Updated: May 25, 2021
Music has been a part of my heart since I was young singing with my mom quietly as I 'helped' her with laundry. In church, singing was when I felt closest to God as I blended my voice with others in a way that just sitting through a sermon did not do. So when I had an opportunity in school to join band and learn to play an instrument, I jumped at the chance to talk my parents into getting me a flute at eleven. Soon the silver instrument became a retreat for me beyond my teen years astounding mother who remembered when I could not even make a sound.
I began to play in my church at eighteen. Letting the music swell within me to tell the story that only notes could was such a blessing. However, I lost the plot of my faith until I felt stale, like I was putting on a show...not that I've been a show-woman in my quiet and shy nature. I've always been hardest on myself taking the hurtful words spoken over me and turning them against myself. Depression is like that. Oh how guilty I felt in going through that storm despite being a Christian. What if I was a fraud?
But that didn't stop me from going through the motions at church.
So I agreed to play my flute again just a couple years ago after a season of not sharing any of my talents. I had an unused songbook, desiring something new, but so many of the contemporary Christian sheet music was so intimidating with not even being made for flutes but piano. But I was drawn to a particular song I always thought of as pretty. I chuckled a bit, flipped past How Beautiful by Twila Paris...only to be drawn back to it so I was like "okay, Lord".
Then I lifted my instrument, took a breath and then magic left my fingertips. That is the only way I could explain playing on a level I've never played at--least in my own ears. Most certainly not a song I have never even sight read before! Oh I sang along with the radio way back when but playing is so much different! This experience was a whole new different still!
You see, I was not playing alone. I distinctly felt the love of God surround me with His hands on mine as we played along together! It brought tears to my eyes as I have never had this experience before for yes, I was filled with the Holy Spirit, but the daily walk was sadly not my thing. I was fickle I was here one day and off in my own world the next. I was not consistent and most certainly not special!
After I breathed the last haunting note, I fell on my knees overcome with tears knowing that had not been me! Never Me! Who was I to--
That was when I felt heard a voice not my own that I recognized instantly as the Lord scolding me for my inner thoughts! "How dare you speak so to yourself? How dare you tear yourself apart with your words? Just like a man would feel about someone speaking against his wife, so do I whenever you speak against yourself negative thoughts for you are my Bride! Words are too precious to be used in this way as a weapon against yourself. Words are meant to heal, not to destroy! Words I have given to you to share in the way I intend them! Walk with me and I will give you rest. Never speak ill of yourself again."
I wish I could say that I said "Yes, Lord" and continued from that Saturday on without using words the wrong way. But I can say, that each day is a choice to use them right and each day I need grace to forgive myself. It is a journey...a marathon...not an overnight healing and that is okay. Just keep on keeping on. Never give up on yourself for God never gives up on you!