Singing has been part of who I am my whole life. My parents recognized a musical bent in me when I was still so little I had to stand on the front pew of the church to sing solos while my mother accompanied me on the piano. Singing was the identity that gave me enough self-esteem to survive high school. Through the years I used my voice to communicate messages I couldn’t have spoken, since public speaking is not my gift.
I don’t sing solos anymore. For one, I’m older and my kind of singing doesn’t fit the church MO. If that sounds sour grapes, it really isn’t. I fully understand the need to stay relevant. I don’t long for the good old days, the good old ways. But, yes, I do miss singing solos—not for the spotlight (I was never very good at the attention) but for the fun of finding songs that speak to and from my heart, rehearsing (I’ve been blessed with wonderful accompanists through the years, none better than my own dear man), and then standing before a group and sharing in song meaningful lyrics that tend to stick longer than the spoken word.
Last week I was invited to sing at a women’s banquet as part of a regional gathering of Friends (Quakers) called Yearly Meeting. Mauri agreed to play for me and I got to choose the songs I would sing. I’ve been waiting literally years to sing Larnelle Harris’s “I Give All to You” and what more appropriate song could I choose for a missions-oriented gathering? God gave me the gift of singing, and I’ve been blessed to use it many times and in many places. I don’t need it for self-esteem any longer, thankfully. But getting to sing last week allowed me another opportunity to share with others what God gave me. And that felt good.