I have loved to sing pretty much all of my life. I watched my mom sing at church and then I got to see my sister follow in her footsteps. I would just be in awe of their voices. They both had this natural vibrato.. that I just couldn't seem to find. Not to mention the ability to harmonize! While I loved to sing I couldn't seem to overcome the feelings of inadequacy when I compared myself to the voices of others around me. I let this feeling drown out my voice and I stopped trying. I went to a very small country church that sang the good 'ol hymns, that I have come to appreciate and love, but at the time I was a teenager and wanted nothing to do with these old songs. Many times people would ask me if I would lead singing and I would constantly turn them down. Sure, I would sing specials whenever I could get the chance because they were some of the more modern songs that made ME feel like I was singing something worth while. But what I have realized now that I am older is that I totally missed the reason that we sang those old hymns AND I missed out on the support and encouragement from the older generation in our church. I chose to focus on the insecurity I felt by not being as "good" as other singers, including my family. I knew God was calling me to sing but I almost felt paralyzed. When Greg and I went to a bigger church I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to be involved in a worship team that allowed you to sing, no matter your ability. This to me enbodied the whole spirit of worship. God doesn't just want the best of the best to worship... He wants the best of you WHEN you worship. And..so what if you miss a note or mess up the words a little? As long as you bring your whole being to him, he will make it beautiful and it will accomplish HIS purpose... not yours. When Greg and I moved back to Ohio I asked some of the friends we had met at our new church how I would try to get involved in the worship team and to my surprise the ones I was asking were the ones leading worship that week! I love when God coordinates things like that. So to my surprise I was asked to join in that next months worship team. I was a little taken back that there wasn't a grueling audition process that I had experienced in our previous church. But I took the opportunity to be involved anyways. So I sang on 2 different occasions. The last one being the day right before my brain tumor was found. I remember feeling so good after singing that Sunday. I was so thankful that God had allowed me the opportunity to sing again despite the constant rejections and excuses I gave him when I was younger. "But God, theses aren't the songs I am comfortable singing", "But God, I'm not like my mom and my sister. Didn't you hear my voice? I can't sing like them!" So many wasted opportunities! But praise God, I got another chance.
When I was in the Emergency Room that next day, waiting for the prognoses of my condition, I remember praying to God- bargaining with Him that if I could just be OK I would take advantage of EVERY opportunity to sing for Him. I apologized over and over again for missing those chances I had to serve Him, because of my selfishness and lack of faith. I vowed to never miss a chance again! It has been 3 months since then and being fully recovered I took advantage of the chance to sing yesterday- the first time since my surgery. And despite Satan's attempts to remind me of my unworthiness and how much I didn't "deserve" to be the one helping to lead the congregation to worship.. I did it anyways. I kept my focus on WHO I was worshiping, not WHY I was the one up there. So incredibly thankful that God had brought me full circle. From that Sunday in November when I was so unaware of the journey I would begin that next day, to yesterday when I had the privilege to live out the promise I made to God in the ER.
I have a new found passion that I didn't have before because of my insecurities. So, my mission from now on is NOT to question HOW or WHY opportuinites present themselves to me, But to JUST SAY YES, and show up. God will take care of the rest!