I’m so happy and blessed that I could roll on the floor crying tears of joy right about now.  Today was an awesome day for me.  So many things went well at church.  I tend to feel amazing when I leave church but on much deeper levels today was special.

I battle with fear when it comes to singing solo / lead.  I thought this was obvious to everyone – especially since we use a huge projection screen at church.  A few weeks ago I shared this with our Music Director as I was feeling pretty bad about a small lead part I did in the service.  I got complements from several people but I couldn’t receive any of them.  I even got complements on the clothes I was wearing (which were new and I liked a lot) but i didn’t even feel good about that. I realized that this was my issue and things weren’t quite as bad as I was making them out to be.  I just was afraid of ‘messing up’ and even more afraid that I was bad and no one would tell me.  Me telling Fran (our Music Director) about how I felt along with talking about it in one of my groups really helped me to see just how my attitude was.  It was exposed and in the light and suddenly it didn’t seem so big.

Fast-forwarding to this week, I was given a lead part with two solo verses.  Fran really wanted me to pray about leading this song because the lyrics were definitely something that I could sing from my heart.

Sometimes at night
I am afraid
I cover my eyes,
Cover my shame
So here in the dark
Broken apart
Come with your light
And fill up my heart

Oh great light of the world
Fill up my soul
I’m half a man here
So come make me whole
Oh great light of the world
Come to impart
The light of your grace
To fill up my heart

Great Light Of The World by Bebo Norman

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I immediately wanted to sing the song, but was afraid that it was too high for my range.  Fran and his wife Cheryl were really accommodating and willing to work with / support me in whatever way I needed.  Now it was time for me to really work on the song by myself since we wouldn’t have our normal rehearsal — due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.  I practiced… realized I was even afraid to sing loud at home (what would the neighbors think) but pushed past that fear too.

Sunday morning finally came and while I was sleeping I had a dream – it was too random to go into detail here, but it charged me up with confidence that I was a valuable part of the team at Church and that I needed to do what I do there.  Our pre-service rehearsal went well with only a few corrections along the way.  The service flowed well and the message was convicting to me.  I got some new insights on the teaching that John the Baptist did in preparing the way of the Lord. And after the message was the time for my song. I sang it and thankfully my mom was sitting down front and one of my friends stood the entire time I sang – that support blessed me so! I sang the song… I think I up a few words at end of a verse or two, but overall I did my best.  I still felt rather neutral — and didn’t anticipate any positive response.

After the service our Music director gave me a big smile a “great job” and one friend came to tell me she cried as I sang the song. Another friend said he stopped what he was doing to come in and listen.  Several others gave complements and a couple people asked me “how dod you do it? I would be way too nervous or scared!”  They were amazed when I told them how little confidence I had going in!  I realize that – especially on stage — I’ll project confidence even if I feel everything but!  Part of my challenge is learning to feel good just in knowing I did my best.  Validation / approval from others is GREAT ( I promise you it is!!!) but for me to grow more, I’m going to have to internalize that for myself. I was really happy that I pushed past so many of the fears I’ve had in the past and that it resulted in a great time of worship for me and for many in our congregation. That’s purpose!

The other great thing that happened today was having the 20’s/30’s group unexpectedly sing Happy Birthday to me.  My Birthday is coming up on Wednesday and I’d honestly forgotten that the date was quickly approaching so I hadn’t made any major plans.  But it was just neat to know that others are thinking about me and were happy to lift their voices in song.  It took me back to one year ago when I was first becoming more connected at church.  To know that because of the good relationships I’ve found there SOOOOO many things in my life have changed and are being healed.  I’m taking more responsibility for myself, I’m growing emotionally and spiritually.  My community of friends and family is amazing.  I’m becoming more sure of my gifts and callings.  I’m growing my business and growing up as a man.

I’m really surprised I’m not completely in tears at this point.  I’ve had to stop several times today just to rejoice for how God has blessed me.  I really am SO happy.  That isn’t to say life isn’t without it’s challenges and difficulties.  Those will always be a part of this world.  But to face life with the hope and support of God and his people is something that’s powerful beyond words.

I thank GOD for his purpose and the hope that he’s given me!  Indeed, he’s come to my rescue, he’s lit-up my life, and has redeemed me!

Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11