Before you read this post, I encourage you to read the Journey series I wrote earlier this year. HERE is the link to part one and you can follow the links from there. I left off the Journey series letting you all know that I was pursuing worship at my church. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to write this but I guess I’ll stay true to form and write it as a narrative.
When I first wrote the Journey series, it helped me process through what God had done and was doing at the time. Around the same time I finished the series, I went and sought out one of our worship leaders to find some more info about the worship team and how to “get in.” He told me to fill out an application and directed me to the person in charge of getting me the information. I followed his instructions and soon found myself sitting at my desk with a blank application staring back at me. Filling out the application took me a week. Not because it was long or hard but because I wanted to cop out. I didn’t mention this before, but I tried to audition for worship before and could not even complete the application. I was so intimidated I couldn’t even get myself to finish it. God guided my hand; I finished the application and submitted it.
August 1st, I finally heard back from CF’s Core Worship Assistant, Canaan with a list of times to choose from to have an evaluation. Included in the e-mail was a track of “Hosanna” and instructions to learn the lead and harmony to the song. I can clearly remember the panic that set on me that day. Hosanna is one of my favorite songs but it’s also like a thorn on my side. I love the lyrics and the melody, but I knew from years of singing that song in church, it was way out of my range. After about 5 days of practice and trying to make myself sing the right note, I fell on my face on the floor of my bedroom and started to weep. There was no way I was going to be able to do this. I cried out to Jesus to help me. I needed some sort of miracle. I got out my bible and read Psalm 120:1. It says, “I called on the Lord in my distress and he answered me.” At that moment I was determined to be disciplined in my practice but to let all the results be up to God. He would get glory in all the notes that rang through and in the ones that cracked. The atmosphere was so powerful in my room that day. God brought me so much peace.
Fast forward to Tuesday August 28th, I was scheduled to audition at 6pm that day. I had learned so much in the last few weeks about myself and about God and his character through the Psalms. I started a bible study in April and began reading the Psalms of Ascent but it wasn’t until I started pursuing worship and pursuing prayer that those passages came alive. Grant was back in town, so for an hour before my audition we hung out, played guitar, and I practiced. Soon enough I found myself driving on I-95 towards the church to sing. I can remember being nervous but I realized that I was walking exactly where God wanted me to. I walked in, and after a short wait was escorted to the practice room to audition. I’m pretty sure I was babbling because when ever I get nervous I tend to talk a lot more and my filter sometimes turns off. I remember walking into the room introducing myself, one of the guys evaluating me asked me where was from and of course I said New Jersey. “Oh so you’re from Jersay!” he said in a thick Staten Island accent. “Yeah, but we don’t all talk like that. I don’t.” I half mumbled. I didn’t actually realize I said that out loud until I heard both the evaluators start busting out in laughter. I sang, went into a separate room and spoke about God and I and all then left. It was super short and sweet. (Sorry this is so long!)
The next day I found out I made it into the choir at our church called CF Vocals. Not only that but I was invited to audition again for the platform team which is our main worship group. Honestly, I was shocked. It wasn’t my strongest song, I was nervous, and I wasn’t sure I even made sense most of the time. God has a cool way of surpassing your expectations. I had it figured out that I would be in CF Vocals for a good amount of time, get used to the feel on things and then in the future maybe tryout for platform. So for the next week I went back to my routine that I had established and pressed into God further. Thursday, September 6th, the day of callbacks, I got into a bad accident on I-95. My car was ruined, my foot was painful to walk on, and I had burns on my neck and chest. Walking out of my car to the ambulance waiting 15ft away I thought, “No, This can’t be happening today. I have to be able to sing today. Today is the day. It’s not supposed to happen like this. I didn’t prepare for this.” While the EMT’s and fire rescue checked me out all I could think about was callbacks. I had to be there. I had to go. My foot hurt but I could still walk on it. I ended up missing class that day but sure enough, 8:45pm I was at the church limping onto the stage to sing again. I can say without a doubt that I didn’t sing the sing perfectly, but I do remember becoming so enraptured by the words of the song in light of all that happened that day, I didn’t even care.
Two days later I found out I made it into the CF Platform team. Even as I write this right now, my heart swells up in thanks and awe of who God is and his plan for my life. Obviously, the journey isn’t over. I am more determined to do my best and not treat carelessly what God has entrusted me with. After years and years of work and battle over my thoughts, skill and trust, God proved himself to be true. He does want good things to happen to me and he is working for my good. I couldn’t see it in those moments I cried at night, or the times when people made fun of my voice but now I know. I know He is who he says he is. I know he is shaping my journey. And I know he is not finished yet.