When I was very little, I played Mary at my church in Borger, Texas. Even at the time, I remember approaching the role with reverence because I was going to play the mother of baby Jesus! My mother was one of the most important people in my life at the time (and still is), so even my little mind could comprehend the honor of playing Jesus' mother. In fact, I didn't want to let the baby doll standing in for baby Jesus go after the performance!
Besides playing Mary, I also sang a solo to open the performance. I haven't sang a solo since elementary school...I think...needless to say, I was extremely nervous. For some reason, I can speak and act in front of any number of people with no issue. But when you ask me to sing a solo in front of the same crowd, I am absolutely terrified.
I didn't help that during dress rehearsal, my mouth and throat dried out from fear. I started missing notes I had easily achieved during practice at home. My eyes filled with tears because I was going to let the play down!!! I was opening the show with my crappy solo. But more than that, I was so frustrated I couldn't control my fear.
But I sang that solo on Sunday night. And you know how I did it? By the encouragement of my good friends at church who reminded me God only asks us for a willing heart. He never asks us to do anything He will not prepare us for. And I knew deep down God wanted me to do this solo, to confront my fear and use my voice to honor Him. Part of my discouragement with the solo came from the fear of dishonoring myself and my fellow performers with a bad performance. But what I needed to be reminded of is this performance wasn't for them or me. It was for God. As long as my heart was in the right place, God would honor that effort.
So with a trembling heart, I walked out on that stage and sang. In my own ears, my voice faded in and out of key. But towards the end, I gained strength and heard my voice ring loud and clear. Several people congratulated me on a wonderful performance after the show. To me, the performance was mediocre. But to them, it sounded like a song which honored the Lord. And that is was matters.
So what Christmas traditions will you be revisiting this week? I'm partnering with Lewis Lane Designs, The Adventures of Noble & Pond, and A Savory Feast to find out! Link up your Christmas-related posts below: