So on Thursday I went to choir rehearsal and just did it. When I didn't know what section to sing in, I asked for help. Whatever the director instructed or the Pastor of Worship and Arts instructed I did it (while having fun). I was a total contrast to the bundle of nerves and fear I was two weeks ago, at the first choir rehearsal I attended.
Let's go back in time a bit, to a twelve year old girl suffering from what would later be diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder (what psychoanalysts state war veterans, rape and molestation victims suffer after their traumatic experiences.) After years of traveling with an older cousin who played piano/organ for three different choirs and singing in each of those as well as a tween aged quartet at my own church, I became pregnant (yes at 12 years old). No one took the time to ask what happened. No one took the time to investigate how a girl who prayed in tongues as early as ten and sang her heart out for GOD every week could end up pregnant. Instead they sat me down and pretended me and my baby didn't exist.
I don't know if they asked about us once I moved away from my biological mother's home into foster care. I don't know if they inquired about our well being. No one has ever told me if they said our name to GOD during intercessory prayer. All I knew was the blanket rejection and judgment from the people who praised me and shouted a hole in the carpet (while I sang out to GOD from the depths of my soul to be rescued from my private hell at home) tore a hole in a recess of my soul so deep I didn't even know it happened. Because I didn't know it happened, it wasn't healed.
It has taken too many intercessors, prophets and friends for me to count to get me to the place where my big sister aka Dr .Temeika could reach me and ask if I ever forgave them. Instead of answering yes, with big painful tears in my eyes I shook my head no. With the love only a dear friend and big sister could give she held my hands while I prayed and asked GOD to help me do what I didn't realize hadn't been done years ago. I forgave them.
Of course once that was done the instruction to sing again from GOD was even louder. So I prayed and asked GOD to help me push past the familiar feelings of shame, hurt, pain and condemnation that rode my back and choked my vocal chords shut when I opened my mouth to sing anywhere near a church before the night I forgave them (even praise and worship in the pews was a huge struggle).
And He did it. No one else may have known how big it was for me to sit in the very back row in the pews or behind the very back mic on the platform and blend my voice with others singing praises to GOD. He knows. It was huge for me to be free from the suffocating memory of voices, stares and whispers that crippled me years ago and just sing.
My dreams of being a singer died a long time ago. Life has given birth to new dreams, goals and plans. No where inside of me do I desire to give up all that is needed to be a professional singer now. The time rehearsing, travel, being away from my family, lack of a consistent routine for my eating and exercise regimen to get back to healthy would be too much. When, where and how would I write?! I know there are people that do it, I just don't have the desire to be one of them. They have my admiration and respect because it isn't as glitzy and glamorous as most people believe.
I'm just happy and thankful I did it. Twenty two years later, on a stage in the back of a ministry called FRESH START. In a way I hadn't been courageous enough to ask for on my own, GOD gave me mine. A new chance to glorify Him and sing praises to Him.
No excuses. No regrets. No ifs, ands or buts. I just did it. And I give all the glory to GOD.