Today we take a departure from the usual blogging activities to welcome several new guests and readers over. I guest blogged today on Mindy Gledhill's blog. And as a result, I'm expecting a few new visitors over here today. And they are here to find out more about my friendship with Mindy, and why I care about "Nie."
Three years ago I was going through a rough spot. I had just suffered a personal heartache I can't explain here. My testimony was shaken to the core and I convinced myself to take a break from religion. I was a few weeks into this decision someone encouraged me to attend a musical performance. I was told it was the Prophet Joseph's life and ministry set to country music. My first instinct was, “Um, NO!” But something stirred inside me to get up and go anyway. That simple decision in the midst of heartache has made a tremendous difference in the next 3 years.
I attended a performance of what I now call the “Joseph Show.” My life was changed. My broken heart was touched. I fell in love with every song that I heard. Specifically a beautiful song about Emma Smith and her life gave me new hope about my personal heartbreak. If Emma could endure so much, who was I to question so many things when I had endured so little in comparison?
But what really happened that day was the most distinct feeling I left with that this was not the end of my relationship with this music.
I soon bought the CD of “Joseph Show,” more commonly known as the Nashville Tribute to the Prophet. I discovered that the soloist I had heard was not the singer on the CD. The beautiful voice on the CD belonged to Mindy Gledhill. It was one of the most beautiful songs and voices I had ever heard.
One year later I invited the “Joseph Show” to come back to the DC area to perform for a conference I was planning. Mindy did not perform with them there either. But this began my friendship with the band.
Fast forward one year.
I was now living in Utah, working for a marketing consulting agency. I needed to bring in new clients to work with. And my first thoughts went back to the boys in the band that performed the Joseph Show. I knew they were trying to make it in their own band. A little band we now know and love as Due West. (first time blog readers, please see the post below this one!) I called them up and we arranged for me to meet them at a performance of the Joseph Show in St George. That was when I discovered there was another CD out by this same talented group of people about the pioneer trek. I bought it. And drove to St George.
That was the first time I heard Mindy perform live. The first time I had ever seen her. And immediately I wanted to be her friend.
But I wouldn't meet her for another 5 months.
Fast forward five months to the day my life fell apart. A dozen evil forces combined to throw off all my plans and make me doubt everything. EVERYTHING. And the band was doing a show in Heber. Just getting the 30 minutes up the road to their show was going to be a serious hardship. Car troubles, bank troubles, and extreme depression were going to hold me back.
I'll admit it. I cried. And then I prayed. And then, out of the blue, everything came together so I could go. And I drove up to the show, looking for those beautiful songs from the Joseph Show and the Trek Show to lift up my heart.
And that was where I met Mindy.
It was only a few days later that I would buy her CD and discover the rest of her music. It was minutes after I put her CD, “Feather in the Wind” into my car CD player and realize I didn't just like Mindy, I adored her.
As soon as I heard, “Hard,” I knew I wanted to work with Mindy, and that I wanted to help a million more people discover her music too. Her words, “Its not that I don't want to give you my heart, it's just hard,” could not have described the state of my willing, but very broken heart better. My heart had been through so much I just didn't know how I could ever trust anyone ever again. I had lost my job, not once, but THREE TIMES in one year. And even though I knew it had never been my fault in this bad economy that I had lost my job, I still just didn't trust myself. I knew I was fairly good in my field, but that didn't change the fact that getting up and trying again was just not going to happen easily.
In spite of my addiction to blogging and reading blogs, I had never heard of Nie until after the plane crash. Suddenly she was everywhere. Half the blogs I read were talking about her, raising funds for her, or sharing news regarding her. And I had no idea who she was.
So I ignored it every time I saw her name. Because really, who was she to me? I had my own troubles. I didn't need to be bogged down in someone else's tragedies too.
By then I was working with Mindy to raise her online publicity. (For instance, starting her blogging. You can thank me for that later.) Mindy told me about the concert she was putting on to raise money for Nie, and asked me to help promote the concert.
I finally sat down and started reading.
And praying for forgiveness.
Who was I to focus so much on my own troubles and ignore the suffering of others?
I read Nie's blog from beginning to end. I realized Nie's uplifting words and attitude were exactly what I needed. What had originally put me off about her became exactly what drew me to her. She's a “mommy blogger,” and I'm a single girl. What did I have to gain from this woman talking about how she loved her perfect husband and her darling children? Before I actually got to “know” her, I just thought she was rubbing it in that I was single and childless.
But with my broken heart and contrite spirit I discovered I had a lot to learn from her. No matter the situation she found a positive way to see it. My favorite post? “NieNie Get Your Gun.”
What? Her post about crime in her neighborhood isn't your favorite post ever? Let me remind you I'm the girl who just admitted that it was a country music album that softened my heart back to religion. And that I met Mindy in an rodeo rink in cow town Heber. So yes, a mommy blogger who talks about love, and little girls, and her perfect husband, broke through to me when she talked about her Baby Glock. And yes, it wasn't all that long ago I worked for a gun company.
And then, for the first time in a very long time, I began to feel again. Her life had touched so many other lives for good. Her words and actions inspired thousands to come to her support.
I put my heart into supporting Mindy's concert. No matter what I did, I was certain I wasn't doing the right thing, or doing enough. I read blog after blog as Nie's readers around the WORLD told their stories about her, and she affected their lives.
The day I read on Nie's sister's (C Jane) blog that Nie was returning to her blog I called my mother to share the news. We were both so happy for this woman we had never met.
And now here I am. I am convinced that many different things conspired to bring me here. To ask you for your support by putting the announcement of the Love for Nie concert on your blog or Facebook page. Share it with your ward email list. Email your sisters and friends. Buy a ticket and meet me there.
But mostly to remind you that one person, one day, one simple action, can change everything. It can make or break your heart. Give you courage to try again. Or help you feel again. Like it did me.