I come from a really good Christian family. My parents were both Christians and I grew up in the church. I was 8 years old when I was baptized and I grew up in a home that put God first. Music was always something that we shared together as a family, and thankfully, I do think this is why music became my saving grace in life.Music became my saving grace in lifeClick To Tweet
When I was 10 years old, my elementary school had just started a band. This is where I first discovered my love and talent with music. I started on french horn, which ironically enough was my last choice. I wanted to play one of the instruments that everyone knew about like the flute, saxophone, something like that. But the music teacher herself played the french horn and she told me “you’ve got a good ear, you can sing, you have pitch, so we’re going to get you started on this instrument. If you’d like I can even give you private lessons.”
So I did just that. I discovered that music could be so much deeper than what I’d always thought. At the end of 6th grade, our family moved to a different part of Florida. But I got involved with the band again at my new school. In 8th grade, my instructor told my parents that I was playing on a high school level and recommended that I audition for the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra. So I auditioned and I made it. There was another girl horn player my age who was also very talented, which was excellent for a little friendly competition.
It was as early as 9th grade where I knew without a doubt that music was what I wanted to do with my life and it was going to take me to where I wanted to go. Music was it, and french horn was it. I was set on making that my career.
After high school, I ended up at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD. The difference between a conservatory and regular university is that the core classes you have to take at university are waived and you primarily are focusing on practice, music theory, history, attending student concerts, performing, things like that. As I was entering into my sophomore year of college, I noticed that the York, PA Symphony Orchestra was looking for a french horn player. I went and had a blind audition for that. Right after I did my piece, the director came back, pulled back the curtain, shook my hand and said “you’ve got the job”.
As you can imagine, my 19 year old self had quite the ego boost because of this. I made sure I had everything in order to start working with them the following year. I had a car so that I could drive up for practices, and it turned out to be a really great gig. I stayed with them for 7 years.
I got involved with this guy from Bangladesh, who was 10 years older than me. He did not have citizenship when I met him. I know what you’re thinking… no we did not get married, but we did get secretly engaged. I fell in love with him, and I fell hard. He was really a nobody. He was just a delivery guy who moved here from Bangladesh and sent money back to his family. He proposed to me with his grandmother’s ring.
Because he was Muslim, my parents wanted nothing to do with him. They didn’t want to meet him and they were completely unsupportive. Right after he’d gotten his citizenship, it was around Christmas time when he decided to go back to Bangladesh to visit his family. I went back home for Christmas break as well and we figured we would come back and just pick up where we left off.
While we were on break, I get this call from him, and he was a wreck. He said to me “I told my mom about you”, he was crying hysterically and said “I’m getting married tomorrow, as soon as I told my mom I was seeing someone back in the states, a white girl, she arranged for me to marry my cousin tomorrow”. I was an absolute mess. My heart was completely and utterly broken. My mom was telling me “This is what it takes, Margaret, for God to slap you in the face and say wake up”. But of course I didn’t want to hear any of that. To which my mom responded with “you don’t see it now, but one day you will”.
I graduated from college a year early in 2009. And God was just blessing me through all of this, though I wasn’t giving Him the time of day. While I was in school I gave way to party culture. I was hanging with the wrong crowds, drinking… a lot, flirting… a lot, smoking weed sometimes socially. I had ignored God through all of it. At the time I didn’t realize it but by “doing the college thing” I was really trying to find something, someone that I had lost. I was trying to numb the pain and rediscover myself. I wanted to feel the connection I had gotten from this guy but no one could ever fill that. And I needed to learn that.
A good friend of mine one night just took me by the shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes and said “you need Jesus, you need to find Jesus’s love, come to church with us on Sunday”. I had been hearing this from my parents all my life, but by hearing it from a peer, that changed something. We went to the Church on Warren Avenue, a little baptist church over in Federal Hill. I had this profound revelation that God really just wanted for me to focus on Him now. I started digging into His word, talking to Him more. And I started getting really good with Him. My friends started telling me “you look like a totally different person!’ Yeah, I have the joy of Jesus now.
Jesus was like a friend that I separated from because we were just “in different seasons of our lives” and “didn’t have much in common anymore” but then we reconnected and I was just like What was I doing all this time, I’ve really been missing this. This is the time of my life when I was really rededicating my life to Christ. God was really revealing things to me. He said to me, “Make my desires your desires, Margaret.”I didn’t want to put everything I have back into a guy, I wanted to keep it in Jesus.Click To Tweet
I knew that I wanted a relationship, but I was really scared. I didn’t want to put everything I have back into a guy, I wanted to keep it in Jesus. But I kept feeling like I wanted my husband. So, I asked for God to send me my husband.
I had some friends who were doing online dating. I figured maybe I could check it out. I saw an advertisement on TV for eharmony, 3 months for $100. I figured, that wasn’t that bad, maybe I should try it. It would either be the best $100 I ever spent, or a lesson learned.
Right as my 3 month trial was about to end, that’s when I met Bob. I told him to just find me on Facebook because I wasn’t planning to renew my membership. We talked for a good while before he asked me out. We went on our first date in the very beginning of January 2010.
We met at P.F. Changs in Baltimore, and everything was so surreal. The conversation was flowing, I felt like I could sit and talk with him for hours. Everything just felt so natural and right, and I just felt at peace about him. Bob felt like home.
When our date ended, I got in my car and started heading home when God spoke to me. It was so clear and out of this world and God said, “This is your husband who I have provided for you”. I immediately got on the phone and called my mom and told her and she told me not to get ahead of myself. But I just knew.
After only 4 months of dating, the first time they’d met, Bob asked my father for permission to marry me. He told my dad “My intentions are pure and I want to marry your daughter”. My dad muttered the response with a shrug, “I trust my daughter’s judgement.” Even though, that foggy response was a bit disheartening to hear at first, Bob and I both trusted in God’s plan for us to be together. Two months later Bob proposed elaborately via a geocaching scavenger hunt which ultimately led to him on one knee on the beach at sunset at Downs Park. I said yes, of course.
In retrospect, I truly believe that the french horn led me to Bob. If God hadn’t given me that gift, I may have never ended up in Baltimore, where I made friends who influenced me to try online dating, which brought me to meeting Bob, who God had created perfectly to be my husband. And here we are, 7 years into marriage with a beautiful 1 year old daughter that completely lights up our world. We’ve gone through a lot of trials in our first decade, three deaths in my family, including my mom, amongst other things. But I couldn’t have done it without God, or without Bob.
Since one of the things I have always struggled with was my ego, putting myself first, God has really helped me through some of these trials and situations to help me to realize “it’s really not all about you, Margaret, it’s about Me”. I’ve learned to rely on him in everything, and I’ve had to humble myself BIG TIME because He deserves all the glory. My gift with music was never about me, but it was given to me to be a vessel to show others His glory, goodness, and to provide a way for others to worship Him. I am blessed that God has allowed for me to continue with my musical gifts and help lead others through worship at our church. Music has really been the constant in my life and God has used it to bring me to the relationships he intended for me to have over the years, to help show others His incredible loving goodness, and to provide an outlet for direct communication with Him.
It’s through music that I feel God’s presence and hear Him speak to me, and it’s literally the coolest thing ever.