Friday, March 12, 2010
Making a Joyful Noise
This past Wednesday was a day I will never forget. It marked a new beginning for me that has been a long time coming. To really understand why, I'll need to give you a little background.
When I was a little girl I was always singing. I know a lot of people say that but when I say always...I mean always! I know I drove everyone crazy.
When I wasn't singing out loud, I was more than likely humming to myself in my head. It's like I was born with theme music. For me, music has been a constant companion that could always be depended upon. I come from a family of musical people. My great-grandmother taught herself to play the piano and could really rock out the 'ragtime' when she was feeling playful. My grandmother (her daughter) actually sang on her own radio show in Dallas when she was in her early years. My dad was a lounge singer at one time and had a great voice reminiscent of the Rat Pack days. Musicality is just in our genes and I'm so glad of that. A love for music is alive and well in my kids, too. We have big musical productions, complete with costumes and make-up, pretty often around here.
I sang in my school choirs, did church choir tours, and sang to anyone who was willing to listen (and those who weren't so willing, probably) whenever the opportunity would arise. I just loved to sing. All the time.
As result of all of this 'exposure' I was encouraged very often in my young life that I should be a singer. In fact, back in those days, I believed it was inevitable that I would be a famous singer (typical of me) and that it was only a matter of time before I would be discovered, adored and elevated immediately to celebrity status and that I would fall in love with a handsome movie star and would live fabulously ever after in blissful harmony. Yeah...well as you might have guessed, that's not exactly what happened.
As a teen who lived life in the midst of instability and uncertainty, I was searching to find myself and was most often looking in all the wrong places. In the middle of some intense family drama, my path became unclear and I started meandering around with little or no direction. I was pretty much 'on my own' since the age of sixteen. Of course I know now that Jesus never left my side during those times but I was not spiritually mature enough to call on him to direct my steps. Though I was saved I did not seek out the guidance required to grow in my faith until several years later. During this time, singing and waiting tables at Denny's paid the bills. I have such a long list of vocational skills from all of the odd jobs I have held in my life it is astounding. I was constantly dreaming of making it big and proving myself worthy through singing. At the time, I felt it was all I had to offer.
Since then, I have been fortunate to sing in some pretty remarkable places. I've toured all over the southern United States. I've sung in front of crowds of thousands at sporting events and air shows. I've performed in musical theatre productions. Always so much fun but sort of like eating nothing but salad. Nothing against salad, but it's just not quite satsifying enough when you really get down to it. Something was missing. Couldn't put my finger on it though. There were always people to tell me I was talented and should keep pursuing a career in music. Eventually, life happened and I just stopped dreaming as big. Then I became a wife and a mom and my priorities changed (as they should) so my focus was on my husband and kids and I let my dream take a back seat.
Fast forward to our move to Houston. At the time of our move I was not exactly happy about leaving the east coast and coming home to Texas. Too many old ghosts, I guess. I was not as trusting of God's plan and timing as I should have been and went through some pretty intense trials and testing as a result. We were searching and praying for a church to call home and one day David suggested we should give Lakewood Church a try.
That first Sunday at Lakewood would be the first day in a journey that has been, in my view, nothing short of miraculous. That Sunday God gave me a vision of myself singing on the stage with the worship team. A few weeks later, I went online to check service times at church and a window popped up extending an invitation to audition for Voices of Lakewood. I prayed and felt like I was led to try out for the choir. I felt my prayers had been answered and was so excited to be welcomed warmly into the choir. I was inspired by the commitment and love for the Lord in the music ministry and leadership. I have learned so much in my walk with the Lord from the amazing people I have served with in the choir. It has been an awesome experience to say the least. A couple of years later I auditioned for the ensemble and have had the honor of serving and worshiping on the mic with my choir family.
A few months ago I auditioned for the worship team and God made a way for me there as well. All I can say is WOW!! God resurrected a childhood dream for me in a way that has far exceeded my expectations for myself. My daddy always said I would end up singing for Jesus and he was so right! On Wednesday night I walked onto the platform to serve on the worship team for the first time. There was a peace and joy in my spirit that I can't put into words. It was like coming home. As a singer, there is a sense of completeness that only comes when I sing in praise and worship. It's meat and potatoes after a long period of salad only. It's all I want to do. To exalt Jesus and not myself. I am aspiring to lift up the name of the Lord. I'm making my joyful noise! How wonderful is that? God is so Good.
My dreams for myself have been gently and lovingly unraveled and reworked into the perfect plan for my life by my heavenly Father. I did marry a handsome man (thankfully not a movie star) and have the family I have always prayed for. I am living fabulously,(but not always blissfully), ever after, after all. There is harmony at last. Makes me feel like singing!