Monday, August 23, 2010

Lifting My Voice

When I was seven years old my all time favorite song was Higher Love by Steve Winwood. I don't know where I was or what I was doing the very first time I heard it, but I like to imagine that I was in some department store somewhere with my mom and heard it in the background as that music that's always there but people usually ignore. Way back then, that song spoke to me and I used to walk around belting it out as loud as could be.

When I was 9 I was finally old enough to join our schools choir, and even though I moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania soon after, I sang in a school choir until the day I graduated, often singing solos, duets, and in ensembles along the way.

I've always been a music lover, collecting songs in my head and discovering new bands and new songs who put instruments and notes together in new ways. I dabbled around in playing instruments of my own, wanting to create the same sounds that I had fallen in love with. However, being the totally uncoordinated girl that I am, that usually ended in a cacophony of screeches, squeaks, and squeals. It was only then, after I had all but given up any attempts at playing music that I found my voice.

I'm not a great singer (although my husband might disagree, but seeing as he is my husband and is contractually obligated to tell me how awesome I am, I take his opinion on the matter lightly). Heck, I'm actually pretty mediocre and every single time I even think about singing in front of people on my own I have a giant panic attack (which is why I stick with being part of a choir nowadays), but I love everything that there is about it. I love putting different words and sounds together to form something new and beautiful. I love letting the notes flow through me and touching others with the tune that I'm singing.

Steve Winwood sealed the deal for me. I was only seven years old when I first realized that different songs mean different things to different people. And as corny as that song was/is it will always be a part of me.

I sing for a different reason now. My voice itself may not be the most beautiful out there in the world, but when I sing now I pour my entire heart and all of my beliefs into each and every word that comes out of my mouth and in doing so I hope that perhaps I can reach someone whose life needs pointed in a new direction. I sing praise music.

On a whim I joined the contemporary choir at my church, feeling as though God was asking me to serve through my passion for music. At first that is exactly what I had set out to do, serve, but after a few months of forging friendships and doing something that I love I realized that God had enriched my life in ways I might not have ever have known had I decided not to lift my voice.

I am blessed.


Nen said...

awesome. i admire you for joining the choir... my church is dinky and has a choir of old people who sing mostly around Christmas time. sometimes i wish we had more of a contemporary choir... but what can ya do!? i really love praise and worship though! i guess i'm just not much of a "singer"... although i know it doesn't matter what your voice sounds like when you're praising Him!
have you ever heard the band "Sleeping at Last"? they're pretty laid back... but their lyrics and music just take me to another place when i listen to them. if you haven't heard them, you should check them out! i love all of their songs.. but the lyrics of "Green Screens" really gets me!

tessica said...

my dad always said singing was praying twice!
and i can't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow or dump truck but love love love to!

AlyGatr said...

I am SO happy for you that you joined the choir. Honestly, the only fond memories I ever had of being dragged off to Catholic church when I was little was getting to sing. Whether or not I sound good, being able to sing at the top of my lungs is uplifting.

Higher Love...I love that song :)