From our Music Therapy Intern…

Monday morning came earlier than I hoped it would. The weekend was simply not restful enough and I did not have the energy or emotional reserve to start another busy week. I rushed from bed to the shower, haphazardly packed my lunch, grabbed armfuls of internship supplies, and flopped into the car. I zipped down the back roads until I got to the highway and began to maneuver through traffic as I hurried towards Jackson. Many mornings begin with this big push to get to HGMTS, and I must admit, an hour and a half of pure panic is not a great way to start the day.

As I drove, still in the dark of the winter morning, tears began to stream my face. I didn’t want to be leaving home, leaving my husband, for another early morning and late return. My evenings at home and weekends off are beginning to be consumed with internship work as well. It is difficult to feel like I can be present while spending time with my friends and family, as I am constantly thinking about the work that needs to get done. I have had a hard time swallowing this pill of reality recently, as I refuel by being able to take a true sabbath with people I love.

It has been months since I have made regular time to read my Bible and exercise in the morning; two things which give me confidence and joy in life. I have the Bible app on my phone, however, and I receive the verse of the day each morning at 7:30am. Most often I am in the car when the verse is sent to me, and I glance quickly at the notification on my screen as it’s mounted on my dashboard.

This past Monday morning, as I cried out in my car, I felt my heart longing for affirmation from the Lord. For months now, I have been observed, supervised, critiqued, and given feedback on my performance. Although all of these things are helpful and building me into a professional music therapist, I sometimes feel as though I can never measure up. Under constant scrutiny, I tread lightly and fear potential failure or embarrassment. I began to grow weary as it seemed that Thanksgiving break could not come quick enough, and my heart was in need of a break. I needed to hear some type of affirmation from my Heavenly Father.

I noticed that it was 7:20am which meant that I would be hearing directly from the Word in about ten minutes. I decided to commit that time to the Lord and I spent ten minutes praying that He would speak through the verse that day. I needed to hear that I was doing the right thing. I needed to hear that this was all worth it. I needed to hear that I was loved and adored. I needed to hear that I was supported. I needed to hear that my efforts, energy, time, gas money, and emotions were all being spent with purpose.

Feeling weak, I said “Amen” and caught my breath as my phone lit up…

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

– 2 Corinthians 12:9

In my moment of surrender, the Lord responded. He held me in His hand and let me know that He saw me, heard me, and loved me. He put my weakness in perspective and reminded me that I can never be perfect. In fact, my imperfections merely remind me that I serve a God who is perfect, and has power over my life.

Years ago, I heard the Lord speak “music therapy” over me, and I followed His command. Although I may feel discouraged or overwhelmed at many points during this internship, I should never allow myself to be overcome with gloom, for I know that God has plans for me and He has placed me here at HGMTS in this time for a reason that is larger than I’ll ever know. His plans are perfect, and His plans are incomprehensible to the human heart. I can only trust and continue to seek growth, learning, and balance. This Monday was a good reminder, however, that I cannot simply depend on myself for strength and perseverance. I must always look towards the one who provides and cares deeply enough to send me a personal message on a random Monday morning.

Hannah Avery is our very first Music Therapy Intern here at Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services. Stay tuned for her blog posts as she goes (and grows) through her music therapy internship.