Ludwig van Beethoven lost his hearing. Before I lost my own hearing, or even had an inkling that I’d one day be deaf, I researched Beethoven for a school project.
One story goes that the composer was conducting an orchestra, who were playing music he’d written. With his back to the audience, Beethoven had no idea that people were clapping and cheering; until he turned around and saw them.
On the 11th of September 2018, at approximately 10pm, I was sitting in the main Conference Hall at CRT. I’d seen person after person go forward to receive awards. It was a privilege to celebrate. And then, from the stage, I was mentioned. My name was called. I stood, on legs turned to jelly, and made my way to the platform. I concentrated hard on not tripping over – balance is not my strong point. Climbing the steps, I shook hands with Angela, received the award, then turned to face the room.
And that’s when my Beethoven moment happened.
People were giving me a standing ovation. Yes, that’s right; all those wonderful people from the Christian book trade were actually clapping for me. I was overwhelmed. I’d had no idea.
After CRT, I saw another award winner had posted on Facebook, ‘things I should have said in my acceptance speech’. What a good idea!
Thank you to my family, who have been with me all the way. Thank you to my publishers, Authentic Media Publishing, and Malcolm Down & Sarah Grace Publishing, for believing in me. Thank you to ACW for welcoming and supporting me. Thank you to my medical team, without whom I wouldn’t be alive. Thank you to my friends and my pray-ers, I’m glad I don’t need to know life without you.
I have been, and go, through difficult times. But each one of you make them less difficult.
The day after the awards evening, I had a book signing, for my new book, The Power of Seven. It was so lovely to meet many of the people behind that standing ovation. I don’t think I chatted TOO much (I’ve been warned about chatting!).
About five minutes after I signed a book for one lady*, she was back. I saw her hovering and, when there was a lull in the queue, she came over to me.
“Emily, I just had to come back and tell you this! God has spoken to me through your book. I opened the book, randomly, and the words at the top of the page were; ‘I can’t do this.’”
She went on to tell me that those words echoed within her. She’d been asked to take on more responsibility at work, and she just didn’t think she could do it.
“Then I saw the words at the bottom of the page; ‘I think you can.’”
God gave that lady the assurance she’d been needing.
The first time I was asked to stand up and speak – and this isn’t from the book, no spoilers! – I said to God: ‘I can’t do it.'
He whispered back; ‘I think you can.’
And, in His strength, I did.
I still have ‘I can’t do this’ moments.
It seems I also have Beethoven moments.
Whether you were physically at CRT or not, thank you for letting me experience being Beethoven.
I thank my God every time I remember you.
(*story told with permission)