smanda’s @DavidArchie story: A silver lining hiding in the grey

Source: Tumblr

I’m not saying that I didn’t cry. Those near me in my row five seat at the SLC Abravanel Hall concert might have noticed that I had a death grip on my sister-in-law starting with David Archuleta’s tears when he mentioned his sisters just before he broke my heart singing Silent Night. They might remember me stumbling blindly over the row behind me to fall into the arms of a friend whose face was also streaked with tears. They might have heard actual sobs. Pretty sure they did.

I’m not saying that I’m not sad to see him go. I’m not saying I won’t miss him. I’m not saying that I have never had a single moment’s fear of what the future will hold. I’m not even saying I’ve always thought this mission thing was a great idea, though I am LDS too and the cousin, sister, sister-in-law and wife of  returned missionaries, as well as the mother of a returned missionary, a current missionary and a future missionary.

I thought David’s mission was his music. I never expected him to serve full-time. I guess you could say that I didn’t ever want him to go.

But….

I’ve been a card-carrying member of this fanbase from the very beginning, and though I love and enjoy that gorgeous voice as much as anyone here, what I love and support most of all is that boy. What I want is for that boy to be happy. I know this isn’t unique to me, by any means. I just know it is at the core of my reasons for following David as closely as I do.

So when he stood on the stage and wept in such a dignified way while he cracked open his heart for us to peek inside – every piece of me supported what he was saying, and began to understand why he was saying it. He was saying that he was ready to grow in a new way, a way that will likely be difficult and require a lot of him, and he was asking, without asking, if we would let him go with our blessing.

He was asking to be allowed to wall off a period of time in his life for sacred purposes. And saying he was going to do it even if we didn’t want him to, even if it will require a very great deal from him.

In the LDS church, keeping the Sabbath day holy is a central practice. On Sundays, we refrain from work, focus on our religious duties and our families and take time to give our Heavenly Father our full attention, just one day a week.

It isn’t really a day of rest in the sense of naps and leisure activities, but it is a day of rest from worrying about secular things. It is a day to focus on God’s work, and in so doing, we renew our strength for our own labors. In my life, the Sabbath day has come to color every other day. Every day I do some little thing to prepare for that day of focusing on my God. Every day I reap the rewards of having had that spiritual time in my week, every day I draw strength from the discipline I have cultivated over my lifetime  – the discipline of looking away from my own life and toward the lives of others, toward being God’s hands just one day out of seven.

Though this view may be controversial, I believe David has big work to do during his time on this earth. He has already demonstrated a rare quality of spirituality as he serves others from a very generous heart. I can only think that he will do more and more of this during the rest of his life. He has so very much to give and has already given so much.

He needs to take time for himself, to prepare for the rest of his journey. I believe that his mission will serve as a sort of Sabbath in his life. He won’t be resting in terms of a luxury vacation at a resort, in fact he will be working as hard as he has ever worked thus far. But it will be God’s work he is doing. God’s children he will be serving. His concerns will not be about concert venues or royalty checks. His concerns will be about a person he knows is suffering, a family that is falling apart, someone who is lonely, someone who is lost. He will be actively seeking the Spirit every moment of every day on behalf of someone else.

And because our David is David – every action he takes, every prayer he says, every person he loves, will turn itself into musical gold in his heart.

In order for David to fully bloom into the person he was born to be, he needs this time. He deserves this time. The fact that he can take it, in the face of some pretty stiff opposition, is a testament to his strength of character. I believe that he knows what is best for David. And what is best for David, is best for all of us. What touches and teaches David, will ultimately touch and teach us all.

I will be here when he gets back. I suspect you will be, too.

Where else would we go?

smanda (@mandaberry007)

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34 Responses to smanda’s @DavidArchie story: A silver lining hiding in the grey

  1. TOfan says:

    Brought over from end of last thread (from dangitdavid):

