I will never forget last Wednesday.
That evening, I got to see one of my favorite musical duos, JOHNNYSWIM, do their thang – provide listeners deep, lyrical soul and passion, engage the audience with music that reaches a multitude of hearts, exceptional musicality, and bathe the entire show with an underlying humility and carefreeness that was so refreshing to see and experience.
I was stoked to go to this particular show ’cause a) it was for the Christmas EP – “A Johnnyswim Christmas,” b) I knew it was going to be a sing-a-long (I LOVE SING-A-LONGS), and c) I had a little gift to give to Amanda, Abner, and Babyswim!
And this, my friends, is where it all starts.
On Monday, it dawned on me that I’d get another chance to see, and possibly talk to, Amanda and Abner (I’d gone to one of their previous concerts at the Kessler Theater with my friend, Kelsey and had a one-on-one meet and greet experience), and with the fresh announcement of their pregnancy, I really wanted to make something for them. All day Tuesday, while at work, I brainstormed ideas of what I could write, and even though I had a lot of ideas being filtered in and out, the one that stuck out was the phrase, “…made for such a time as this.” So, with a little doubt + fear, but a lot of excitement, I went to Michael’s to buy some packaging materials and went straight home to work on the print.
The next day, concert day, D-DAY, I woke up with a dream – a dream that reflected my heart’s desire after A + A would receive the print – them sending me a video via IG. As I wiped away the slumber from my eyes and rose from the warm covers, this dream continued to replay over in my mind, so vibrant and vivid, lasting, leaving me hopeful that that could actually happen and feeling a little silly that I had even dreamed that dream.
Well, work flew by (I mean, I am singing and playing with kids all day!), and suddenly, it was time to get pretty and head over to the Granada with some of the best. The ride to Dallas was a little rainy, but still warm with heartfelt conversations with one of my friends, Lais. When we were united with our crew, we went to grab a quick dinner, and that was when I showed them the little gift I had waiting for A+A.
Y’all. I couldn’t even properly eat my dinner ’cause I started getting those dang butterflies in my stomach! hahaha. I was so ridiculous. And actually, to be quite honest, I was simply doin the most all night – actin a fool, crackin jokes, and getting way too excited to get to the concert. I’m like this quite frequently haha.
Anyway, the entire show, from start to finish was so, sooo good. The Roosevelts, an Austin band, opened for JSWIM, and they tore it up! No matter that much of the room was mainly there to get good spots for JSWIM and didn’t care too much for the opener. The Roosevelts showed up and were unashamed to share their music with us, reeling the room in and hyping us up. And then came JOHNNYSWIM!! I hope you all get a chance to listen and to see them live at least once. They are incredible performers and are so down-to-earth. The sing-a-long sections were freakin amazing – the Granada sounded soo good that night. The energy in the room was absolutely electric. And it was so beautiful to see the room sing their songs, as well as Christmas classics.
ugh. Concerts give me the best feels.
Are you tired of reading yet? If you’ve gotten all the way here, I congratulate you! And to reward you, we’re gonna zoom through all the the exciting bits. Here we go!
After the show, Amanda and Abner had a mini meet and greet on the stage. People all over started to make their way to them, and as I stood there, I hesitated to go up – fear and doubt creeped in, telling me, “No, you’ll never make it up there. You wouldn’t be able to reach them at all. There are too many people around. You can always get it to them later.”
And as I turned around, telling my friends that I wasn’t going to go up there, they encouraged me with such ferocity, saying, “Esther!! You have to get up there! You can do it! Go, go, go!” I made my way slowly up, and when I turned around, I saw my friends, right there with me, supporting me down the way. So grateful for them.
Side note: You guys, please surround yourselves with people that will lift you up, push you to be better, and encourage you. They’re the ones that’ll help you become all that you need to be.
When I got down there, I pulled out the envelope, getting ready to hand it to Abner. I was so.nervous!
When I got to about here, Abner took some pictures with the girl in front of me. I thought to myself, “OMGOSH. IT’S ALMOST MY TURN!!!!” But then, he got up and looked as if he was going to leave! So, I shouted out his name and literally thrust the envelope at his face! And this is what happened next…
“Oh my gosh. That’s amazing!” – Abner. eeeeeepp!!!
