Sunday, June 17, 2007

Music: part 6, The Finale

"And the winner of the vocal solo category is," read Mrs. Pennoyer, "Becky and Sharon! It's a tie!"

Becky and I had been lying on the floor holding hands, and upon hearing the words we sprung up and hugged each other, so happy for the results. It felt really good, especially to share it with such a great friend. So, the next evening, I was to sing one of my numbers in the Grand Performance, as was Becky.

I awoke that next morning and struggled to find even a speaking voice. The strain I had been putting on my vocal chords was enormous. I fixed myself some hot tea with honey and began to warm-up, gaining a few notes with each scale. I knew I had to be careful today, however our choir had yet to compete. But being an all-or-nothing kind of a gal, when it did come time for our choir to face the adjudicator, I sang my first soprano part with everything that I had.

And it did turn out to be everything that I had. My choir successfully took first place, fulfilling the sweep that my director had hoped for, but by the time it came for me to sing my song that evening I had barely a semblance of a voice left with which to do it.

I took the stage and stood before the mic stand under the glaring spotlight. My voice teacher started the intro. I silently prayed.

"Lusinge Piu Care, " I began, but that was it.

My voice was completely gone. I was able to eek out the lower range of the song, but the majority was just too far out of reach. Fighting the urge to run off the stage, I gave what little I had and waited for the song to come to an end. Graciously, my voice teacher abbreviated it slightly, so when it finally finished, all that was left to do was humbly bow my head and walk toward the stairs. My friend met me at the bottom of the stage with a bouquet of flowers from my mom, and the tears started streaming down my face.

I reached the back of the auditorium, and I turned to hear the emcee announce that "that was one of the greatest displays of Christian character you will ever see. She nailed that song in adjudication, and I commend her for having the bravery to stand before you tonight and give it her all."

God is good. All the time. I will never forget how He answered my prayers in that situation. He brought about an ending that I could have never foreseen, and it was just what I needed. Isn't that so often the case?

I am so thankful for the journey that He saw me through with my love for music. He never gave up on me and delivered me to a place where I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's all for Him. I absolutely love the stage that I get to sing on now. It's different than any other stage I have ever sung on, in that the purpose of this stage is to become invisible as a person.

As for my listening enjoyment, shortly after Ben & I were married, we realized that the rules of legalism were not God's plan either. We understood that we would not burn in hades for listening to secular music. God just asks for discretion, that we filter these things in a healthy manner. So, yes, I fondly look back on the songs of the eighties and smile. And now that I have a middle school daughter who also shares my love of music, I am so happy to be able to sing some Kelly Clarkson with her at the top of our lungs and dance around the house with her to "Let's Get it Started" by the Black Eyed Peas. I am so thankful that she doesn't have to cower in her room and secretly listen to Ryan Seacrest count down the week's top songs.

But by far, my favorite music remains what you are listening to here on my blog. My radio dial is most often tuned to 90.3, Air1. These are the songs that fill me up and I am so thankful that there are so many great contemporary Christian artists out there to meet our various musical needs. My favorites are PFR, Relient K, Hawk Nelson, Superchi[k], Stellar Kart, Newsboys and so many others. And, yes, sometimes I pull out some old Amy Grant, too!

So there you have it. Thanks for sticking with me on this long journey. It feels good to finally have it documented, and I appreciate you being at all interested.

Oh, and one more thing. One of the best things that I inherited when I married Ben: a cassette tape of Milli Vanilli.


Julie said...

No more cliffhangers! We finally know the WHOLE story!
God always knows what's best! Isn't that something that we can all be thankful for? It sure makes life a little less stressful!
SOOO glad you got that cassette of Milli Vanilli! What was your favorite song? I always liked "Buh buh buh bye, Buh buh buh bye Baby"
Good times ...

Glory Laine said...

It was all a finale should be. What a great lesson of how God uses us in mysterious ways. Love ya.

Leslie said...

Fantastic story!

I agree with you on the secular music issue. My parents didn't regulate my music choices, and I don't regulate my kids, but we do mostly listen to Christian as we are out and about. We love Fall Out Boy and Cold Play.

And for Christian, Hawk Nelson, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Paul Beloche.

priscilla tilgner said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It was great to learn about what God has done in your life to use the gifts he gave you for his puposes. Worship is so important and somehting I didn't give much effort to but thisl ast year I have learned how crucial it is and i'm very grateful that there is such a variety!

AngieG said...

Thanks for the finale! I did love the cliffhanger (even though I poked a little fun at it)!
Music is so powerful and you can always see those that are truly gifted - like you! Thanks for sharing your story but more importantly - your gift!

Joshua & Valerie said...

I read all your "Music", but haven't commented. I must say two things.

1) I enjoyed your story telling.

2) Milli Vanilli are the best recording artists EVER!!