When I started out on my journey to fulfill my purpose, there were times when the journey seemed impossible. The road was filled with obstacles. Writing classical music in Memphis—a town known for blues and rock and roll—and without any formal training was an uphill journey. Discouragement was my number one enemy. I had to train myself to strive to maintain a positive attitude. I learned that positive thinking gives birth to success and swallows up defeat. Embrace hope and let it be the driving force of your life.
Excerpt from the book, “Driven by Faith”
…I had spent years searching…yet, throughout my bewilderment, there was a paradoxical serenity. In the midst of the unknown, I had unknowingly moved step by step to my destiny, and all of this was done without wealth, advanced degrees, or even a plan. I had accomplished the unthinkable, and as [people] pondered this contradiction and searched for the secret of my success, they discovered one prevailing thread – a woman who prayed every day for guidance. And each day God provided direction. Sometimes it was a voice, a dream, or scripture and sometimes it was simply an emotion. But it was always God.
Listen to the short interview of co-authors, Earnestine and her son, Todd as they discuss finding purpose:
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For years, I made one futile attempt after the other trying to get my oratorio performed. Every endeavor was met with unpreparedness or inability of the choir to perform the music. My vain endeavors only led to shattered hopes and, seemingly, a mere waste of time, energy and money. Although despondent, I kept persisting for greater than 20 years. Finally, my prayers were answered. My oratorio was performed by an able choir and was a part of a documentary that aired on television across the country.
Looking back, I realized that if I had been successful at any of my smaller attempts, I would have had an audience of only hundreds. However, with the televised documentary my music was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands.
Time spent waiting on God is never time wasted.
One of the greatest lessons to be learned when pursuing your dream is learning to turn a deaf ear to naysayers.
The first oratorio that I composed, “The Crucifixion”, was critiqued by a prominent choral director at one of the leading Midwestern Universities. He advised me to cast away the oratorio, but I was undaunted by his negative attitude. I stood firmly committed to the work that I knew God had given me. Later, I was informed that the Library of Congress had requested my oratorio “The Crucifixion” for its “Special Collections”. This astounding news was followed by an announcement that “The Crucifixion” would be presented in a world premiere at Carnegie Hall.
What a catastrophic mistake I would have made if I had listened to that choral director. Instead, I remained steadfast and did not allow negativism to destroy my dream.