I was in 9th grade.
We had just learned a song on a mission trip I had gone on. Three girls were chosen to sing the praise song for our church when we returned home. I was one of the three.
I remember being nervous. I didn't really want to do it, but the leaders insisted. I had done a few skits, readings, sang in the choir before and although it was never my favorite thing to do, I tolerated it. When your dad is the minister, there is often a little more pressure put on you. And then came that moment.
I sang my part alright. I was on key and I remembered the words, so everything should have been fine, right?
Leave it to that one boy, that one boy who I always, for some reason wanted to impress at the time. Leave it to him to open his BIG FAT MOUTH.
"Mich, you sounded like a little girl."
I know it could have been a lot worse, but for some reason that one sentence literally "shut me up." I can't tell you why, just that it affected me. But afterall, I was 15. Does anything a 15 year old do, make sense?
Oh I still sang in choir, because that is what good church girls did when I was growing up, but I was always "worried" about how I sounded. I refused to sing a solo anymore.
Until the summer before my senior year of high school.
My best friend talked me into singing a duet with her at our yearly mission meeting (my parents were missionaries at the time). I remember being sick with nerves. I was scared to death.
I totally psyched myself out. I got off key somewhere and never could find my way back. And I never did sing a solo again. This time there were tears that followed my song. The only highlight of the day, was that one of the missionaries came up to me and said my voice reminded him of Olivia Newton- John (who I loved!!!). At least I graduated from sounding like a little girl to a young off key version of Olivia.
I never really liked the stage. It was way out of my comfort zone to begin with. I never really had a soloist voice either. So, these two moments, mixed with a few others through the years, kept me as far from a stage and microphone as I can get. It gave me an excuse to hang up a hat, I truly never enjoyed wearing in the first place.
My comfort zone has become more of a behind the scenes kind of gal. Through the years I have been blessed in other areas that God has chosen me to serve Him in. Every once in a while He will take me out of that comfort zone, but for the most part He continues to show me the road that will take me to being the best me I can be for Him. We are all a work in progress...
I guess you have been wondering where I am going with all of this...?
My baby girl.
She sang her first solo in the kindergarten Christmas program. She became involved in church programs with AWANA. She sang solos, read scripture, played parts in dramas...until 3rd grade.
She had a part in a musical, a speaking role. The two boys with her, messed up, therefore she messed up. She was really hard on herself (it wasn't that bad) and after that gave up any speaking or singing parts in church or school programs. Sound familiar? I was scared. I was afraid that she was going down the same road as her mom and I felt helpless. She was using me as an excuse, a reason to quit.
Yet, what made it worse, is that there has always been this spark in her. Deep inside she really wanted to sing. Something I never felt. I loved music, but I never desired to sing in front of others. I just love to worship, something I am happy doing from my pew or while washing dishes. Kayla sings everywhere, all the time, just like her dad.
My hubby is known for his singing voice. When he was younger I would tease him about being the "wedding singer." He has sung at more weddings and funerals than I can count. God graced him with a Beautiful gift. He is also a big ham on stage...fearless.
My daughter's personality falls in the middle. Torn. As a baby, she was all daddy, wanting to be the star of the show, then she changed, becoming more shy and reserved like her mom.
Until this week.
Wednesday night after youth group, our music minister comes and asks her to sing with five other teenagers, Sunday morning in church. She would be part of a praise team, on stage, holding her own microphone. To my surprise she said "YES."
When I asked her about it, she said, "Mom, deep down, something is pulling me to sing, but the other part of me just wants to go throw up."
I can understand that. I wanted to throw up. I kept replaying my own memories. Here my baby girl is only a year younger than I was when my fears grabbed hold. I started to worry. I became afraid that someone, somewhere would say the wrong thing or that Kay would mess up or...
And then God got a hold of me and said "My child, Kayla is not YOU. I have great plans for her, her own plans. Let me worry about her journey getting there."
I was reliving my fears through her and God wasn't going to allow it. I let it go and gave the whole situation to Him. It made me think, how many times do we put our fears out there, reliving them through our kids? How many times have I said "no" to little things that might not cause them harm, but I was just afraid they might get hurt, because I did once upon a time?
I can't do that. My job is to protect my kiddos, yes. But when my fears keep them from following God's plan for them, then I need to back off and let God. I just might be surprised at the outcome.
You know what? She did GREAT. She stood up there smiling, singing her heart out and I was so very proud.
I told her later, that there are some gifts and talents she can take after me, but I truly hope in this area she takes after her dad. I want to see her sparkle on that stage some more.
Thank you, Lord for teaching my heart another lesson. Thank you for walking this parenting journey with me, for I know I couldn't do it without you.