    LOVED this recap. I was also at Verona, seeing David live for the first time, and needless to say I was blown away! The sound of his voice in that venue was out of this world….afterwards I felt like I didn’t take it all in because he would be halfway through one song before I got over the previous one (note to self….never, ever see just one show on a tour – must see multiple to get full effect!!). It was a last minute decision to take in the show because of the distance and the good fortune of having another huge fan (Thanks Debbie!!) with extra tickets available that I jumped at the chance. My only regret is not deciding to go right away because in the light of David’s decision, I definitely would have splurged for VIP. But I’m not going to dwell on that…seeing David in concert has been one of the most memorable experiences for me! I took my 17 year old daughter with me (die hard Bieber fan) and as soon as David walked out on the stage, I believe her exact words were….”Oh My God he’s gorgeous” At the end of the show, she turned to me and said…”What the heck just happened….my heart is pounding”! I tried to tell her that it can’t be explained….it just is!! He has grown so much since Idol (I was not an Idol watcher but after having everyone at work telling me I had to tune in to hear this young boy sing, I finally watched it halfway through the season and BAM!! Life as I knew was changed forever and this boy has worked his way into my soul and will be there forever! To be in Salt Lake City, I’m sure, would have been bittersweet…..I felt like someone had punched me in my gut as soon at the words were out of his mouth, listening to it through the livestreaming….I’m sure being there and hearing it in person would have been tenfold. I have since processed the information and I’m having more good days than bad (still not sure if it’s exceptance or denial), I’m extremely happy for David and know he’s at peace with his decision and that this is what he needs to do. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be back to music and I even believe that we will not be going two years without hearing from him in some way. It may not be from him directly, but we will be kept in the loop. From all of the reports, Beaver Creek is the show I would have wanted to see!! To see him so relaxed with the announcement now out of the way and knowing that we are all behind him 100%. I, for one, cannot wait for the “Welcome Back Tour” (and there will be one) and if we think he blows us away now, just wait until he gets back!! We won’t know what hit us Sorry for the length of this comment but I couldn’t stop once I started

  2. Julee says:

    *LOVE BURST OF EPIC PROPORTIONS*

    Amen.

  3. Insightful. Beautiful. No more words need to be said.

  4. Nan says:

    Thank you Amanda for a beautiful piece.

  5. archugeezer says:

    A perfect complement of love and understanding. Thank you!

  6. Heidijoy says:

    Wow! Thank You for helping us see the Silver lining. I was in the 8 th row!! Like you I support David’s decision 100% even though Loss is never easy. Thank You for sharing your experience and insight. I’ll be here. (have my candle burning on twitter and in my heart)

  7. TOfan says:

    {{{{Amanda}}} thank you so much for being so honest about how you felt on hearing D’s announcement, even saying “I guess you could say I didn’t ever want him to go” … I think what’s made this “transition” harder for me is reconciling my head — knowing that it’s what David wants and, as you so beautifully put it, needs, to do — with my heart — never wanting him to go, and fearing that these past 3+ years (though a blessing) are all we’ll have.

    Your wise, loving — and honest — words have helped bring me peace with that… <333333

  8. Heidi says:

    THANK YOU for posting such a wonderful recap! I haven’t posted on any fan site for some time. However, today I just HAD to say “thank you”. Your words were so heartfelt, so well said and (for me) put everything into perspective.. If you don’t mind, I’m sure I’ll be sharing your lovely recap with a few others still struggling.. Thanks again ❤

  9. roxfox says:

    Amanda, I haven’t commented on a blog in a long time. I couldn’t help not after I read your humble insights. I really loved your analogy of David’s mission perhaps being like a Sabbath for him. I was taught this principle, His rest, from a loving church leader in college. Made more sense why I was often exhausted at the end of Sunday, but yet renewed for another week 🙂 “Take My yoke upon you…and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

    I’ve heard some references to the Archu-drought. I’m thinking more of it as an Archu-fast: a drought with a higher purpose. So many of us have close family and friends who have served or serving full-time missions (or personally served) … I hope everyone in this fanbase feels comfortable asking whatever questions or sharing whatever feelings come to them. No matter our faith, we can be there for each other.

    Thank you for all your beautiful words. Thank you David for your light and example. My daughter cut out a newspaper clipping of your announcement and taped it to your poster on her wall 🙂

  10. awestruck says:

    Beautiful – thank you.

    roxfox – “I’m thinking more of it as an Archu-fast: a drought with a higher purpose.” YES

  11. supergrandjudie=judie miller says:

    Loved your beautiful words of insight about dear David. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. peppertara says:

    smanda, thank you so much for your very heartfelt recap of a very special experience. David’s heart was truly overflowing and I just love what you wrote:
    “So when he stood on the stage and wept in such a dignified way while he cracked open his heart for us to peek inside – every piece of me supported what he was saying, and began to understand why he was saying it. He was saying that he was ready to grow in a new way, a way that will likely be difficult and require a lot of him, and he was asking, without asking, if we would let him go with our blessing.”
    That is the the part of this whole thing that touches me the most. David really was hoping his fans would understand and trust him with this very personal and sacred decision….and I think we do. Missing him will be par for the course but as someone so beautifully said on one of the fansites (can’t remember who unfortunately)….”When it comes to following your heart, every argument against it becomes invalid.”
    In time you gain more understanding, no matter your faith or belief system and you come to that place where “you find it, you hold it, you feel it’s grace”.
    Also love everyone’s input and sharing their feelings and experiences and your inspiring recap smanda, was such a joy to read. Thank you. ❤
    and to dangitdavid…..loved reading your comment too! (and love your name).

