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(This is a continuation of a series I began last week on Living to Please Him. This is not the original post I had intended on sharing, but we will pick up with it next week.)
I have sung in church all my life – duets, trios, ensembles, choirs and praise teams. But only very rarely have I performed a solo for two reasons: (1) I am an alto (& sometimes a tenor) so my vocal range is lower than most female soloists, and (2) I am a scaredy cat!
I am fine if someone is singing with me, but not so good at dealing with a solo.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and our praise team had a beautiful song planned for our Easter Special. My friend, Amber, was set to sing the verses and her voice is amazing!!! The only “problem” was that she was scheduled for a caesarian with her third baby nine days before Easter.
Amber wasn’t sure she’d feel up to singing by then, so she asked me a few weeks ago to practice the verses just in case.
Confession: My eyes filled up with tears the moment she mentioned it to me. I told her, “I don’t do solos.” Translation: “I’m terrified of the very thought of singing by myself with everyone’s eyes on me.”
Afterward, I felt the Lord convicting me in this area, so the next day I texted her and said I’d be her back-up plan if she really didn’t feel up to singing. I was afraid, but I was sure she’d be able to sing one little song.
Friday night, she texted me to let me know she would be there, but wasn’t ready to sing yet.
Cue the tears…again.
“How could she do this to me?!?” My Good Friday took a downward turn. (Um, thanks, Amber! 😉 )
On Saturday, I had my daughter, Olivia, play the piano for me so I could practice. I sounded fine. But inside, I was totally freaking out.
I meditated on two scriptures which helped me quite a bit:
“‘Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 1:8 (NKJ)
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
~ 1 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
Then on Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church, I meditated on what Jesus went through for me. I would highly recommend reading the book, Paid In Full: An In-depth Look at the Defining Moments of Christ’s Passion, by Rick Renner, for a comprehensive teaching on the suffering that our Lord endured for us. It will change your perspective on the scourging and crucifixion forever!
I figured if Jesus could endure such shame, such pain and suffering for me, then I could surely overcome my fears and sing a couple of verses for Him! Obviously, there is no comparison, but after all, if I am living to please Him, then I have to get over myself. I have to get over the fear, timidity, self-consciousness, embarrassment — whatever.
“So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God].” ~ 1 Peter 4:1 (AMP)
It was the very least I could do to honor Him on the day we celebrate His resurrection — His triumph over death and hell.
But yesterday at pre-service practice, I could barely sing my lines because my heart was pounding and my breathing was short and shallow. Y’all, I was a mess!!! I was so, so nervous.
We practiced twice, and the second go-round was better, but my voice was still shaky.
Then later came the actual “performance.”
I could barely squeeze out my words. My voice was still wobbly and I’m sure the hundreds of people in the service felt sorry for me as I stumbled through my verses, but I was facing my fears. I was “doing it afraid!”
And as soon as the rest of the Praise Team members joined in, I found my breath and was able to finish strong.
I’m not gonna’ lie — it was a mortifying experience for me. It was hard. I was afraid — and everyone knew it.
But I wasn’t singing for them. I was singing for Him. I was singing for the One Who gave His all for me.
Pleasing Him is all that matters.
“Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. ” ~ Psalm 27:6
Below is the song we sang, performed by the beautiful, Kari Jobe, entitled Forever. Enjoy!
Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.