Friday, August 5, 2011

Trusting in His ability to go above and beyond what I can think or ask

Our Costa Rica team essembled once more last Sunday to reflect and share with our church congregation what God allowed us to do in Costa Rica.  It was such a neat way to reflect and process our trip which happened just a month and 1/2 ago.  It was a crazy week last week as I prepared to speak and sing.  There wasn't a lot of preparation but alot of nerves...and a weird hoarse throat situation to work around.  I have been dealing with that for around a month or so also.  I prayed alot about healing for my throat because I was already nervous about singing.  I have not had any other symptoms and nothing hurt...just a inconsistent voice.  Sometimes it was there and sometimes it wasn't.  Who wants to go on stage wondering if their voice will be present or not?  On top of this, our choir director asked Jennifer and I to also lead worship with him since we were already singing.  This scared me more than the actual duet as I had never even been on the stage before, didn't know the songs we were singing (at first), and already had enough nerves going into this day.  I received the names of the 2 songs and the key in which we would sing them on Friday evening.  I knew them both but really felt really insecure without practicing.  I searched for the songs online Friday night and downloaded them so I could practice a few times.  When I woke up Saturday, I barely had a voice so I decided to go to conveinent care in the morning.  She told me that it appeared I had some sort of seasonal allergy so she precribed Flonase and Claritin which cleared it right up.  The doctor said if it didn't clear up in a few days that I needed to call back and see about going to "ear, nose, and throat" as something else might be going (more on that later). 

I muddled through the worship okay (some lip syncing was required for a few high notes) and hopefully no one heard me too well!  The duet in both services went super well. I shared before the song what we did for the ladies luncheon and how God had given me a vision for this song/video.  Not a vision in a way that He showed it to me, but that when I heard the song I knew it would be perfect for Costa and that a video with the spanish words would be great for the spanish speaking audience.  I had shared this idea with Jennifer (who sings regularly at our church) and she highly encouraged me to sing it with me (assuming I could sing).  I did have a strong sense that God wanted this as I have felt this over the past few years but denied it due to fear.  Some of you would remember that I gave my tesimony at MOMS group a couple of years ago and said these words "God gave me visions of praying with people, speaking in front of people and even singing...yes no" and I summed it up with something Beth Moore says in her Esther study "As much as my flesh wanted relief, I knew that when all was said and done, I'd sit on that side of glory having much rather fulfilled my calling than served myself all the way to meaningless.  I had to accept that I was not called to an easy life.  I was called to a purposeful life".  Isn't it cool to see something like that come to fruition?  I am doing what I said I thought God wanted me to do 2 years ago! 

So I had been praying that God just help me get through it without puking, passing out, or wetting my pants (or skirt in this case) and that I really did want it to sound good and not mess it up.  I was feeling bad that my request was probably more about me than it was to glorify God but I trusted God to do with it what He wanted.  I learned in my summer study that God will provide abundantly more than we ask for.  We should pray "God do this...or something better"...and that it says in Ephesians 3:20 "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely (abuntantly, immeasurably) more than we might ask or think of".  What a perfect example of this He provided in my life. I prayed for the basics and He delivered more than I could have asked.  How?   I cannot believe the outpour of encouragement I got before and after singing that song.  I was completely petrified going into it but the Lord asked me to trust Him.  I did and thought if I just did it to glorify Him, that it would be good enough, but he abundantly answered my prayers of "just getting through" by putting it on the hearts of so many to send and say encouraging, real things to me.  He answered that prayer above and beyond anything I could think or imagine!  Here are some things I heard:
  • The song was the topic of conversation on our way home from church
  • I know you were nervous about this morning, but you did great! Your song w/ Jen was very well done and glorifying to God!! (Also I'm a bit envious of your intonation, which is like, perfect ;) Keep on singing, sister!
  • You sing a mean harmony, lindsay! That was pretty sweet.
  • The pictures were so perfect, it was very moving.  And who knew you were a singer! It was great to see God use you in such a powerful way. 
  • I am not exaggerating at all when I say that you are truly gifted. I was fully prepared (after listening to you criticize yourself) to listen to you sing and encourage you…but you were so good that it moved me to tears. You have a beautiful voice.
  • You are far better than mediocre.   It is so hard to find a TRULY talented Alto and you have perfect pitch
  • Brave...took guts...beautiful...great job...wonderful job...well done
  • You have a strong country-like voice and did a great job
Okay, so I wrote all that to illustrate a few things. 
One - I know some of you missed it and probably laughed at the thought of me actually singing - so my pride is saying I want to show I did it and did it well (so humble, right?)!   Maybe you didn't believe I could do it - but did you believe God could do it?

Two - to show how abundantly God answered my prayers and it was through Him that I could do it so well...this is totally not me!  I wanted to get through it and not puke, pee, or pass...He delivered that plus so much more.

Three - I know that I am not so humble after writing those comments, but during the whole process, it was probably the most humble I have been in my whole life.  Not thinking I could do it and be good at it, but that I would glorify God through it either way and trust Him in a very scary situation - because He asked me to.  He fulfilled His promise of sustaining and giving grace to the humble.  I never considered myself important but scared and totally relying on God.  Matthew 23:12 "whoever humbles himself will be exalted".  The last thing I thought I needed or wanted was to be exalted but God did that for me because He knew I needed the real life encouragement (even after them, I am still in disbelief).  Although I trusted Him, I am not sure I trusted Him for the encouragement to keep going and even do it again.  He has made that possible by delivering those messages from His people.  That is just so amazing to me.  So thank you to everyone for the encouragement and words. 

The day after I sang, my voice went back to being hoarse and still is today even though I am taking the meds prescribed by the doctor.  I will probably give it a day or so and then I may go in to Ear, Nose, and throat.  I have also had some weird headaches of and on.  I think what concerns me is that this happened to my older brother before and it turned out he had a cyst on his voice box.  I have had many situations of cysts and it runs in my family.  So I am concerned that something else might be going on but that God spared me on Saturday and Sunday so that I could at least sing the song and glorify Him in that way.  I prayed for my voice to return so that I could sing on Sunday and He delievered.  Did I trust the meds/doctor or did I trust my ultimate Doctor to heal me for His purposes?  I know that God will abundantly provide in this situation as well, and I look to Him for direction.  Please pray for me in this and that it is nothing serious.  Pray this plus something better and we will see how and what He delivers!

On a side note, I have been talking with my children about doing things they sometimes don't want to do because it is glorifying to God.  Even when it's mommy asking them to do it, and they don't want to, but they do it anyways, they are glorifying God by obeying.  I gave Reece the example of me singing.  I told her how scary it was for me and that I didn't really want to do it but I felt God did.  She said "Mom, you shouldn't be scared to do that...those people watching didn't want you to be scared!".  How nice!