I'm Glad I Didn't Get What I Wanted

Growing up, none of us took music lessons. First of all none of us were really all that interested, and secondly up where we lived in southern New Hampshire nobody asked prices that we could afford. Even when we moved down here, the expense of lessons compared to the interest level among us children was not worth it!
  I, however, had been sawing away(if I may use the term myself!) at the violin since I was twelve, attaining only mediocrity in that area but I prayed hard that the Lord would send me a violin teacher whose rates I could afford.  Violin was my focus. As for the piano I looked down upon it as an instrument too common for me to bother with, after all anybody could learn to play the piano, but I had a musical ear, I could learn with precision any any instrument I chose; in my mind, piano was for those who couldn't learn to play any thing else! Besides, it didn't touch my heart strings the way the violin, viola and cello did; the bowed stringed instruments were, to me, the only option. Recorder I had learned, certainly, but  I never enjoyed playing the woodwinds much either.
 Then, about two and a half years ago, when I was a little over fifteen. We received a phone call from the mother of a young lady who was very talented on the...Piano... she wanted to start teaching and was wondering if she could practice on us for a very reduced rate. An opportunity? Yes, but not the one I had been praying for! Outwardly it was, "Yes, this is so exciting, I can't wait!"  inside, Thanks Lord, but I really didn't want  the piano, grumble, grumble, would it have been any harder to make it the violin? Now I'll have to be like all those other wanna-be musicians who can only claim the piano as their right to being a musician!  Honestly, I was that ungrateful! I wouldn't even admit it to myself but that was what really went through my hear when I received this first gift from God. It turned out that not only was this young lady a really talented player, she was extremely gifted in her teaching and Elliot and I (who were the ones taking the lessons)  learned fast! Still I was not content inside myself, until...I started meeting other musicians, talented ones, people to whom I looked up to and respected, people who had won competitions, played in orchestras and ensembles, all through their skill on that one low instrument called the "Piano" !  As the weeks passed and the lessons got increasingly more difficult, I began to see that it was not such a "no-good" instrument after all! I began to get frustrated with my progress, I had gone into it with the smug idea that it was an instrument for dummies...surely I could learn it too! 
                       Before I go any further, I want to assure all you who have made playing the piano your main musical focus, that I no longer think any such thing! :)

Then, after the course of a year the rates went up and we had only until the end of the season for lessons as we could no longer afford the new price. Suddenly, I knew how much I loved piano lessons. I realized I had actually become attached to the instrument and wanted to excel at it; even more, I suddenly ceased caring so much whether I never got to learn another instrument. If I could only learn to play one instrument well, even the despised piano, I could hold up my face without shame among the ranks of those who are privileged to call themselves musicians!
  It was then that I realized the key:
                Any lessons were a blessing! Anyone who would teach me to play any thing at a price we could afford was a Godsend!
 Shortly afterwards I "found out" that a good friend of mine was teaching piano lessons at a rate I could afford and took lessons from her for a year. And so I progressed, thanking God for each moment He had given me to excel at the instrument He had chosen for me; it hadn't been my idea, but He knew better as I began to discover!
 I will list below a few benefits of playing the piano:

 1. Almost everybody has a piano in his house; you can use your skill where ever you go!

 2. No other instrument can really play more than one part except the harp and even that is not quite the same - thus, people want to sing, you can now be an accompanist and help keep every one on the right note!

 3. Almost everyone who likes music likes the sound of the piano. I've never met anyone who doesn't; whereas I have met those who don't care for the violin and another who didn't like the brass instruments- I, personally don't care for percussion by itself!

 4. You can accompany yourself! I've tried singing with my fiddle, it really doesn't work, and as for singing with your woodwind or brass instrument - you won't have much success ;) But you can play the piano and sing at the same time with no problem; I even watched a lady carry on a conversation with a friend while playing a very lovely hymn!

Also, a personal benefit I discovered very early on, is the fact that my Grandparents owned a seven foot Steinway Grand, (now officially my property!) and when they used to live next door to us they really enjoyed it when I would come over and play for them; they didn't mind my mistakes and being rather lonely, both enjoyed my visit and having the quiet dispelled for a bit! I could use my piano skills, poor though they were at the time, to bless my grand parents!
   At the beginning of this year, the Lord brought all my prayers to fruition by granting me an excellent pair of violin teachers whose price I could afford after years of saving every penny I got! They are a wonderful husband and wife team who have taught together for years and I have been blessed by seeing my skill on my still favorite, though not only, instrument increase dramatically! I could only afford a half hour lesson, but they enjoy teaching and, just "because", they have started giving me forty-five minute lessons for the price of a half-hour!
 I have recently been getting piano lessons for practically free along with most of my brothers for a long time piano teacher, who also happens to be our choir master, in exchange for Elliot and I doing a few chores for him! Another gift from my Lord!

 Through all of this the Lord has blessed us incredibly through these generous people and I cannot cease to marvel at His goodness!  Recently, in my study of the book of Jonah, I have been reminded that often God shows his love for us by not giving us what we want, and  His disfavor by giving one everything he asks for!  Now as I look back, and see all the lessons of patience, forbearance and love for others that He has taught me through having to wait! I wouldn't trade it for all the gold in the Spanish mines!
          How about you all, have you ever had to wait for something, or prayed for one thing and gotten something else?  I would love to hear how the Lord has worked through that!


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