The Opening Scene {The Grove: Overture}

Overture comes from the French “ouverture”, which means an opening. This may be obvious to the musically inclined, anyone who has listened to anything from Mozart’s overture to The Marriage of Figaro to Menken’s overture of his score for Beauty and the Beast.

I am a total nerd for soundtracks. And no matter how many times I’ve listened to a soundtrack, I never skip the overture. Once you’ve listened to the entirety of the score, you can hear how the overture gives you glimpses into the musical themes of the show. You can find a fleeting hint of the love story, a suggestion of the dark twists and turns, a wink of a victory. When you listen to the overture, you’re not sure how this will all fit together, but you know there will be significance.

I remember the overture of my life overseas. The days spent packing, the nights spent waking up from nightmares that I would get lost in my new home and never find my way around. The goodbyes. The thrill and grief at the airport.

I remember those first few weeks – making new friends, having bad days, making stupid mistakes. Finding God in ways I had never found Him before. Learning things about the world I didn’t know existed.

I often reference my first few months in France with new team members and the lessons I learned. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in my overture. There were hints in my life of what was to come. The excitement of making new friends was a glimpse of the richness of relationships to come. Tear-filled goodbyes at the airport were a peek into the goodbyes I would have to say on this side.

There was no way for me to know it at the time, but the emotional rigor of the first few months I was overseas were an overture. They were preparation. It was like being thrown into the deep end of a pool and finding I could swim. I wasn’t slicing through the water yet – but I wasn’t meant to.

I think sometimes we resist seasons of preparation. Especially, perhaps, those of us who like to move at a fast pace and get excited by change. We want to jump in, we want to throw off our backpack and start climbing that wall in front of us. Who needs preparation? Can’t we learn as we go?

But it can’t be denied—the overture matters. There’s a reason symphonies have overtures. Movie soundtracks, Broadway shows, even the occasional rock album uses one. Because it’s too much to be thrust into a story with no warning. We need a moment to be enveloped in the world we’re entering. We need to be pulled in from the noisy world we’ve come out of and made a part of what is happening in front of us.

Don’t skip the overture in your life. Maybe you’re in an overture now – learning a new normal or starting a new season of your life. You may not realize it – but this is just the overture. This is just the part where you get a hint of what’s to come. The overture is not the end – it is the beginning. It is an opening. A doorway to new adventures and new ways to see things. Engage in it. Pull out of it every minor chord and every climbing bass line. This will be the piece you draw from in the season to come.

Are you in an overture in your life? What are things about this season that might be preparing you for the next? What has an overture in your life been?

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7 Comments

  1. Karen March 8, 2018

    One thing I love is that God is better than any composer or novelist at writing the stories of our lives. We don’t know at the time what will be significant, but the things we are interested in, the little conversations we have, or the people we run into, so often have a way of re-appearing later in our stories. It is good to know that even though we don’t see the future, when we look back, we can see how He has been preparing us for our current situation.

    I also have been in those times of preparation, and at times that just seems like confusion, where I don’t have the slightest idea how the puzzle pieces could fit together. I think it’s really important that we have grace for each other, to recognize that it’s OK when we don’t have any idea how to understand what we’re going through, other than the faith that God is somehow going to bring us through these hard times.

    But I’ve recently had just one of those moments … for years I had said that I loved my six years of waitressing and managing a restaurant, and would happily go back to it. It didn’t seem likely at all, and certainly didn’t seem to be on my path. However, through events completely out of my control, my business partner has opened a restaurant and now asked me to move to that other city and to be involved in that. This is also in a city which has been on my heart for a very long time, but moving there never seemed to be on my path. I don’t know what’s next, but His composing of our lives is truly fascinating.

    1. Michele March 9, 2018

      Karen, I was already getting ready to comment on your first two paragraphs- That I agree it’s beautiful how God writes our stories- or scores- so perfectly, and that giving grace to each other in the confusing seasons is so important and I love that you pointed those things out. And then I read the last paragraph, and I have to say that I’m just so excited for you. Thanks for sharing this story here, because it’s just such a beautiful reminder that He really is weaving things together better than we ever imagined.

  2. Helen March 9, 2018

    As a music teacher I could so relate to this post, but at 58 I am sometimes wondering: Is not all of live an overture, preparing us for the wonderful symphony that we will be a part of when we see Him face to face?

    1. Kelly Delp March 9, 2018

      This is a beautiful thought Helen! You are so right!

  3. Amy Farley March 10, 2018

    Yes! In many ways I completely feel like I am in an overture starting over in a new place, learning yet another language….after 12 years on one continent then starting over in Asia. Yep. I don’t think overtures are my favorite. Haha.

  4. Taryn Wilson June 15, 2018

    Kelly, your comment about being thrown into the a pool and finding out you could swim, about not “slicing through the waters yet”, but not being meant to – it spoke so much grace to me. I’m a new mom overseas and my husband and I just got delayed in the country we are learning language in for a few months now. (Our destination is too dangerous as of now.) I feel like I’m in the deep end now, and I know God is showing me that He can help me swim, but at this point, I’m still the grasping for that metaphorical ledge on the side. The learning curve feels enormous, but like you said, I’m not meant to be slicing through the waters. I’m still in the rumblings of the overture. Thank you!

    1. Kelly Delp June 15, 2018

      I hear you girl! Rest assured that one day you will look around and will be confidently away from the ledge – I’m not sure how or when, but it will happen!

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