Today I did something I have never done before. I’ve done something like this twice a month for about 25 years… but today was a first. Even if no one knew it was a first but me.
I have been involved in music in church since I was about 13 years old when I started drumming in church services. A few years later I was singing specials, then I lead a girls trio, sang in choirs, lead choirs, taught drum lessons, lead worship, drummed while leading worship, up to today where my kids also play instruments in church with me.
But today I did something I’ve never done before.
I lead the singing at the community Good Friday service with no one else singing with me. It was just me and three other instrumentalists. I had to check with a few people beforehand to find out if they thought I was capable of doing this. Kind of silly, really, when you look at my multi-decade track record of singing and playing and leading.
Today was different because there was no one I could hide behind.
That’s me at about 17 getting ready to sing at a camp meeting in 1996-ish. You see that smile of pure joy? I love music, and I love singing! But I never thought I had a very good voice. Those two girls standing next to me were my friends who I sang in a trio with in grades 11 and 12. They had amazing voices and could do all the ditties. (Whitney and Mariah were pretty much “the thing” back in those days). I was there to lead the trio, figure out all the harmony parts, and blend in. In practice, I would cover my mouth or look the other way if I ever had a line I had to sing by myself, because I just knew my voice didn’t compare to theirs!
Somewhere along the way, I think that stuck with me: I’m not a solo-ist. I’m a harmonizer, a blender, someone that fits nicely and adds the most from the background.
But today for the sake of simplicity, since we had to plan the Good Friday service in just a few days, I decided to make the brave step of leading and singing by myself.
And do you know what I heard from almost every person who talked to me after the service?
“You have a beautiful voice.”
Hmm! Of all the things for people to say… of all the things I needed affirmation in after getting up and singing by myself in front of a room full of people… that was it. Some people thought my voice was nice, beautiful even!
All these years of hiding. All these years of insecurities and living with the thought patterns I have had since I was 16 years old.
How much is there in us that could be a gift to the world if we just came out of hiding? If we shed the fears and insecurities that weigh us down and, in the end, likely aren’t even true.
Is there something that you need to be brave about today? To others it may not look like a brave thing, but it’s a brave thing to you. Can I encourage you to not be afraid to try? I’m pretty certain there’s some beautiful voice in you that is waiting to be heard by the world, too.