On Sunday night at church, I sang a solo.
I am not one to do this on a normal basis. In fact, not until we moved here in Virginia, have I really been involved in music ministry since I was a teen. I loved it back then. As teens, we had a blast getting together, playing, singing, and putting together arrangements. There is nothing more satisfying, in my opinion, than a beautifully harmonized piece of music.
I recently found this song that hit a spiritual nerve, and I knew I wanted to sing it. Not necessarily in a public setting, but like most music in my life, in a quiet-like worship.
The song speaks of God revealing himself in a hard time.
“Though it’s midnight, in the prison, my heavenly Father reigns in heaven. His arms enfold me. The bars can’t hold me, when I lift my voice and sing his song of praise.”
Truth spoken in lyric. The best kind of truth.
I had moments when the words of the song hit me so hard, it was as if I was standing before God, crying out, exposing my bleeding heart, and He was there, teaching me and reminding me that He has never forsaken during a trial.
The solo was sprung on me last minute. That morning I was asked to sing.
Being one that doesn’t normally whip out solos in church, there were obviously nerves, but losing it due to emotions was not what I had thought would happen. There were too many other factors in play. Things like getting the notes and words correct. Coming in on the right cues. And holding a mic.
I truly wanted the Lord to be done right. What I mean is that I wanted the message of the song to come through to those listening. Perhaps there was one struggling who needed to hear this very thought? Or one that was once in a hard place and needed reminding that God is still good. I wanted God to shine.
But He came in a most unexpected way.
That afternoon, before evening service, I was talking with two separate DIPG mothers who needed answers, hope, and love. It is a very difficult place to go for me, because though with all my heart I want to help, it’s like ripping off a band-aid on a still bleeding wound. It hurt. It stung. And it took my breath away.
As I prayed and asked God to help me with the right words to say, part of me gripped onto the safe place in my mind, hoping not to have to fully “go there”. Then it happened. By this weird mistake, once I was done talking to them, I came upon a video that I took of Molly on her last day on earth. I don’t even remember taking it. I don’t know why I would. Perhaps it seemed right at the time, but as I watched for only ten seconds, an eternity washed over me. I was transported back to May 24, 2015, next to her bed, wishing I had longer.
I couldn’t stay in that place for long because it was soon time to go back to church.
Then it was soon time to step on the stage.
And it was now time to let God do what He needed.
Ya’ll, it was squeaky, choppy, and completely rattled notes. It was, from the outside, unprepared, unrehearsed, and uncomely.
But it was what God wanted.
He wasn’t working on touching those hearts that were listening. He was working on touching my own. Reminding me 2.5 years later that these bars of sorrow will not hold me forever. One day I will be free of this prison of sadness and want. One day I will soar to Him, His arms wrapped tightly around me, and know that it is over.
I look forward to that day.
I am keeping my eyes on the moment ahead that will make all tears flee and all hearts unbroken.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes, when you think you should be all together, perfect, and exact, God wants you more authentic and honest. Not that good singing can’t be those things, but for me, raw was where it was at.