Monday, January 7, 2013
Music Monday: Humility
I have put off posting this for several weeks because I kind of wanted to forget that it ever happened -- and if I didn't write it down, it would definitely be easier to forget. However, since I resolved to share more personal things on this blog, I decided that I'm finally OK writing this.
All through December, I had been preparing to sing "O Holy Night" in the sacrament meeting of our church. And, as usually happens when I volunteer to sing, I got sick about 10 days before and was fighting hard to overcome my sore throat. I'd also been praying that I could feel better and be able to sing this song, which is my favorite Christmas carol and is also my way of worshipping God at Christmastime.
The day came, and I was incredibly nervous when I began singing, but I figured it would wear off. It didn't. I sang the first verse and turned the music back to the second verse -- except I didn't go quite far enough. As I started singing the second verse, I realized I'd started halfway through the lyrics and that the rest of the words wouldn't match the music if I kept singing. So I stopped, waited about 16 measures until the accompanist caught up to the chorus, and then began singing again and finished the rest of the song.
You might be thinking, "So what? You didn't give up. You kept singing the song and finished it." But the reason this story is so hard for me to share is because it was absolutely devastating at the time. I have been singing since I could talk, I've performed in front of crowds since I was about four years old, and I've sung in church since I was very young. I've always sung "O Holy Night" many, many times and never had a problem. Music is a crucial part of my life. All I could think when I sat down was that I was grateful my dad (who taught me to sing and perform) wasn't there to hear me fail.
The meeting closed, and all I wanted to do was go home and cry. But of course that wasn't possible. We had a Sunday school class to teach, and I had to push through the gauntlet of well-meaning people in the chapel thanking me for my song (even though I could no longer hold the tears back and I was making things worse). Church finally ended, and I went home and hoped people would focus on Christmas and forget that I had ever sung in church.
Once again, they didn't. Today, two weeks later, a guy stopped me in the hall to tell me thank you for my beautiful song as Andrew and I walked in. And then, right before we left church today, the kindest man stopped to tell me how much my song had meant to him. I have never talked to him, but he took several minutes out of his day to tell me that I had an angelic voice and that "O Holy Night" was his favorite Christmas song. He was so sincere and kind, and I left feeling uplifted and special.
The point of this? It's OK to mess up. It happens to everybody. And when you try your hardest and keep going, people will recognize that and feel the spirit of your performance regardless. I know that the Lord recognized my good intentions of sharing my musical gift and drawing nearer to Him through song -- and He worked through other people to reassure me that I matter and that I can try again and become even better.