Got in some errands in the lovely, dry weather today, and placed my flamingo back out in the front yard, to guard the premises. I only needed a sweater and enjoyed my time out and about.
As the radio played in the car, I searched about through the channels and found some holiday music. The song playing was familiar. I had been asked to sing that song about 30 years ago in a church for a holiday program. I smiled for a moment, remembering how honored I felt, the dark church with bright lights on the stage area, and begging the sound guy to keep the mic level down.
But another part of the memory came up. A part that I wasn’t so pleased about. I had been asked as a favor to a choir director that I had worked with and it was at the church I was raised in. I began to recall at the time feeling a bit prideful. My humility was quite noticeable by it’s absence. I really thought this was the start of my solo career, and that very soon invitations would be coming out of the woodwork to sing for all sorts of things; weddings, programs, you name it. It was my expectation, after spending time in college studying voice, private lessons, the love of hearing my own voice…really. I was primed and ready for some “growth”.
After my performance, I was given the standard kudos, and then…nothing. My life went on, and I did not get asked to sing anywhere. I joined choirs, I sang my part, I auditioned for solos, which I did not get. I sang in groups where the performance level was so strict and the quality level so high, it became emotionally exhausting to try and keep up with the demands of “our best for God.” Finally, I gave it all up for several years, feeling defeated and as though the doors were closed on that part of my life.
When I entered recovery, one of the tools God used was this long-dormant music thing. I was asked to join the group that helps lead music as a part of the large group meeting. It was a way for me to feel like I belonged and the folks in the group held me accountable to show up, and God held me accountable to share the years of education and experience He had placed within me, because I no longer had the chops to really solo anymore. But I could encourage, train and give feedback. But it would take a measure of grace and humility that had been missing in my life.
However, because of recovery, I was able to use the steps and principles to understand that IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. No matter what my talents are, I can take comfort in the fact that they were not given to me for my edification and ego. They are specifically designed and placed in me to serve those in the fellowship and others in general, where appropriate. It wasn’t until I realized this, I found true confidence and happiness in singing. God gave me joy in submission, in the giving of what He had given me to others.
And do you know what? I rarely get nervous anymore in front of people when I sing. Because I know why I am up there, that He is using the music as He sees fit, and that one day, it will end, and I will find and use other talents. And I am working my recovery to be okay with that too.
I know this one is a little long, but it was impressed upon me to write it, so…there ya go. Love you all, hugs and g’night.