Fear, hurt, anger, disappointment can all be crippling to our psyche. If not dealt with properly, we wind up chained to the past.
I did something this weekend I never thought I would do again.
I stood on a stage and sang. All the while, I had an internal conversation with God.
I don’t belong here, God.
I think you made a mistake, God. I don’t belong here. They’re talented. I’m not. I can’t sing. I got hurt doing this before, God. I don’t want to get hurt again, God. I can’t go through the pain again!
I don’t… I’m not… I can’t…
To paraphrase, THE INTERNAL STRUGGLE IS REAL.
More than 5 years have passed since I last stood on a stage. And yet, here I was…back at it. Terrified.
Growing up, I was a jock. I played sports. I wanted to be like my sisters and brother, who all grew up playing sports. Singing? Maybe with the radio or in the shower, but not on a stage.
My stage was a playing field or court. Give me a glove and ball over a microphone and spotlight.
I don’t belong here, God.
As I explained in my story, Standing Up As I Am, I became a Christian because of a song. Well, not just a song, but it was the trigger point. Looking back on it, it makes sense.
Music and I have a special relationship. Sports was part of my identity as a kid, but music was too without me even knowing it.
I can remember singing in school concerts, playing the piano and clarinet – both of which I enjoyed. (Okay, maybe not the piano part because you HAD to practice every day. And, I had this teacher that….never mind).
I liked listening to music. Come to think of it, I remember singing in the pool. Not while swimming. While roller skating.
Yeah, you read that right. Roller skating. Okay, quick side story.
Like many Phoenicians (Arizona), we had a pool in the back yard. From time to time, we had to drain it to clean it. Or, replace the materials that lined it. Concrete or plaster…I don’t remember what it was, but the pool was empty.
It was just a circle, in-ground pool. To me, that was kind of like a roller rink. Roller derby or going skating with friends/boys type of thing. So, I’d skate. And, I’d bring my radio outside and listen. Of course, I’d sing sometimes.
Not very good, I thought, but I sang. I sang to get away from the world, sing away my troubles if you will. I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing, but it is the reason. Music, singing was feeding my soul in ways that the world, family, people could not.
Sports continued to be part of my life as I grew up, but music was still there too.
After I became a Christian – because of a song – I started singing. Only God knows why because it makes no sense now. Yet, whatever church we’ve been in, I would sing. And in each place, I felt exactly the same way.
I don’t belong here, God.
I’d love to say it was all rainbows and lollipops being on stage or part of a musical department, but I can’t.
See, one of the things we tend to forget whether we call ourselves a Christian or not, the church is an imperfect place. It is filled with liars, cheats, self-servers, egotistical maniacs, broken, hurtful, manipulative, controlling and insecure people.
And that’s just me….ha, ha. Just kidding. Maybe?
The church is filled with people who do not have it all figured out. Yet, we have this delusion that we are.
But, I digress.
Explaining all that had a purpose. And that’s to understand why I say, I got hurt in church. I was hurt, betrayed and disillusioned by people in church leadership. Even by those connected with music.
- liars, cheats, self-servers, egotistical maniacs, broken, hurtful, manipulative, controlling and insecure people
The church is filled with sinners. They (I) screw up. We fail. My point-of-view then, did not compute with the church being full of imperfect people. I expected that they would have it all together, they would be perfect. I wasn’t, but by golly they should be, right?
I understand that now, but I didn’t then. I was naive. But, it still hurt. At times, it still does. I knew that in my heart I was supposed to sing. Not for singing’s sake, but to sing to the one who turned my life around – God.
Because of others’ actions, I stopped singing on stage. I felt like music was taken away from me. I felt like the very thing that connected me to God in the first place…was irretrievably gone.
I don’t want to get hurt again, God.
“It’s time,” He said.
I knew, that I knew, that I knew, God was telling me it was time. Yes, Joy Behar, I was talking with God. And He was telling me to get up and get over it.
It? The hurt, the pain, the trauma, the loss.
My grieving/mourning time was done. It was time for a new season. And that new season began this past Sunday. I was humbled.
Singing is not something I ever took lightly or even sought. I didn’t seek out the stage. Music, singing, the stage sought me.
Although I have some musical training with piano, clarinet and my swimming pool 🙂 I’m not a trained singer. I sing by feel.
But, what I feel sometimes is insecure. I’m not like others who you know are talented as soon as they open their voice. Yeah, no, that’s not me. My feelings are sometimes in the sharp or flat category.
God said, “It’s time”.
Either I could live in fear of what could happen. I could let the past hurt, pain and disappointment own me to the point of never trying again. Or, I could acknowledge the feelings and embrace the opportunity anyway.
The latter got my vote.
I stood. I sang to God.
Demons (if you will) of the past were “exorcised”, so to speak.
Will I ever do it again? I don’t know. God knows. I’m open to it. But, I do know that I took a step forward this weekend instead of living neck-deep in the pains of the past. Living like that was soul-crushing.
I don’t know about you, but I need a life-giving, soul-lifting, challenge-embracing kind of life.
Life is about living.
I choose life.
Knees down, Prayers Up,