my car, quit my job, taught myself guitar, started composing songs, and hit the road to share God's word through music.

 

The road experience has grown me spiritually in so many ways, and it has opened my eyes to God's hand in excess of my wildest imagination.  Folks have generously shared with me how, through hearing my music --the music God gave me--, they were able to find a moment of peace, or the Word they were seeking, or the rest they yearned for, or the means to comfort a loved one, or the courage to trust God that much more fully.  The road experience led me to my husband and the new life we're now building together.  The road experience has given me strength and reason not to fear when life deals a frightening blow.

 

So, it was about nine months ago that I was walking through our local hospital, and I heard the Word: "Okay, Now."  But, you see, now the way was made clear for me through the journey I had been on since the desert.  It wasn't just about the chaplaincy.  It was about the music and the chaplaincy.  I had to experience these last three years to get to this point. 

 

Over these last nine months (besides getting married and fleeing a major hurricane), I have been engrossed in study of the use of music to create a healing and compassionate environment.  Just like chaplaincy is a ministry of presence, the use of music in a healing setting is a way of changing the present, even if for just a short time, to be about something other than tubes and sterile walls and treatments and fear and uncertainty.  The wheels are slowly beginning to turn and I sense it's happening.  Before long, from the bedsides and waiting rooms and hall ways in the hospital will come the sounds of healing music from guitars and harps and soothing voices.

 

I will forever need reminding that God's timeline is not my timeline... and that God is NEVER late.  But I also will remember that God is true to his word for us: that God will provide all that we need, when we need it, if only we will go where God sends us. My word of encouragement to you is a simple one.  It's a word from Christ: "Seek, and you will find; Ask, and you will receive; Knock, and the door will open to you."  Friends, contrary to what we may believe, we truly cannot find our own paths, answer our own questions, open our own doors.  The way becomes known through waiting and listening and trusting that God will give the Word for us, at that very moment we need it. 

 

Grace and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  

~~Jennifer

4/20/06

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