The Winds of Life
The Storms in My Life
Until I was in my early twenties, things in my life sailed along very smoothly. Then suddenly, storm winds turned my life upside down. The first storm came when I broke up with my boyfriend. This experience forced to me to see that I was not the kind and loving person that I thought I was, but a very stuck-up and self-centered woman who couldn’t really love other people. The next storm took away my financial security. Even though my father had worked really hard, through no fault of his own the company he worked for went bankrupt. So I suddenly had to leave the childhood home that I loved so much. I left our house with only two things: my flute and a pressure cooker. To this day, I still don’t know why I took the pressure cooker!
These disappointments showed me that I couldn’t really depend on the things I had taken for granted, like a home, a loving family, and a place in the community. But I believed that as long as I was healthy and worked hard I would be okay. Then I was hit by the third storm. I found out that I had to have an operation. My doctor told me that I might never be able to play the flute again. At that time, I felt as though I was heading down a dark tunnel.
All I could think was, “I’ve been doing my best! I haven’t done anything to deserve all of this!” After so many trials, it was a battle to keep myself from committing suicide. Thankfully, I was introduced to a well-known doctor, whose skillful surgery did not affect my ability to play the flute. But at that time I didn’t see it as God’s special gift to me.
My “Pillars of Security” Collapse
I used to believe that all I needed to have a fulfilling life was skill, money, and good health. So I worked very hard for these three “pillars of security.” But the storms I experienced showed me that I couldn’t depend on these things because they could be taken away from me at any time. I felt lost, like a ship without a compass. In order to move forward, I needed to find something that would never change, even though the world, people, and I myself might change.
The Person Who Knows Me Best
At this dark time of my life, I was introduced to a church that was looking for a flute teacher. One day when I was teaching there, I noticed the title of a church pamphlet. “Do you know how many hairs you have?” I thought, “Of course I don’t!” Then I read further. “The Bible says that God even knows the number of hairs on your head.” (Matthew 10:30) These words resonated in my heart. After the storms in my life I had lost all my self-confidence and had nothing to depend on. Poor and weak, I felt like I was walking in circles in the dark, asking, “Who am I?” The pamphlet said that God knows me even better than I know myself. He loves me and even knows the number of hairs on my head. This truth was a light in the darkness, which filled me with a surprising and unbelievable joy.
I found out that Someone had been crucified and died for my sins, had defeated death and been resurrected, and was inviting me to a new life of walking together with Him. That Someone is Jesus Christ.
I felt a new wind blowing into my heart. It was the wind of new life from God.
That is how I became a Christian. Gradually I have come to see that all of the storms that have blown into my life were actually gracious gifts. Life is like a work of embroidery. If we look at the back, it doesn’t make any sense, but when we look at the front we can see a beautiful design. We don’t understand God’s plans, but they are much greater than we can imagine.
God’s plan for my parents is one example. Three days before my father passed away at the age of 76, he asked me about a Bible verse that I had put on the wall in his hospital room. “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) So I took this chance to tell him about Jesus. On that day, he welcomed Christ into his heart. My mother was so impressed by the smile on my father’s face when he died that she became a Christian, too, and now she is looking forward to seeing him in heaven.
A New Wind of Life
When I was really depressed, I found this poem.
We can’t see the wind
But after it blows past the trees it has the fragrance of leaves
When it blows past the flowers it picks up their fragrance, too
What fragrance is the wind that just blew past me?
– Tomihiro Hoshino –
Now this poem is like a musical bass line in my life. I feel like God is always asking me, “What fragrance did the wind pick up going past you?” The flute is an instrument which uses wind to create music. What I want most of all is to give my life to God to use as His instrument so that He can use my flute to blow His loving wind of life throughout Japan and the world.
Today I am serving the Lord as a Music Evangelist for the Shinagawa Christ Church in Tokyo and as a Goodwill Ambassador for Hunger Zero (Japan International Food for the Hungry.) In addition to performing in Japan, I help to support children living in poverty in Asia, Kenya, and Brazil by bringing music into their lives and building schools for them.
In spite of the storms in my life, as I look back, I realize that I have always been okay, not because I have worked hard, but because God has been with me. My trials have been presents from God. They gave me the chance to find Him. God could not have brought His gentleness into my life any other way. He poured His love into my wounded heart and carried all of my burdens with me in my walk through life.
As long as God is with us, no matter what happens in our lives, we’ll be okay!
“Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”