"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, August 16, 2013

SINGING UNHINDERED

Kirsten Holmberg is a wife, mother, author, speaker and ministry servant. Her website if full of spiritually enriched reading, through her written words, that will bless you beyond what she shares today.  Kirsten lives a life of purpose for her Lord and ministers to others with the profound truth of Romans 8:28.


This kind of embarrassment went way beyond the social undoing caused by wearing the collar of your polo shirt the wrong way in the early 1980′s.

It was the beginning of a new quarter. I dutifully arrived in the choir classroom for the first day of the required class. I’d already completed the other 7th grade required quarters of shop, home economics and art.
Familiar with piano after several years of lessons, I understood what she meant when she instructed the class to sing back the arpeggio she would play for each individual. This was, apparently, the means by which she would determine vocal range and placement in the choir. 
Students were called forward one at a time. She played an arpeggio and the student sang it in response. The teacher directed each student to a seat in the choir accordingly.

Then it was my turn.

She played an arpeggio.
I sang it back.
She played another.
I sang it back.
She played another.
I sang it back.
Again and again.
Until this point, nobody had sung more than one arpeggio in response. My cheeks began to flush underneath my feathered hair. I was grateful most of the class couldn’t see my growing discomfort as I faced only the piano and the instructor. I just wanted it to be over.
Please, tell me where to sit.
Finally the arpeggios came to a halt. I waited expectantly for her words. They came… jarring and painful:
“Go find another elective.”
Remember: this was a required class for seventh graders. Required. And I had just been invited to leave. Instructed to find an “elective” in lieu of this required class. In front of God and everyone. Mortifying.
A seed of belief was planted that day. A belief that I couldn’t – and shouldn’t – sing. So, I didn’t. I avoided projecting my voice or trying to match a tone in any and every setting other than my own bedroom or car for the remainder of my junior and senior high career. In college my venues expanded to include bars, using a bottle (or thumb) as a microphone.

Then I began to attend church.

My new church-going friends eventually noted that I never sang during the service. They graciously gave me time to learn the musical repertoire before inquiring as to why.
“I can’t sing.”
Armed with verses instructing me to simply “make a joyful noise” (Psalm 100), they tried to draw me out. And, to some degree, they succeeded. My vocal offerings were tentative and quiet, ever mindful that the person in front of me might react to my singing the same way as my 7th grade choir teacher.
Today, I see the talents of those who lead song during worship service and feel envious. God has given them an ability to usher the rest of us into His Throne Room. I’m grateful for their ministry; they are God’s agents in my harried-heart on many days. Wistful that I don’t sound more like them, I cannot fathom letting them hear me sing. Under any circumstances.
I forgave my choir teacher long ago. But only now — 30 years later — have I finally learned why I should sing.

Because God gave me my voice.

He picked out my hair color and shape of my nose. He determined I would stand 5′-5″ tall and have skin that burns when I’m outside for mere moments. He decided I would prefer Peanut Butter M&M’s over a slice of chocolate cake any day. He gave me my voice, depth and tone, even if off-pitch.
All these qualities were given so that I might return them to Him for His joy and glory. The attributes I posses may not be highly esteemed by my culture or my peers. But they were sovereignly appointed to me for the delight of my Creator.

When I don’t sing, He misses my voice.