Monday, August 22, 2011

Phoenix 2011: No More Excuses!

One thing Fine Arts taught me: Stop making excuses!

For me, courage and confidence are two things that I'm not very strong in. But what Fine Arts did was help me realize how I can use my gifts to actually do something. I realized, "Hey! I can join the worship team! People say I sound good, so I'm guessing I do". I don't know where that idea came from. I've been singing for a year and some months now, but at the time I had only been singing for like, eleven months (in April, right before District FAF) and then our band's lead singer couldn't be at the showcase so I lead the vocals instead. It all seemed crazy--- I had only been singing for a few months and already wanted to join the worship team!

Again, I have no idea where the idea of joining the Youth team came from (I'm still not on it, in case you're wondering). It just randomly popped in my mind, and I was like, "Okay. I don't take my singing very seriously but since I obviously have a passion for it, I'll do it if I can". But, that's the problem. I can't. I make too many excuses.

I always find my way out of joining the team. I asked to join.... three months ago. And was too scared to go to practice. I think I just didn't ask at the right time, but it helped me realize I have a problem. I don't have a lot of courage, and I also discovered that this was forming a pattern.

I remember one time in fourth grade when I didn't want to go to JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz) one day, so I begged my mom to let me go to Faith's (my sister) Sunday School class. So, as me and Faith were walking there, I decided I was too scared to walk in, but she went in anyway because she thought I was tagging along (I wasn't).

Or singing. I became very interested in singing in fourth grade (but I don't think I was a good singer at all back then... it just sorta happened), but didn't sing one solo until May of 2010 in sixth grade. Or singing again, when it took two weeks to get myself to join the Christian Band. Who take two weeks to sign their name on a sheet of paper?

See my problem? It's not just courage, it's probably that I always like to make sure everyone's happy, and no one's thinking something bad about me. But now, it's like, someone's always gonna dislike you and you have to be okay with it. You can't stop living your life because of the way someone else is living theirs. If they choose not to like you, whatever. Whatever their reason is, one thing is for sure: they're missing out on the amazing person you are!

So here's my message: are YOU letting excuses control your life? Because I know I have. I know I'm not the only one who's been making too many excuses. "Rumor has it": we all make excuses. Compromises.

Ever felt like you had a gift from God, wanted to use with all you had, but just couldn't? That's me. With this whole worship team thing, I feel like my heart wants to join and give it my all, but my brain doesn't want to do everything. This is very much like when I got baptized (in water) on 10.10.10 last year. I kept putting baptism off to the side to where if it weren't for forcing myself, I could be forty years old and not baptized. But I did it, and I'm glad I did.

So, if I'm glad I forced myself to get baptized (I prayed about it, of course), I expect the same end result for singing. And every time I push it to the side, I miss out on more and more. The band got to eat before all of us at the youth retreat a few days ago. The band got to lead worship yesterday (some of them... the kid that would have sang was getting baptized so he couldn't sing up there, the adults sang, and I don't think he's comfortable with singing up there anyway). The band got to practice right after meals at the retreat while the rest of us did whatever. The band gets to have mid-week practices. The band is at church an hour and a half early on Wednesdays. And me? Singing from my seat (no pews in the youth room).

Not only that, but my stage presence (ew!). I'm guessing that I don't have to worry about that because I should be worshipping, but still. Me and my friend Sarah were singing "Excuses" with the rest of the band, and I was having so much fun... NOT singing into the mic, kinda. Then, she put the mic up to my face, and the moment I touched that microphone, I suddenly became kinda shy. It's like, I can dance, be crazy, anything. And then hand me a mic and I come back to Earth (not good for me!).

So, I'll just have to trust God on this one. I know I can do it. My voice is something I'm very confident in. I used to hate my low vocal range, but now I'm loving it! No matter how messed up my hair is, I can sing forever and instantly feel beautiful. That's what singing is--- beautiful. I've been talking and singing a lot over the weekend because of the retreat, but still I can't hold my raspy, tired voice back--- I HAVE TO SING!

So, how will I break out of my shell? Only time can tell. Just learn to stop making excuses, and start marching on.

"No other step than one foot right in front of the other. There's so many wars we fought. There's so many things we're not, but with what we have, I'll promise you that we're marching on..."

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