A new season is officially here & with that comes change. That may mean wardrobe, perspective, your coffee order, anything. For me, that meant a change in how I use my gifts. I'll be honest with y'all: I've been using them, but not as much as I know I should be. While yes, I sing all the time & I'll post little videos of it on Instagram every once in a while, & I'll write or help others with their writing, I recently realized that I haven't been using all of my gifts to their full potential & for me, that's my voice.
I used to help lead worship at my church in Alabama's youth group some, but haven't yet since I came back home to Tennessee. When we moved back home last June, we started coming back to our church here that we used to go to before we moved to Alabama. Our church is pretty big, so there's a lot of places to get plugged in. My problem? I didn't make it a point to get plugged in enough. Okay, I knew people around the church & went to service like any other typical church-goer, but I didn't really seek out any major ways to get personally involved. Now going back to the worship team thought: ever since we first started going to our Tennessee church (the first time around, so around 2009-2010), I thought it would be fun to serve on the worship team. Of course at the time, I was 9-10, so I couldn't yet, but once we moved back, I was plenty old enough. I tossed around the idea of trying to find out how to audition & saw how much my friends on the worship team enjoyed it, so I knew I would too if I would only give it a try, but never took action to the idea. However, I was in church a few Sundays ago & when I was flipping through the bulletin, I saw an upcoming event for worship team auditions posted at the top of the page. I started to ponder on the idea of finding out how to sign up, then my pastor started preaching the sermon that was on nothing other than living missionally. As I was writing down the notes for the sermon, I read the first point, which literally said,
"1. Embrace the uncomfortable. Live more to your calling than comfort."
at the beginning &
"4. Experience adventure!"
at the end.
Growing up, I had always heard of people sitting in service, hearing the pastor's message, & feeling that apply to their life in that moment, but up until October 28, 2018, I had never experienced anything like that so quickly. As soon as I got home that afternoon, I started looking up how to register for auditions & practicing what I could possibly audition with (turns out they had songs pre-selected, but it's the thought that counts, right?). I had a fire lit inside of me that I hadn't found in a while. It was one that once I moved back home to Tennessee from Alabama & got involved in the busy life of college classes, I seemed to lose for a while. I didn't like it, obviously; there just seemed to be some sort of missing link between God & me. The thing that brought me closer? Music.
Funny how that works, right? ever since I was little, God has given me music & He seems to continuously be giving it to me when I need it the most: He gave me musical theatre to plug into & find friends when I first moved to Murfreesboro & a passion for songwriting when I was in middle school, when I first discovered that life isn't as easy as I thought it was. This time, He gave me something that would bring me closer to Him, the link that I had been missing since I moved back to Tennessee: He brought me an audition to be able to serve His kingdom & lead others in worshiping His glory.
As I was getting ready for the audition, I was listening to a lot of my Christian music (which mainly involves 2/3 of my I'm A Jesus Freak playlist being Hillsong UNITED) & their song "Captain" came on...multiple times. In the song, the lyrics talk about how God will be your guide to wherever He takes you, whatever you go through, or whenever you need Him. I kept listening to it & just sat there in awe that no matter what, He loves me & he wants me. Psalm 62:8 says, “I trust in God at all times. I pour out my heart before Him; God is a refuge for me." I wasn't quite sure how the worship team auditions were going to go, but hearing this song & reading verses like these gave me peace that whatever would happen would be part of His plan for me, even before I knew it.
Flash forward to this past Sunday: worship team audition day. I'm not going to lie- I was a little nervous. My nerves weren't super crazy, but I was intimidated because I knew that a church of our size was bound to have a big turnout to auditions. I went & did my audition (trying not to show too many nerves) & walked out of there realizing my new purpose in the church: helping to lead others in worship. No, this isn't a post to tell you that you need to go audition for the worship team & that only; instead, this is a post to tell you NOT to ignore God's calling for your life, your way to live missionally! Originally, I was ignoring God's call for me to live missionally but once I stopped ignoring & started doing, I found my link.
Don't ignore the way that He connects things together, whether it's a thought & a sermon that match up or friends telling you to just go for something & it work out for you; He has a plan for your life! And once you've figured it out, thank Him for it. Whether that's singing worship songs or driving down the road, seeing the stars & clouds at night, & crying happy tears, thank Him for showing you your path because honestly, it's a great feeling to know that God has a purpose for YOU.
"CAPTAIN"- Hillsong UNITED Lyrics
(Written by Benjamin Hastings & Seth Simmons)
Verse 1 Through waters uncharted my soul will embark I’ll follow Your voice straight into the dark And if from the course You intend I depart Speak to the sails of my wandering heart
Chorus Like the wind You’ll guide Clear the skies before me And I’ll glide this open sea Like the stars Your Word Will align my voyage And remind me where I’ve been And where I am going
Verse 2 Lost in the shallows amidst fear and fog Your truth is the compass that points me back north Jesus, my Captain, my soul’s trusted Lord All my allegiance is rightfully Yours