Photo by Derrick Smith
I first connected with Gina Smith at a memorial service for a mutual friend in 2010. It was our shared grief that lead us to each other... so seemingly different in our day-to-day lives, and yet, not so much really.
In addition to her deep spirituality, one of the things I admire most about Gina is her willingness and her daring. As lead singer of a hard hitting rock band, Neverfriend, Gina really puts herself out there! The band's upcoming CD, Dangerously Addictive, has her singing of heart-felt topics like addiction, abuse, pain and survival. Although I can admit that the alternative/punk rock influence of her band is not my preferred style, Gina most certainly is my style. In music and in life, Gina reminds me that Hope is never lost... Thanks for sharing your Hope here with us, Gina! (You can also follow Neverfriend on Facebook.)
Grateful for the Journey
I didn’t think I’d ever be grateful for any journey. Until a few years ago, I had always been focused on the outcome, the achievement, and the recognition. I had been taught that the goal was to be an overachiever, perfectly organized, leading a flawless life. Why would I ever be grateful for a journey that took me to the depths of darkness through years of chaos and emotional turmoil? What good or benefit could ever be derived from that?
Yet today the life experience I’m most grateful for is my journey through acute pain and sadness that fueled an insatiable desire in me to find a better way, a greater meaning, a reason and purpose for my life. Which I’ve found!
All those experiences, that journey, has made me strong, resilient, and courageous, and taught me how to have faith, hope, and acceptance. I now know that I was born by divine order, not to suffer or be sad, but to love, to accept everyone for their uniqueness and to see the beauty of this magnificent world we have been given.
The journey has also shown me that I have a gift. I’m the lead singer in a band and I write and sing about my life experiences. The gift is not that I can sing and while I can hold a tune, it’s that I have been given a powerful vehicle through which I can tell my story, a story of hope. My band with its punk/hard-rock influenced sound and its gut-wrenching lyrics may not be for everyone, but it may be for some “one” and that possibility is good enough for me.
I am following the path before me and the journey unfolds. I don’t question where, or why or for how long anymore. I just keep going down the path, reminding myself to be grateful for the experience and the opportunity to learn along the way.
My life today is blessed beyond measure. Through it flows love, laughter, music, hope, joy, and awareness of the God-given beauty of the spirits that surround me. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, and for you, and I thank you all for enriching my journey.