This is the last part of a three part blog series called The Journey. If you missed part 1 you can read it HERE. If you didn’t quite get to part 2 that’s HERE also. This is a part of my story of freedom. Enjoy!
Fast forward to Spring 2012, I’m in a new school, a new church and back to living with my parents. I tried to get into worship at my new church but was intimidated by all the great musicians and put it off. I made the decision to go into full time ministry and changed my education track as well. The first week of the new year I attended the Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA. At this point I understood the point of musical worship and what my role was but hadn’t figured out to live it everyday. God reinvented my worship at Passion. I left Atlanta with a burning passion which seeped into every aspect of my life. I decided that I was going to actively pursue worship and get involved. I still had doubts but with God’s help started to see reality.
One of the practical things about overcoming fears is that you have to actively force yourself to face that which you fear. Enter Grant, the stranger from Australia. You know how God puts people in your path to push you, but they have no idea that’s that they are actually doing God’s work? Holly, my friend in the car was the first in this story and Grant was the second. Right in the middle of what I like to call my pep talk period, I met Grant at a beach meet up. I mentioned I started to learn how to play guitar and had my guitar in my car. Of course he asked to see it and somehow I ended up in a parking lot, singing to a complete stranger, with chords scribbled in a notebook, and barely playing guitar in the background. Despite all of my fears, I felt comfortable.
In the coming weeks Grant, my friend Jess, and I would have random jam sessions and I would end up singing the one song I knew how to play. I think one of the biggest turning points in this whole journey was when we had our first Skype jam session. I was in Orlando preparing to lead worship at my sorority’s chapter retreat and I was so nervous to play and sing at the same time. Grant and Jess were home and helping me prepare for the next day. They were getting ready to go to a party the next day so they were a little goofy which is not what I needed. I needed to feel secure before I went to a retreat for three days and sang in front of all these girls. “Guys I really need to practice this,” I said. “Ok, go ahead, go ahead,” They said between giggles. So I wiped my sweaty palms on the rug, placed my fingers on the fret board, took a deep breath, and started to sing “None but Jesus.” I finished and looked into the screen at my two friends and that’s when it happened.
When I really enjoy someone’s voice, I feel it in my soul. Sometimes I’ll make an “Mmm” sound as if I’m having the best chocolate chip cookie of my life. Sometimes I’ll just close my eyes and smile as if warm sunlight just touched my face. But when I really am impacted by music, my whole face changes. I wear a look of satisfaction and wonderment; when it affects me that deeply, my eyes tear up at the beauty of a single note. It’s soul stirring. Well, I saw that face on Grant. In that moment I saw all that I appreciated countless times while listening to singers on the face of a friend who, not 5 seconds ago listened to me sing. Only through the work of God, I sang and stirred someone else’s soul. “If I could steal your voice and take it back home with me I would,” he said. The lies were uprooted that day. All those years of believing and fearing were discredited in one fell swoop. God took a journey that started about me, stripped me down to realize who the journey was really about, then allowed me to reenter the story with a new perspective. I got to watch God work through me; I saw the result and I knew then I could finally trust Him in this.
Consequently, I started to sing in front of people. It started with a stranger soon to be friend from Australia, then grew to Tuesday nights at chipotle, then to actually performing for a small crowd at Lyrical, Ink. Where am I now? Well, I practicing daily and hope to soon be involved with my church’s worship team even if that means I am the water girl. I know I am not a perfect singer and no longer hold myself to that standard. I know God works always for my good and I am content with that. I know there are countless people out there who have journeys similar to mine. It may not be singing but I am convinced everyone has something they fear. God is calling you up and out of that cell today. What ever it may be, confront it and make it subject to what God says in the bible. We experience freedom in many different ways. I’m challenging you to step out of a life of imprisonment and step into the freedom God has for you. Yes, its scary and it will be rough, but the journey doesn’t end here.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
p.s. I’ve decided that this whole blog series isnt complete until I actually let you all hear me sing so here is a video just for you!