  13. jeffr says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Smanda, absolutely on the money! Enjoyed reading every word, just perfect.

  14. Kizzi says:

    smanda – Thank you. 😀

  15. Harold Weinstein says:

    I don’t know that I would change any word In this heartfelt story. Thank you for verbalizing these thoughts. I do believe that David is exhausted spiritually from the trials and tribulations of the past year. David has given himself like no other artist. Caring for us unconditionally. I too believe he needs this sabbath from his career to take stock of his life and become who he wants to be. He has shared with us himself like no other . It is now his time to bang those drums to his own beat. God has given us this gift over the last four years . It is now our time to give David our gift of blessing his choice. He will come back to us much stronger than he left us. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Heidijoy says:

      …………..and I say Amen to what you say about David needing this time. He has given us so much. “It is now our time to give David our gift of blessing his choice” I believe David will come back stronger.

      I HOPE to get stronger myself.

  16. sweetonda says:

    smanda, your comments were lovely and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Being a returned missionary myself I know the hard work he will be doing, but also know the joy he will feel and the blessings he will receive for himself and others. I can’t wait to see him upon his return for that first concert tour! It will be heaven!!!

  17. tawna21 says:

    smanda … Beautiful! Love! Inspirational! So True! Thank You!! I can truly feel your heart in your words.

    btw… besides almost killing yourself as you climbed over the seats from row 5, you nearly killed me in row 6. lol (it’s all good) ♥

  18. empath2809 says:

    Amanda, thank you. Said so well.

  19. cassie says:

    smanda: I have never posted here but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your beautiful words!! I was also at the SLC show and will never forget hearing David talk about going on a mission and then singing “Oh Holy Night”!! It was one of the most moving & spiritual experiences I have ever seen & felt!

  20. TOfan says:

    Interesting article about missionary life in general (and David in particular) in The Wall Street Journal Online:
    From American Idol to Mormon Missionary:
    A pop star trades the stage for 10-hour Bible-teaching sessions in a distant land

    … the article mentions other celebs who’ve served missions (including actors Aaron Eckhart (Switzerland) and Jon Heder (Japan) )

    Wait vid finally out on HD on ChannelVHD … meaning revealed HERE 😆 :

  21. smanda says:

    Thanks so much for everyone’s kind comments. And you know what? It was the First Noel he sang so tearfully, not Silent Night. And you know what else? I still haven’t been able to watch that particular O Holy Night. Im not sure when I will be ready.

    Empath, thank you for being there in the lobby when I was crumbling. I will never forget that.

    • TOfan says:

      smanda, tbh, I haven’t been able to get back to listening to any of David’s music yet… *sigh* … not sure when I’ll be ready either.

      And I have to say that I’ve been kind of surprised at some of the comments from LDS (non-David-fan) peeps online (on news stories, youTubes etc.) since his Announcement. Some giving him begrudging respect for his decision, others still “haters” … it makes me respect even more all the LDS fans who supported him regardless of whether he chose to serve a mission or not.

      • smanda says:

        I will never understand how anyone can be a hater of such a lovely person. Off with their heads 🙂

  22. skydancer1x says:

    smanda,
    In the midst of experiencing so many up and down,emotional moments, your beautiful words have really resonated with me. Thank you for showing me another lens to look through. This was just lovely, and so insightful.♥

  23. refnaf says:

    Thanks so much ((((smanda)))) for this>>>> “In order for David to fully bloom into the person he was born to be, he needs this time. He deserves this time. The fact that he can take it, in the face of some pretty stiff opposition, is a testament to his strength of character. I believe that he knows what is best for David. And what is best for David, is best for all of us. What touches and teaches David, will ultimately touch and teach us all”
    I have been to “the other side” of “good place” the last few days…. Thanks for helping with this post.

  24. amanda says:

    Awesome write-up…wasn’t at any MKOC concert, but am sooo grateful for those who take the time to share their experiences! Happy New Year and on to 2014!

  25. Heidijoy says:

    For those interested http://www.davidarchuleta.com now has Merchandise for sale from the MKOC Tour. The red t-shirt with snowflakes reminds me of Snowangelz. Some are buying in preparation for reunions and or keepsakes. I get no commission but thought some may want to know. ha! ha!

  26. TOfan says:

    thanks, Heidijoy you mean this one?
    snowflake shirt

    I thought so too! LOL (& wish they had them in ladies style/size!)

    • Heidijoy says:

      Yes! That one! Ordered one!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha! Some plan to wear them at reunions.
      Food for thought!

  27. emmegirl says:

    smanda, thank you seems inadequate. ♥

    (cadthu and dangitdavid – loved your wonderful, touching recaps.)

  28. TOfan says:

    New post/thread!

    🙂

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