I am excited. It’s Wednesday. Wednesday is my husband’s early day from work. I miss him, and it’s worth it to me to sacrifice a few hours of sleep to stay up to greet him when he gets home. Sappy, right?
I’m so excited that I spent the afternoon and early evening listening to love songs from the 80’s & 90’s from some of my favorite R&B artists, New Edition being one of them. After Six was in bed, I decided to finally finish watching The New Edition Story on my Fire Stick. I’ve been trying to finish this TV biopic for the last few weeks, especially after the rave reviews I heard and saw from friends in real-time and on social media.I have to admit, I was not disappointed. The singing by the actors was amazeballs!
Watching the story stirred something in me. Made me remember things I hadn’t thought about in years. What some people don’t know is I got pregnant my senior year of high school, and missed a couple of opportunities. I gave up several of my dreams and wandered aimlessly for about four years. Long enough to have three children and potentially mess up my life forever. Thank God for His mercy. I eventually got it together, got some training, a job and became a responsible adult with some jacked up relationships (but that’s for another installment, folks).
I wanted to sing professionally more than anything else in the world. The irony of my getting pregnant is I know the exact day it happened. It was the night I was scheduled to sing solo from a classical opera piece from Psalm 121. It was for an honors music recital that evening at school. Prior to my singing at the recital, no one at school, aside from those who were in the music class I attended, knew that I could sing. After that night, everyone knew. After the initial jitters, I was fine and I melted into the music. I knew then, I was meant to sing. That I had good sound quality. That I REALLY could do it if I wanted to. I had hope when I left that stage. And the next week, my hope was gone when I realized I missed my period. And I had no fun losing my virtue…not to mention, the way I lost it was whack. But I digress.
Tonight, I started feeling the way I felt at 12 when I overheard my mother tell one of her friends that she heard me singing a Whitney Houston song in the shower, and she was blown away by my voice. I don’t know to this day if she knows I heard her say that. I was shy, and disliked public attention, but I still wanted to sing. In fact, when I was really little, I used to sing in my granddaddy’s church. And then one day of memory lapse and embarrassment crushed me. I didn’t ever sing in front of anyone after that, although many people would asked me to. I refused to be embarrassed again. So, I hid in choirs and groups.
I was singing along with the New Edition songs when I mentioned to God that I would appreciate it if they could be in heaven, right along with bacon and Pepsi (because of course, that will be there!). In the same breath, I heard (meaning I knew in my spirit) that God brought those people together in that group for a specific time, that even though they weren’t ministering praise to God, they were STILL using the gifts they were given, and they STILL were called to be together. Even in this, God’s will prevailed.
As I continued to watch, I realized something. I missed singing. I missed the way music felt when it was sang to people, as opposed to alone in my room to myself. And once the show was over, I asked God to forgive me. Why? Because I understood something. I denied a dream that God placed in my heart. I denied myself a talent. I denied God His will and purpose for that talent. I’ve known for a long time, since I was a child, that I wanted to do two things: sing and be an attorney. I still want to do both. I gave up both dreams when I got pregnant. Not because anyone said I had to. But because I understood I couldn’t at that time. I started crying over dreams denied and bad choices and sacrifices. Some of the tears were sad, but most of them were happy tears. Though I went through a lot, I received a lot in return. Things that made me forget about what I really wanted to do all those years ago. But that ain’t where this ends.
The Lord told me to sing for Him. Right here, on my couch. He put a song in my heart, a song that had never before been sung, right in that moment, right here on my couch. The words came so effortlessly, and I felt a release I haven’t had anywhere else but with my God. He let me know HE was pleased, that the song was a sacrifice, that he lives in the praises of His people. That the dream of singing is not dead. It’s just not happening the way I thought it would. My husband and son love for me to sing to them. Shyness stops me from doing it as often as they would like. No more. They are my audience and my stage is the kitchen with a wooden spoon or the shower or the bedroom with a hairbrush.
There is fulfillment in being obedient to the call. This is another reminder that your gifts are to bless someone else, not just you. Just because I’m not on a stage or have a Beyhive or Stans doesn’t mean I’m not gifted, capable or less than. It simply means I get to show my love to individuals in that way, to people I really want to connect with. That’s what singing is about -making a solid connection over notes. Instead of doing it over an auditorium mike or a karaoke bar (I like those, though!), I can strengthen the connections I have already in place, and nurture the family legacy of singing with Six, although I sucked at that with Kid 2 (who has an AMAZING voice!!!).
Although I let go of that dream, God hasn’t. And time doesn’t have a say if the Lord wills it so. Only we can stop the plan of God by choosing not to participate. God’s yes is better than my no-so if he wants my stage to be with my family, so be it.