Rise up

I have stage fright. Most people don’t know this about me. I absolutely hate getting in front of people and speaking or singing. It has never really been something I’ve been comfortable doing. It takes people by surprise when I tell them this. But let me tell you, just because a person is outgoing and extraverted, that does not mean that they like to be up in front of people with their full undivided attention.

I tell you all of this because despite my dislike and discomfort of being on stage, I have put myself out of my comfort zone and started helping with the worship on Sunday mornings at church. It’s only 1-2 a month, but I still am not comfortable. I have a mini anxiety attack before getting up there.

Yesterday, I was helping lead. And like usual, as I was walking up I had to try very hard to control my breathing and calm my racing heart and shaking hands. I wasn’t doing great. It’s always so much easier for my to worship in my car alone, with the music up, sometimes the windows down, just me, God, and the road. I wish I could take my comfort like when I’m in my car and carry it with me onto the stage. But I am not comfortable. My thoughts race, and I’m worried about not messing up, not looking like a fool, not tripping (cause thats the most likely to happen) and then I worry about distracting everyone from worship and failing at leading everyone into a spirit and time of worship (I know rationally I shouldn’t have to worry cause I’m not leading and no one is critiquing me, but my fear is irrational).

Despite all this yesterday was cool. I felt like an utter failure, I wasn’t comfortable with a couple of the hymns we were singing, and then I wasn’t singing in a key that suited me, so I was uncomfortable and unfamiliar. I left the stage feeling down, I thought I had been more of a distraction than a tool used by the Lord. But then as we were taking our offerings and Bethany was leading the song, I was blown away and humbled. She was signing it is well. She made it though the first verse and was starting the second verse, and she couldn’t get the words to come out because of emotions. Tears were running down her face and though she tried to sing nothing could come out. This alone was beautiful, but even more beautiful was the congregation.

As Bethany kept playing, slowly at first then all at once the congregation stood to their feet. They began singing louder and stronger than before, and together we lifted up the words of It Is Well. The congregation joined together as one body, and were one of us failed, the rest of us were able to gather around and lift them up and be united. Everyone was full of emotion and it was clear that the Spirit was moving in each of us. As I looked around tears were rolling down faces and hearts were crying out.

This is one of the most beautiful acts of worship I’ve ever seen. I have few memories similar to it that were such a clear demonstration of the power of the Spirit, the love of the body, and a beautiful picture of worship. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing and I will cherish Sunday’s worship dearly.

God works in mysterious ways and even when we feel like utter failures He is still able to use us for His glory. Worship is not about us. It is about giving praises to God and seeking His power, His spirit, His presence. I was that in a beautiful demonstration. It makes me want to continue serving faithfully, even when I feel like a failure, and even despite my irrational fears. I am thankful.

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