I was so incredibly happy and grateful that I got it to Abner, ’cause that was the main point! And that may sound silly, but in the past, I’ve allowed fear and doubt to get in the way and hinder me from stepping out and doing things. Fear and doubt have been strongholds that suffocated my heart’s desires, but this time, they were crushed, and I did what I had set out to do! So liberating! And I have to give huge shout-outs to my friends – Aileen, Kim, Lais, and Meagan – for pushing me forward and helping me push past the whispers of fear and doubt creeping in.
But that’s not all.
We went out so that Kim could buy some merch, and when we got outside, I nonchalantly checked my phone, and saw this…
WAT WAT WAT WAT WAT. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
MY DREAM ACTUALLY CAME TRUE!!!
Of course, I started freaking out!! My friends were bewildered and asked me what was going on, and I showed them the screen, and they freaked out too!!! We were running around and laughing and being hysterical! I’m sure people thought we were bona fide crazy. Still laughing from the craziness of the situation, we went back to Aileen’s car and sat quietly to listen in on what A + A had to say (all really kind things) and freaked out every now and then. haha.
After listening and watching the video two times, I was blown away by all that happened, absolutely speechless by God’s goodness. When I woke up that morning, with that dream playing in my head, I had no idea it would actually come true. Part of me dearly wished and desired for it to happen, but a part of me was skeptical. But it did happen. That dream really came true.
And again, my friends pulled through and played such a huge part in making this happen. Initially, the envelope I gave them didn’t have my IG handle on it. I had been wrestling with the idea all day and still hadn’t come to a conclusion at dinner ’cause I thought it was silly. But when I told my friends how I had been thinking about it, they said, “Just do it! You never know! And make sure to point it out somehow so they can see it (;”
Serious kudos to my friends. Seriously.
Not only did I receive a video from them, but as we settled down and had an Instagram break before we left (hahaha. It’s real!), out of nowhere, Amanda showed up! Meagan pointed her out, and without any hesitation, I walked out and got to talk to Amanda!
Which was really crazy, ’cause secretly, I had been hoping that, if there was an intimate meet and greet, I would get the chance to speak to Amanda and connect with her since I had a chance with Abner before. Because I’ve thought of them as my far-off brother and sister (have you ever felt like musicians and artists were like brothers or sisters to you? Is that just me?), I just really wanted to talk to her, like a sister would with another sister. And there it was. That moment, that opportunity appeared out of thin air. And it was sweet.
Every little detail, every little instance about this day was perfect. I mean, I couldn’t have planned for it to be any better. Everything was good. Actually, everything was the best. The way that night’s events unfolded were the best way they could’ve possibly happened. My dream literally came true; I got to have that special moment with Amanda; I pushed past fear and doubt; and my friends encouraged me from the start.
There is no way that I could receive any credit for what happened that night. The only things I actually did were: put brush on paper, package the print, open up + share with my friends, show up to the venue, and put one foot in front of the other. That’s it. Everything was else was God. God, God, God. HE takes all the credit for what happened that night. HE orchestrated every moment to the second. HE did it all. I have no doubt about it!
This night taught me some really important things about our spiritual walk (aside from the fact that God is super, ultra AWESOME) :
- God cares about our smallest and (what seems to be) insignificant desires
- He’s into the details
- We simply need to be and do – be the best you can be and do what you do – the things you’re passionate about, the things you love
- Be transparent with your friends – being open opens door
- Show up; be expectant
- Simply put one foot in front of the other and God’ll do the rest. He’s already paved the way before you
- Have faith
Some of these things are lessons that I’ve learned in the past, but this night felt like a culmination of all of them that played out so naturally, so surprisingly, so beautifully. It was a night full of fun and excitement, but in the end, I was left in awe and wonder at how good God is. And how awesome the friends in my life are.
So, friends, wherever you are, dream dreams. Trust in God. Have faith in Him and His plans for you, even though you don’t know how things will turn out. Be expectant, always. God cares for us, even in the tiniest of things, even when it doesn’t feel like He would or does. He has the best intentions and purposes for us. With Him, there is life, joy, and adventure (and so much more)!