Monday, September 15, 2014

Be Filled with the Spirit, Addressing One Another in Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Singing and Making Melody to the Lord with Your Heart

Yesterday, I jumped a hurdle. It may have looked small but for me it appeared towering. (I am speaking figuratively, of course.) I am certain I have mentioned before (a few times), I struggle terribly with anxiety. It causes an array of various issues from a cold sweat, to nausea, to my mind going completely blank, etc. Anyway, I really enjoy singing, I do. Just ask my kiddos. They hear me pretty much non-stop. I give concerts in the car, at home…my neighbors have maybe heard too since lately I have had the windows open during the day. When I am comfortable, I will sing to my heart’s content. But, in public…or even in front of a single person (other than my children…they are so supportive and say my singing sounds great!) I shut down. My throat tightens up and I choke (pun intended). As I have also mentioned before, it was suggested I go to a karaoke bar (because A. there is “liquid confidence” available and B. the people there are supportive).

Instead, though, I asked if I may join our “praise team” at church. So, where does the hurdle come in? Well (thank you for asking), yesterday, I attended my first practice with them. So, how did it go? (Again, how kind of you to inquire.) It went okay. I did FAR better than I thought I would…no dizziness, no puking. (That’s always a good thing, right?) I was not brave enough to sing with the microphone (Are you kidding me?! Amplify my anxiety so you can hear every flip of my voice and wrong note so boldly belted out?! No way!) But, I did stand with the backup singers and sang. (I wasn’t able to pace, of course. I am a “pacer” when anxiety is bugging me. Or if I am sitting I bounce, tap, wiggle, (in short I can’t sit still)…you get the idea.) Anyway, so I did much better than I envisioned I would. Further, I am ready for the next rehearsal. I am still not prepared to join them during an actual worship service, but I’ll get there…eventually…hopefully.
18 …but be filled with the Spirit, 19addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ... (Ephesians 5:18-20. ESV.)
I am thankful for a voice to lift up in “spiritual songs”. Which brings me to a story.

Growing up I was immersed in the field of dance (with a focus on ballet). My life was training every day for hours, doing performances, competitions, and conventions. I generally would meet up with the same “usual suspects” at most events. Also, sometimes we had “guest teachers” and “guest students” at the studio. One girl, who was an AMAZING dancer, BEAUTIFUL person, and gentle soul, is Jill. Admittedly, I have lost track of her over the years but one visit back to my hometown I learned some terrible news. I was told Jill had been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver and was paralyzed. My heart cried! I mourned the loss of her “true love”. I knew (as everyone else did who ever saw her dance) she adored it! She was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) to be a dancer. She was so graceful and talented. She was the girl I wanted to beat (at competition) but she was (and probably still is) such a nice person! Sometimes I do not understand how God can allow such things to happen but I do have faith (as Joseph said)
20As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.(Genesis 50:20. ESV.)
The drunk driver most likely did not even realize what he/she did and took away from Jill!
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
(Psalm 23. ESV.)
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