Today’s post is written by a dear friend of mine. Not only in Andrea a friend, but she is the Worship Leader at my church. She has sung her way into the hearts of many and her passion for the Lord is seen in different ways as she serves the church and the community.
I pray you will be blessed by her testimony!!
The earliest memory of me singing in public was when I was about two or three years old. In the little church I grew up in, it was not out of the ordinary for mothers to take their little ones to sing in the choir and on this special homecoming day I stood beside my mother attempting to sing. After the first song, they had me stand in a chair so that everyone could see me. THAT was not what I wanted. I began to cry, and I was sent to sit with my father.
I regret to inform you that much of my young adult life I continued on with the same theme of stubborn responses when it came to “my” music. Can I tell you that as a music major I did not want to sing or play something if I was not the best at it? Competition was somewhat easy in a small high school, but I was left in the dust in college. I had to have so many selfish things removed from my heart through the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I dropped out three years into my degree and it took me 15 years to return to college to finish. The day I auditioned to be readmitted, I cried all the way there in brokenness. I did not even realize that that was what it was called: brokenness. Some things were simple to correct, other things ran deeper, but it all had to be broken.
On Sundays, you will find me leading the music for services at a thriving country church on top of a hill. Each week I am baffled that I get to lead these precious people to respond to Our Creator in worship. As I plan for services, my passion to promote unity in the body of Christ through corporate worship, which is completely opposite of my first experience singing in church, is governed by a summary of my philosophy of worship found in Colossians 3:12-17.
12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
I now love what God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for, His Church, the Bride of Christ. I long to sing whatever, whenever, however needed so that the Senior Citizens all the way down to the little preschoolers in our congregation have opportunities to come face-to-face with the message of Christ as they sing in their heart-language. As God’s people look upon God’s holiness, may we respond as Isaiah did, “Here I am, Send me.” We are not to be broken and left to suffer, but broken to be remade into something much more beautiful, a vessel of honor and service.
For the Future…..
I know that I am still making a transition from performer to worshiper, from an artist who seeks her own glory to an artist who seeks the Glory of God. I have a daily battle to wage, not just on Sundays. I know that I will have to continually go before God as I carry this honored burden, this passion, to remain pliable and usable for the Kingdom. No matter how well I sing or play piano, it could never save or transform lives, but He will use me in the process however His sovereign hand sees fit.
There is still more brokenness to come for me, but I welcome it. I pray that if ever asked again to stand in a chair to sing so the congregation can SEE, that I will do so without reservation and sing with more passion than ever before- Soli Deo Gloria! (Glory To God Alone)
Andrea will celebrate 22 years of marriage this April with her husband Chad and is looking forward to celebrating her daughter’s (Madeline Joy-Beth), 14th birthday this summer. Although she grew up in the upstate of SC, she lived for 20 years in the Charleston area before returning home to be closer to family. She is a Minister of Music in South Carolina and volunteers as an accompanist to some of the schools in the community.