New, again!

New beginnings. Seems like there are two types of people in the world. Those who embrace change as exciting and invigorating, and those who fear change and question their ability to handle it. I’ve always felt more like the first. As I have lived some years and gone through some fairly radical changes, I have learned the truth. I like the idea of change, but actual change does scare me. Dang! I wanted to be the first kind of person!

I never planned to be an independent Christian singer/songwriter. I was going to be a teacher. A band director. I was going to teach a school band that won trophies. That’s what I did as a student, and that’s what I thought life was about. I would help my own students experience that, too.

And then came some of those years. I learned the folly of living life to win. I learned that life is built on giving. I believe in a God who designed it that way. Learning that made me a better teacher. I taught music to elementary school students. I dearly loved it! But then I felt called to step away from that in order to write songs, record albums, and tour. I even resisted it, but the call kept coming.

You can chalk that up to suppressed wanderlust if you want to. I firmly believe that was a call from God. So I did step away from teaching. I found it much more difficult to earn a living that way than I thought. Yes, I wrote songs, recorded albums, and toured. And my kids were young enough that they came, too! It was amazing! But it didn’t pay the bills. And this gave me a chance to confront many of my own issues about what made me “worthwhile.” Good hands-on therapy. But we still needed to pay the bills.

So I changed. I became involved working with local churches. I taught more. I booked many in-town gigs with my jazz show. Congregations were blessed, children learned music, and many older folks were cheered to hear music of their youth. And I love that! But God has opened the way for another change.

The website you’re seeing, along with the shop of my merchandise, and the increased Facebook activity is all evidence of this change. I am studying how to be an independent musician in the early 21st century. It’s different than I thought. It’s exciting, and more than a little menacing! But I trust my teachers, and the process. I mean, isn’t a 76ers fan required to “trust the process?”

So, if you’re going through some changes that are making you uncomfortable, I urge you to embrace the discomfort. That will make you strong. Embrace the God who walks with us through change. That will make you peaceful. And see what you can do to make your life a blessing of service to others. That will make you joyful.

God bless you, fellow pilgrim! We’re on a journey of change. Thanks for walking along with me.

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Derek Sandstrom

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