Since I can remember I’ve been singing. My younger years were filled with the study of music. Piano, voice, and theory at an early age. Then vocal recitals, youth choir at church, chorus in middle school, pageantry <shuttering over the memory as I type>, Voice in high school, and was even the only one in my class to be selected as a Top 40 soloist as a freshmen (my high schools’ version of Glee).
Music was (and is) a deep passion. My first love set ablaze while riding shotgun with my Dad in his yellow Subaru. The memories of belting George Harrison’s “Set on You”, and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” will forever be etched in me. That and extending my hand out the window, as only a true Rocker would, while The Who bellowed from his stock speakers. Those were the days. A girl and her Daddy taking on the world- or at least the local hardware store- together.
Later on, it was my adolescence that shaped my musical taste and, also, set me apart. While other girls my age were into the 90’s mania that was Spice Girls, No Doubt, and Alanis, I had discovered Aretha, Roberta, and Ella (yes, we’re on a first name basis). My old soul rejoices recalling the memories of copying my grandparents’ 8-tracks and vinyl onto cassette so I could get soulful in my bedroom in front of the mirror, Walkman in ears and hairbrush in hand. No hyperbole.
Then came a boy, Ethan’s Dad, who liked country. No explanation needed. I got hooked and to this day am, slightly begrudgingly, a country fan. Boys do that to you.
Enter Andrew. Our very first conversation (online) was about music. When we started dating he was hooked on Mumford and Sons and I was in a Grace Potter induced trance. We talked likes and dislikes but discovered this for sure…great music is timeless and absent of genre. It just is. That we had in common.
Concert upon concert we went, and still go, though 3 kids can certainly have a way of changing any cadence quick and in a hurry. So now we reserve our concert going date nights for only our favorites and use our God-given talents in new ways. We worship the Lord through song.
If you had asked me to sing at church even 5 years ago, after leading responsorial Psalms in my youth, I’d of called you crazy. Not my thing. Not because they are not beautiful and rich in tradition, but because I was so disconnected then. When Bishop came along and we found a church we call home, I knew from day 1 that I wanted to pursue singing again, but I also knew the journey would be a difficult one.
Could I sing. Sure I could. But that was not what I was called to do and I heard that loud and clear. I was called to worship and worship is not just singing. Worship is relationship. Worship is connection. Worship is complete abandon. All things I was lacking with and in God.
Today, along with an amazing team I lead worship once or twice a month for our congregation. I’m humbled each time I step foot on “stage”, thankful and so in love with a God that has given to me unfathomable blessings, resounding (sometimes daily) forgiveness, immeasurable grace, boundless love. I’ve found relationship. I’ve found connection. I’ve found abandon, peace, true joy. And have committed my heart to helping others in their journey to Christ, too.
The deepest need in this world is Jesus. There I said it. Events like this past week’s shooting in Florida have the country talking, and inevitably taking sides. It’s also got people asking where was God in all of this. Here’s my heart. Like it or not it’s the Truth. God was there. He saw the heart of the perpetrator and never left his side. He saw the victims and was with them, too. As a mom of a son that suffers from a mental illness, and as a mom/human in general, I feel so deeply for all parties. This world is heartbreaking but we must remember that this world isn’t God’s, it is Satan’s. When I say that God never left those involved that is the absolute Truth. Just like He never left His Son, to be ridiculed, condemned, beaten, and even in his final moments, to die on Calvary’s cross.
Why do I worship? Why do I believe? To bring Heaven to Earth. I stated above that the world’s deepest need is Jesus. You know what the opposite of to need is? It’s to have. I worship and believe because I want you to HAVE. To have love. To have peace. To have joy. Not sometimes but at all times. When we live in fear, it is because we’re lacking in faith. So HAVE faith. It doesn’t matter what side of the argument you’re on. It doesn’t matter if you think this blog post is absurd or pushy. Nope. It doesn’t change the very real need.
Music is my passion. Years ago driving around with my Dad, it meant relationship building. As time went on that continued to true. Today, this passion has magnified because it’s no longer about me and a song is more than a song.