I can’t sing. The scripture “I can do all things through Christ…” is one of my favorites. I dare not negate its authority in my life. However, it does go on to say, “through Him who gives me strength.” And He who is in me, hasn’t strengthened this ability in me. To add insult to my inability, I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroid disease. Thyroid nodules only further impact the strained horn like sound erupting from my vocal chords. The obnoxious disease’s impact on my metabolism also adds strain to the size of my butt, but that’s a story for another post. Needless to say, I cannot sing.
As a young mother, I would often, instinctually hum or sing a lullaby in an attempt to comfort my first child. Maggie, in the beginning, would cry if I broke into a chorus. Hmm, curious? Later she would reach up and cover my lips with her chubby little hand and say “No mommy, don’t sing.” After John was born, I had given up the fantasy of singing to soothe and instead invested in a Linda Ronstadt CD. Maggie, apparently traumatized by my adenoidal squawking, would lay outside the nursery door, weeping and begging me to save the baby from the “Sqwaury moosik.” So I bought him an instrumental CD. And, I stopped singing; other than silly, intentional crooning to make the children laugh. In the van, I can turn the radio up loud enough the kids, nor I must endure my cackle. And in church, when its time to worship I can simply mouth the words. This worked for me – until we changed churches.
It happened about three years ago. The church we had come from was much less – Evangelic. The pastor at the old church had a favorite joke: A woman has her hands raised high singing and an usher walks over and says “Ma’am what are you doing?” and the woman says “I am just filled with the Holy Sprit and am praising the Lord fearlessly!” and the usher says “Not here you’re not.” (I love that bit.) Our new church was filled with worship energy that couldn’t be contained. At one of our earlier visits, as we acclimated to our new surroundings, we were in the care of a young foster child whose little soul reveled in the church’s vibe. The worship music would start, and this little guy would put both hands in the air and sing at the top of his lungs; granted, the wrong words and loud. The congregation would only be further moved by this innocent display, and the Spirit would erupt. My dear husband, more comfortable in the old setting, would plead with me, “Why is he doing that? Can you make him stop?” And no, I couldn’t. And, I didn’t want to…
So the new church is our church home now, and I have mouthed the words to some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I uncontrollably weep as the praises burst forth. I covet the worship team. The worship leader, Brandon and I went to high school together, and occasionally his wife will sing on Sundays. I try to contain myself; Heaven forbid there be another incident like the one at the Garth Brookes concert in 1989 at Taylor County Collesium. (Sorry Garth, I was young and had friends in low places too.) I think I am her biggest fan. One night after she sang “Here With Us” at a Christmas concert Brandon put pictures up of her on Facebook. I was moved to tears, just like when I heard her sing the evening before. I want what she has. An angelic voice crying out to the God she adores. I want to sing at the top of my lungs in poetic harmony and hit all the high notes flawlessly. I want to belt out His majesty in a way that brings good tears, not nightmares. And if I am honest, I want to do it in a sparkly dress with her tiny waist.
And this occurs to me: I just want to worship.
Like the little boy we had the honor of housing, I want the freedom to raise my hands high with reckless abandon. I want to praise Him in the streets and in my work without apology. I want to say that which convicts me, that which is written. And most importantly I want to do it in a way that brings glory. The hardest part of this is sometimes I will squawk. Sometimes the back of my dress will be tucked into my control top panty hose and onlookers will get to see my whole hiney. Other days I might be told I am doing it wrong, or poorly, or I that I sound like a wounded goose. But I have decided – I will worship.
I wrote this on my iPhone again. I had promised my editor I would stop doing this on the fly posting, but a song so inspired me, I had to use my voice. I had to let my adoration and thanksgiving burst forth and shout “I will sing! I will write! I will preach it!” And I hope that you will do the same. My prayer for anyone who reads this is that you are set free from any word that has hindered your song. That you are encouraged to step out and sing, speak, or minister. I have played ZOE Group singing “Here I am I Am To Worship” 100 times this morning. My soul craves worship. It is a cool drink of water to a weary spirit. The enemy hates worship of any kind. He will take any opportunity to silence you. Send him to the foot of the cross where he has no choice but to worship. May your day be filled with the joyful sounds of worship. I pray He that is in you brings a melody to your heart and a smile to your face! Sing it sisters!
Sing to the Lord all the earth, proclaim His salvation dad after day!
1 Chronicles 16:23
When I asked Brandon if I could use the picture of Sheryl singing in this post, he said she would be touched and that leading worship is very hard because they often don’t feel worthy. That “many days it’s an outright struggle.” I love the work that Brandon and ZOE group do. The ZOE Group music is available on iTunes and all digital media platforms or ordered direct from ZOE at http://www.zoegroup.org