jersey boys

I saw a screening of Jersey Boys last night. It was amazing.

I have a special place in my heart for all of those songs as I grew up listening to my dad sing them around the house and play them for me as well.

I connect with music so deeply. And this story of how these four guys came together and created this amazing music is so interesting… full of amazing, incredible moments but also so full of hardship and pain.

As I was sitting there in the movie I thought, “There really is a price to fame.”

Something has to be accounted for, something will be neglected, when you are that famous and that successful, when you are doing something with your life that is that demanding and time-consuming.

In Franki Valli’s case, the price was his family. It unraveled.

Franki had a special connection with one of his daughters in particular, Francine. There is this moment in the film when Francine has run away (I think she’s about 15 years old), and Franki flies halfway across the country and ends up finding her in the city. They sit at a diner and she doesn’t say a word, but her reactions reveal everything she is thinking.

Franki just talks to her… She wants to become a singer. She has an amazing voice. But she is potentially going down the wrong path, rebelling and getting into trouble. Franki tells her that he knows what it feels like… And then he said something that stuck with me so clearly. He said:

“You feel like you have this great gift you want to share with the world. But you feel like no one cares.”

Those words resonated in my mind long after I had left the theater, long after I had driven home amidst the flashing lights on Sunset, long after I had made it into my bed. As those words played on loop in my mind, I became increasingly overwhelmed with emotion.

That is exactly how I feel.

And so I prayed. Out loud. And the tears began to stream down my face.

Lord. I have this great dream, this gift from you – as all gifts we have are ultimately from you and only because of you – this gift I want to share with the world. I want so badly to act. I want so badly want to share that with the world. 

I feel you have led me here, you have guided me, you have been so faithful. You have given me “yeses” when it felt like I needed them most, but you have also given me “nos”… And I know that your “nos” guide us just as much. 

So if it’s not acting, show me. If it’s not writing, show me. Show me. Lead me. Guide me. I will do anything you want. Anything at all. I will do anything; I just want to do something. Do something great. Be something great…

And these words came to my mind, like the Lord himself was speaking to me in that moment:

“Lead me in the path…”

And that was all I heard. So I pulled out my phone and googled those words. And the first listing that came up was this:

“Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.” – Psalm 27:11

And then I, for some reason, ended up scrolling through all the different translations of this verse until I made my way down to the commentary section. And this literally jumped off that page to me:

“God’s time to help those that trust in him is, when all other helpers fail.”

Wow. So convicting.

I think the Lord brings us to a place when we feel we can’t possibly do this on our own because he doesn’t want us to do it on our own. And when everyone else around us fails us as well – after all, no one can make your dreams come true but you, no one cares as much about your dreams as you – but when you feel no one else is helping you either, that is when the Lord draws us closer to Him, that is when the Lord forces us to rely on Him. 

Alright, Lord. I can’t do this on my own. I am asking you to show up. In a big way. I am here listening; let me hear your voice clearly. I am here waiting; lead me in the way you want me to go. 

The end of the path – no matter how we get there – is success of some kind. Jeremiah 29:11 tells he the Lord knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us. Plans to give us hope and a future.

The hardest part, though, is not being able to see the part of the path that will get us there.

But while we can’t see it, God can. And if we wait for him and his timing, if we listen for him and for his voice… He will show us the way.

Franki goes on to tell his daughter that he will help her make her dreams come true – that he will set up a recording session for her – but that she will have to hold up her end of the deal and work hard and make wise decisions.

Isn’t that how God is with us? We have this dream, this gift, we want to share with the world. And he wants to help us, but we have to hold up our end of the deal. We have to act, and act wisely, in all things and in all areas of our lives. We have to persevere. We have to give it our all. We have to have hope.

It doesn’t happen overnight. It may seem like it’s taking forever for the Lord to reveal the path to us. We can’t act on our own. We can’t go it alone.

We don’t have to go it alone. The God of the universe is right there with us, helping us, guiding us in his mysterious way in his perfect timing.

Keep looking to Him. Keep listening for him. Keep waiting on Him.

He will reveal the path.

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 16:11

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