(photo by pocketheart)
It's funny when I remember how it began.
I was a freshman in high school. I was new to the "Senior High Youth Group" at my church. They were putting together a worship band and asked for people to let them know what instruments they played. I played clarinet and piano. So they handed me some music and I played keys with the youth group band on Sundays. It only took a couple of weeks before they asked me to not play the piano. They quickly added that they would like me to sing instead, along with the other girls that were already singing in the band. They didn't need a singer, see, and they had never even heard me sing. They were just trying to end the piano playing nicely. And it was nice. So I agreed.
But I was not a singer. I grew up singing in choirs - i loved singing. But I never sang much into a microphone; never was singled out. So I lip-sang that first month, embarrassed to have my voice heard by everyone. I got more comfortable beside a good friend who was a wonderful singer. She could even hear harmonies, which at that age was an amazing thing. So I sang my heart out while Holly made us sound good. Eventually our "band" became a very tight-knit group of friends.
But there was one of us who was very good. He led the band. I admired his talent, his passion, and his leadership. One day he took me aside and played me a song that he had written just for me while he was visiting family in Kansas. In the song he likened me to Colorado beauty and the eyes of Jesus. Having instantly won me over, he became my first serious-ish boyfriend.
Our break-up was very difficult for me. It took me awhile to look back and see how God might have used that relationship in my life, but now it is so clear.
He taught me to make music, that boy did. When we were together we sang a lot. He asked me to contribute to the songs he was writing. He gave me confidence in my giftedness as a singer - something no one before had ever done. And then he gave me the opportunity to sing. We were in 3 bands together, and we sang, just the two of us, at coffee shops around town. With him, I learned the process of building a song. I learned the intricacies of making music. And through music, God really healed me of a lot of the pain I was experiencing after the Columbine shooting.
If it wasn't for him leaving, I'm not sure I ever would have learned to make my own music.
After he left I started writing my own songs. I started playing the piano for the first time without someone's written notes and chords. Learning to put my thoughts and emotions into the music, and really trying to discover how to build a song with my own imagination and my own fingertips. I went to coffee shops alone: just my own now unwavering voice and my piano.
And I still do.
Through the years I have had the opportunity to study music, to join different bands and choirs, to sing solos and find friends to partner with in making music. And music making has been one of the greatest joys in my life. One of the most transparent expressions of me, and one of my most intimate connections to God.
When I look back to the beginning of my musical journey, I think it is so amazing how God put things into place. I am so grateful that he moved my life in a way that provided me the opportunity to learn to make music.
That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning - yet long untaught I did not hear;
But now the chorus I hear, and am elated...