It was about a year ago that I was freaking out. Literally.
I had been going to our church for a few months prior and really felt I needed to expand what I was currently doing. I must admit though, a lot of this is because of the amazing people I was surrounded by. And you know what, that’s always on purpose. The right people are there at the right times when you need them most to give you those good nudges.
I’ve been singing for a lot of my life, but I never really understood what I was supposed to do with it. I tried out for American Idol when I was 18. I tried out for America’s Got Talent in January of 2017. I sang the National Anthem on a few big stages. I started doing that at like 10 I think. I sang in church as a kid. I had some leading roles in my choir. I’ve had the honor of singing at friends’ weddings. Karaoke was my thing back in college. But something was always missing. The fulfillment wasn’t there even though it meant the WORLD TO ME that everyone always really enjoyed hearing me sing. I couldn’t figure out why I had a voice but I didn’t want to use it? Not in the way I really felt like I was supposed to I guess.
THEN long story short I wind up in Jacksonville going to church again consistently with a few girlfriends of mine which turned into bringing my boyfriend. Auditions to be a part of our church’s worship team were coming up. Literally I had to be nudged and then nudged again. It was like one of those things where I knew I had to audition because my girlfriends and boyfriend were accepting nothing less. That’s kinda how it always was with me. I had to be threatened to get up and sing. Unless I was a few glasses deep (haha!)
I decided on the LAST DAY the auditions were open to submit. Come to find out I had to learn a brand new song for the audition which was THAT SAME NIGHT. I had made up in my head it’d be like every other audition I did. I’d go in with a song I felt confident in, sing in front of strangers and see what they thought.
Not. The. Case.
I immediately began thinking there’s no way I can do this. I can’t learn a brand new song and memorize it by like 6PM tonight. It was 10 in the morning. My boyfriend who I’d just started living with at the time was not accepting that. He said “you have nothing to lose.” He was trying to convince me that it was still worth it to try. That I should spend the whole day learning the song, go try out and face my fears and see what happens.
He was so right.
I spent the whole day trying to learn this song. And did I mention that memorizing lyrics was literally my WORST NIGHTMARE. I forgot the lyrics to a song I’d been singing for 10+ years (The National Anthem) on the biggest stage I’d ever sang on (My college’s women’s soccer game). It was the most horrific thing I have probably experienced. I messed up the words. I knew I messed up the words. And I started over.
I had literally 0 confidence in myself when it came to learning lyrics and singing without a cheat sheet! BUT I knew I had to try.
It was time to leave for the audition and I was nervous but something I have always loved about singing is knowing that no matter what, you still TRIED. You still showed up. I always try to find gratitude and perspective in that.
I get to the audition and everyone is SO NICE. My boyfriend is with me and I’m trying to not be an A HOLE out of nerves and frustration. We walk in and they were choosing people to go in order. I decided “why not just do it?!” SO I went early in the line up.
I went in, our worship leader walked me through the parts of the song I’d sing and I literally GULPED.
Ever memorize something ONE WAY and if it’s another, you’re lost?
That was me.
So I’m like “OH OK. You’re starting from bridge and then chorus and then verse and then OMGGGGGG…..”
I botched it.
I was so lost. They even let me hold my paper. I royally screwed up y’all. BUT they were accepting, understanding and AMAZING. I told them my situation and they immediately told me to just send in an audition video and we’d go from there. They prayed with me and I left with my head held high. I trusted that even though I felt like I fell flat on my face, God was working through me.
^^ Try out video! YES I’m in my bathroom holding a remote. Whatever works right? LOL!
I ended up getting accepted onto the team and was given instructions on moving forward. YAY!!! Except now that meant more songs to memorize and more fears to face. (gulp again)
That also meant I’d go through some training. I love the integrity behind our church’s worship team. We’re more than singers on a stage. We live and breathe worship. We learn to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. It’s like the whole process happened at the exact time I needed God MOST. It gave me a real understanding of what having a relationship with the Holy Spirit felt like. It showed me that it’s not about your talents or voice, but about what comes from your HEART on that stage. That you lead the flow of the service because people connect through music. I was so excited!!!
Then the holidays hit and we’d resume training come the new year. Next was actually SINGING! So immediately my mind was like “how the heck am I going to memorize anything?!”
And as I was practicing for our weekly development meeting my boyfriend said the best thing ever. He reminded me that if I’m constantly focusing on not being able to remember the words, I won’t. I have to connect to them. I have to really believe that I can do it if I expect to do it. I have to align with this calling. And as my pap always says, “Ask Jesus to guide you through everything you do.” SO I did. I’ll never forget going to development that week and KNOWING THE WORDS! I felt comfortable on stage for the first time in my LIFE. I had some presence. And from then on I was welcomed on to start serving during our services.
I want to give you a little bit more back story as we move into this final piece of this story.
Remember how I said I just never knew what I was supposed to do with singing. I tried so many different things. I always stepped up to the plate and typically did well except a few times….
I always felt terrible and so guilty that I didn’t love to just get up and sing as much as people wanted me to. I LOVED this gift, but I felt like I hadn’t quite found what I was REALLY supposed to be doing with it. It wasn’t my dream to sell records. It wasn’t really even my dream to be on American Idol or America’s Got Talent. I just tried those things and showed up because I thought maybe it would become my dream or if that’s what I was meant for, God would work it all out. I will admit though, it was my dream to make people feel some type of way through music. I loved that. I loved doing that. It was just GETTING me to do it!
I’d never been on stage and felt really comfortable. I’d never been able to memorize not one song but 3-5! I’d never really LOVED performing and been excited to do it again because of how nervous I was.
Last night serving with our worship team was the most FUN I’ve ever had using my gift. I felt comfortable. I felt so CALLED. I felt confident in my abilities and knowing the words.
I felt like I was exactly where I’ve always been meant to be.
It all began to make sense.
A lot led me there though. A lot of resistance. And I really do believe what we’re most called to do we’ll resist. It’s scary, right? When I walked into our church the first time I remember thinking “wow I’d love to be up there leading with them!” AND THEN I was like “OMG that would mean I’d have to do XYZ…) *gulp* *nevermind* *justkidding* haha!
It was a beautiful experience. Being a part of the sound that leads the service is something I can barely describe. Being able to serve God in that way!!! I felt the Holy Spirit working through me. I felt the energy of the young kids dancing and praising right off the stage. I felt lives being changed and people being saved.
For the first time in my entire life, I can confidently say I’m EXCITED to do it again! The work that goes into it and the training are nothing compared to being able to serve this way.
God took his time on me. He really developed me and helped me be exactly who I needed to be for all this and what’s to come.
Let this remind you that if you’re stuck, confused, maybe you don’t see your gifts, maybe you can’t see what he’s trying to do through you.
Maybe you need to step out in faith.
Maybe you’re making yourself feel unequipped when really you have everything you need in Him.
Maybe you can’t see how the wilderness you’re currently in could ever get better.
I’m saying that because I believe it in my whole heart and that’s what you’ll have to do too.
I hope you let this story remind you that you CAN do anything through Him. That you can continue to face your fears. That failure is never really failure. That there is MORE on the other side of everything you’re unsure of. That it’s not about our gifts, but how we use them.
Let God take his time on you.
And girlfriend, you better give Him some PRAISE!