As the year 2011 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect back on my first college semester at North Central University. To be honest, it was the greatest of times these past several months and it was also the most deathly challenging of times musically speaking for me.
One of the life lessons I want to share with you is one that no passionate musician should ever have to go through…or should they? Basically this semester MUSICALLY… to simply not sugar coat it….SUCKED. Yeah, that was the sad but true reality. I look back on what happened and it just brings tears to my eyes. I got a taste of what life would be like if I chose not to pursue the God given passion of music on my heart. What a terribly sad and tragic life story to tell. It’s funny because North Central is known for it’s Christian music. New bands bloom like fresh spring tulips ever corner you turn on that campus. If you want to have anything to do with glorifying God through your passion of music……North Central is where this party is at. Hands Down. So why then did everything that could possibly go wrong musically in my life did? Or so it seemed… Being a freshman in college who “has a handful of dreams and a heart full of God” (Tobymac) it seemed like I wanted everything to happen at once. It’s like as if I wanted all my musical dreams and passions to be sorted out and all put together in a few months. Obviously, God sized dreams take a whole lifetime to unfold, so it was a mix of excitement and a sense of urgency to just make this life happen. Also, it was the fear of failure and rejection musically. Even amongst my musical friends, I felt as if I just could not truly express who I was as a musician. I felt like they would just look down upon my vocals, flauting (Flute) and newly learned guitar skills. I had a few situations in which I just cried my eyes out, horrified at how terrible I displayed myself as a musician. But I realized that all musicians throughout their life have days where the absolutely feel like the failed at life. I remember auditioning to be on this worship band, and oh, me being the naïve country girl I was at that time, had no idea what these city people were about to throw in my face…and oh in my face did they throw it….I’ll never forget walking back to my dorm and right when I opened the door I just cried my eyes out. I don’t remember the last time I ever cried so hard, so deeply, so passionately…It seemed pretty much worse than a break up....like I would know…. I was so hurt. The only reason I ever recovered from that situation was because my dearest roomates walked in, saw me, and just put their hands on my shoulder and prayed for me. That touched my soul so deeply, I’ll never be able to thank those blessed souls for what they did on that cold rainy evening. That was probably the point where my music confidence went down hill. I completely avoided anyone who was part of those worship teams. Once again very sad but true. Personally, I thought that the people who did get to be part of those worship teams were chosen because of performance verses heart passion. I could get into the whole music performance v. worship arts argument that I have very strong feelings for, but I’ve written about 6 or 7 blogs on that so if you’’re curious as to my view on that you can look them up…lol There was just something inside my soul that didn’t feel right about being on that worship team.
Going back to the whole musician self consciousness, I don’t know why I was so stupid to fear of what people at NCU would think of me musically. You know what, at the end of the day a true musician is someone who appreciates and accepts AND is open minded to all styles and genres of music regardless of the level of professionalism. (This thought was based off one of the band member’s of Love Out Loud, Jake Johnson) If you as a musician are going to judge me or someone musically, vocally, guitar wise and instrument wise because you think they suck and you’re obviously better, you might as well get your a** out the music scene. I’m serious. You’re not wanted. Your place is somewhere else. Give people a chance. Everyone has potential. Yeah. I think the Christian music scene in America has forgotten that. It’s all about competition. Competition. Competition. Competition. Competition. FREAKIN COMPETITION. Somebody kicked Jesus out in the cold…
So with those two musical thoughts “I didn’t make it onto my so called “dream” worship team at the time” and “I don’t feel comfortable being my musical self in front of my NCU musical friends” my music confidence was on the verge of rock bottom. It was bad. Then the final cherry on top was that I started to believe one of the very most powerful lies out there I believe today is “I’m not good enough musically”… BANG. BANG. BANG. That was 3 shots straight through the heart. I felt as if I had lost the musical voice my creator gave to me. I was silenced in fear. Silenced by deep discouragement. At this point the temptation to forget every note I ever song, take my silver flute and dent it a hundred times over, and seriously throw my newly bought guitar out the 4th floor dorm window, never felt so great….
I prayed that God would place a song on my heart to sing…but no song came…
Terrifying kidnapping silence.
Days and Days and Days and Days and Days of silence.
Not one note was played or sung.
This was the reality I realized…This was truly as taste of what my life would be like in the future if I chose not to pursue this music passion Jesus placed on my heart. What a very disturbing thought. This is how many people today in our society choose to live their lives. They “grow out of” their dreams of being a musician who is in a band, a scientist, a professional figure skater, an artist, a doctor… Just seeing how some beautiful soul is so unhappy with their life because they decided to “play it safe” , chose the more “financially secure & savvy” road or simply are just DEAD to their God given passion….That is ever so depressing and soul shattering. I don’t want to be that person who chose not to pursue my God given passion. I don’t want to sit my whole life in a white soundless room merely dreaming of the music I could create and be known as the “Musician who doesn’t sing songs or play music”. So with those thoughts collected, I realize that going back to the musical confidence I once had will take many weeks, months, even years to bring back inside this fragile soul of mine. I’m so thankful that this semester God taught me what “Living Life Without pursuing my musical calling was like.” It was worse than Auschwitz hell inside this soul of mine. So from this day forward, I choose…I choose to passionately embrace this musical passion and give it one more try… Thank you Jesus for the beautiful gift of second chances…