Lessons Learned with Leno

It seems that every time I go to a TV show taping in LA, I learn something. (Okay, all two times: this one time, and last week) I go just to have fun, and then bam - the Lord ends up showing up and speaking to me (as He does, unexpectedly). A few days ago, I heard that one of my favorite bands, For King and Country, would be performing on The Tonight Show! I got free tickets, and took my cute parents - we just had to go. 

If you've not heard of For King and Country, go look them up. Part of the reason I'm writing this blog post is to share them with you - I love using this little blog's platform to share good, quality, positive books, music, and blogs with you amazing readers, my goal being encouragement. This band's music is incredible, encouraging and their message is rare and amazing! They are two brothers who I've been fans of and so encouraged by for about 15 years. They recently began singing together as a group, but years ago they sang back-up for their older sister, one of my role models and inspirations, Rebecca St. James! Rebecca's boldness in sharing about sexual purity and standing strong as a young person who lives counter this culture, her books, music, and message greatly impacted my life as a young teenager, and she is one of the reasons I have the convictions about purity that I have today. In fact, the first time I saw the brothers of For King & Country perform was in 2001, as they sang back-up vocals for their sister's tour! So of course, when the guys began singing and writing together a  few years ago, I began supporting them wholeheartedly. 
They have spoken out boldly - encouraging young men to stand up and be men of integrity, and encouraging young women to not treat their bodies and purity as if it was worth just "a penny" but to realize they are princesses under God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. 
Seriously, friends. Their message is so rare and precious to hear from young people, and specifically young guys, I so encourage you to listen to their music - it will inspire you in your walk with God and toward His plan for you.
After a quick lunch at one of my family's favorite restaurants in Burbank, we spent half the afternoon at NBC studio doing what all the rich and famous do at the studios, hang out with Jay, ya know. (NOT. Really, we just waited in line in the freezing cold foreeeeverrrr.) 
Totes twins with the stripes
Until we got to the studio, I didn't realize who else was on the show. It happened to be these guys: Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson and of course, Mr. Keith Urban, who is one of my all time favorite singers (neck and neck with Rascal Flatts) LOVE him.
We entered the studio and were seated... and then I realized - we had the worst seats in the entire 300-seat studio. Like, literally. Somehow we ended up on the very far left of the studio, up really high, situated right next to (but almost behind) the large sound booth. Craning my neck and leaning as far forward as I could possibly lean in my seat so that I could see Leno and his guests and the Tonight Show jazz band but not so far forward that the Italian guy next to me wearing all black leather (not to mention a liberal application of Armani for men cologne, I nearly passed out it was so strong) got annoyed. Seeing as the jazz band was on the far right of the studio off in the corner, and our seats were in the far left, it was all but impossible to see the band. And as the show started, as Leno made his jokes and the American Idol judges were interviewed, we were a little disappointed. For King and Country was set to perform at the very end of the show, and we were sure we would not be able to see them. We assumed they would perform out on the stage where the opening jazz band played, the "blind spot" from our seats. I was happy and thankful to just be there to hear them, but I was, honestly, a little disappointed.

Yet, soon, as the show came to an end - the unexpected happened. Leno announced the band, and suddenly the wall right in front of our seats was lifted up - and the band appeared!!! 
You guys, we literally had the perfect seats. It was so amazing and such a sweet surprise! We were so close and could not have chosen better seats if we had picked them out ourselves. 

And, friends - it got me thinking.
 As the guys sang and the music played, I realized something: this is just like what God does in our lives. Truly, it was such a perfect and real example of the power of Jesus on our lives when we let Him in. Just as we sat disappointed and a little "let down" throughout the show, looking at only what we could see - what "made sense" to us: a wall in front of us. We didn't think or even realize that the wall right in front of our seats was anything but a wall! We didn't see the whole picture - we did not realize it was about to be unexpectedly LIFTED and disappear! We did not realize that the seats we were placed in were not what they appeared. To us, it seemed like they were the worst seats we could have been placed in. But really, they were the best!

Being seated in not-ideal seats at a show is definitely not the end of the world. But I love the little picture it was to me of God's grace in our lives - a little example that illustrates something so much bigger. How things may not be how they appear in our lives. How when disappointments come, perhaps God is doing something bigger behind the scenes - something we are totally unaware of as we wait in the dark season. 

Maybe... a set back is really a "set up" for something even more amazing than you could have planned! And maybe, the way we perceive things in our lives - our circumstances, the way things go unplanned, is not the end of the story. God has a bigger plan than we can imagine, and just as I was unaware that the band I expected to not see was setting up right behind the wall in front of me, the Lord may be orchestrating things in your life behind a "wall" and He is about to lift that wall and reveal what you cannot imagine!

Reminds me of the scripture that says, 

"When He opens doors, no one will be able to close them.
And when He shuts doors, no one will be able to open them."
-Isaiah 22:22

So, friend - if you feel like I did the other day in the worst seats at the Tonight Show, don't despair. Do not lose hope. Keep trusting, even in the dark. Keep hoping, even when it seems hopeless. Keep believing, even when you see no "reason" to continue believing. Because - you never know what is right around the bend. You never know what God is doing behind the scenes of your life. Breakthrough may be on it's way!

Don't worry about the "bad seats" you are in today,
they may end up being the best "seats" you could imagine!

Keep your chin up, beautiful.
And remember - you are loved and God has a plan for your future.

Love, from me and my super cute but I'm never gonna wear it out in public scarf I won from Jay ;)