Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silencing the tapes

I sang this weekend with a professional singer and the entire time I was practicing with her, I battled my "tapes" that were continually sounding off that I wasn't good enough, that I would ruin her performance, that I would mess it up and everyone would know that I really am not a good singer.

See, Friday night we met to practice. There was one other lady, also singing back-up for The Singer and we were learning new songs and learning harmonies to those songs. For this other lady, she has a college degree in music, it's simple for her to pick out a harmony and sing it - she loves to do that, it is one of her strengths and joys and she's good at it. I love to sing melody. I'm content to let someone else harmonize, I love to just sing it out. I can't do that as back-up singer - The Singer gets the melody, I have to learn a harmony. That's okay, I can learn it, and as I discovered this weekend, I can even pick one out that sounds pretty good. As we practiced together, The Singer chose the other lady to sing duet with her in a few parts and even to lead out on one of the songs. That helped set off my tapes of not being a good singer, and of sounding badly.

The point is, I did it, and I did it fairly well. I stretched myself beyond my own feelings of capability and came through. I wasn't perfect, I did mess up and miss a few things, but it still sounded good. I discovered that I can actually harmonize, I can do something different and still succeed. Most importantly, I learned that even when I can't turn off the tapes, I CAN fight past them and refuse to believe their lies.

See, the tapes this weekend were so huge that I even dreamed that THE singer had asked me to not sing with her. I was in tears trying to learn parts - not because it was hard but partly because of my fear and my ongoing tapes (and partly my exhausted emotional state). Sometimes the tapes don't give up. I have big dreams, I want to sing in a big way, to share a message, my testimony through song, to hopefully change lives with my story and music. In the past, I have allowed that dream to be trampled on and crushed and now that I have chosen to let it live again the tapes are louder, they are fighting to be heard, to kill this recently replenished dream. I am choosing to ignore the tapes. The longer I ignore them, the more I prove them to be untrue, the better able I will be to give that dream true life, to embrace the opportunities that come my way and hopefully, one day, see my dream come true. This time, I chose to NOT give up on it, to stretch and push until it comes to fruition.

I couldn't silence the tapes this weekend so I did the next best thing. I fought past them, I kept going despite them. Then, most importantly, I found a friend and confessed to her my need and my fears and I asked her to pray for me. I know that she did because I felt God's strength in my heart and my voice as I sang. Through the performance, I sang and I sang it right and the tapes were silenced. I didn't ruin the songs or the worship. God sustained me and gave me abilities that I didn't know or believe I had before. I praise Him because only He can carry me through. Only He gives me the strength and the ability to push past my fears and anxieties to succeed and accomplish something new and scary.

He is an amazing, mighty God and I am grateful that He is the one who carries me through.

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