The moment I had been worrying myself sick over all week long was here. I had been questioning myself for days..."Why did I decide to go for this?" For the millionth time, I wished that I had not signed up to do what I was about to do. The decision could not be undone though. The time was here. I had made a commitment. There was no backing out now.
I walked toward the stage, climbing the two stairs and entering the glow of the spotlights. The sanctuary was empty, but I still felt as if I was being scrutinized. I stood, wringing my hands nervously and waiting for direction.
"The microphone right there is yours," the worship leader said, pointing to the black metal music stand in front of me. I swallowed, reaching for the mic with a shaking hand. Surprisingly, an old sense of familiarity kicked in as I picked it up. I noted the coolness that radiated against my warm hand; the heaviness as I brought it up into position.
I closed my eyes to say a final prayer as the musicians were completing their final tunings. "God, I feel that this is where you want me. Let this rehearsal be proof of that, if it be Your will." I opened my eyes with a new attitude. The nervousness was still there, but it was now standing right beside a sense of peace.
The first notes of the opening song began to play. "Vocalists," the worship leader instructed, "You guys are going to come in on the first verse."
I stood, carefully listening for the cue to come in. I took a deep breath, and I sang. I sang for the years that I had missed out on using my gift. I sang for the people who encouraged me to be brave enough to do this again. I sang for the praise and worship band that wanted to include me in their ministry. I sang for GOD.
The song ended, and I smiled. I knew I was back in the mission field that God intended for me to serve in.
This little story was based on something that actually happened to me last night. Yesterday evening, I conquered a fear that has been building up inside of me for the past four years or so. To make a long story short, I used to be really involved in singing at church. I loved it, and I knew that God was using me to further his kingdom. Singing was one of my "things."
Eventually, I was put to the test...a test that I would fail. A new girl that was close with one of the band members came in, and I was basically forced out of my singing position so that she could have it. I was hurt, and I experienced so many angry and upset thoughts. She isn't even that good. Why are they giving this to her? Why don't they want me anymore?
I had been committed to that ministry, and it didn't seem to matter. It didn't take me long to become cold towards the idea of singing. Even when I moved to a new city, I didn't want to try to get involved in my church. I would just always say, "I don't do that anymore." I didn't focus on the reasons that God may have had that happen, I just focused on my own selfish pride.
Over the past year, the idea of stepping back into praise and worship has been heavy on my heart. When my current church decided to revamp the program and asked for participants, I knew that God was giving me the sign I needed. I went to the information meeting, I signed up, and a couple of weeks later I got an email asking me if I was ready to sing. I said yes, but I would be lying if I said I didn't second guess myself all week long. I went into rehearsal last night wanting to run back out of the door to the sanctuary, but I didn't. God held me there. He didn't fail me, and He never will.
Today, I encourage you to give your fears the boot. Are you missing out on something you love because you had a bad experience, or someone made you feel like you aren't worthy of doing that thing? It's hard to make yourself realize this...but that is absolute nonsense. If you have a gift or a talent that you are wasting because of fear, you will regret it. Life is too short to sit in the back row when you know you are called to be on the stage.
What is something you're afraid to do? What is something you held back from? What are your fears?
"This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
- Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
Have a great weekend!