When I was a kid I would go into the basement and play the “Lion King” soundtrack over and over while I performed a dance alone for hours. Being the middle child of five children in a single parent home allows for one to vanish without anyone noticing.
I wanted to perform. I wanted to be an actress. Growing up poor, being brown little brown girl, didn’t lend itself to a lot of opportunities to pursue the dream of acting. I can remember at a very early age waking up to the sound of mother singing “Rise and Shine and give God the glory” when she wanted us up for school – to this day that song kind of drives me crazy, but this early memory just reminds me that I have always been around music.
My absent father is a very talented award winning musician, with his PhD in music, and he is still involved in the music business to this day. Although he has never been a presence in my life, I can’t deny that the musical gene has passed on to me.
Music was all around me, but never something I prayed that God would open doors for me. I was always afraid to sing on stage, and to this day my throat feels as though it’s caving in until I pray the simple prayer: “LORD, sing over me and I will sing over the people.”
One evening I was watching a man perform a cabaret of his favorite Broadway show tunes. As I sat and watched this man perform, I was hit with an image of me sitting in a classroom. The classroom was filled with students and God was standing at the front. He asked, “Who is up for the challenge?” All of the students raised their hands. I kept my hand down, and my head bowed. I didn’t want Him to notice that I had decided that whatever He was asking wasn’t my calling. The LORD slowly began to walk towards me and tapped on my desk. I look up and He asked again, “Are you up for the challenge?” I sat there and then I nodded yes. Who is going to tell God ‘NO’!?
So here I am, singing. Singing in church, singing with well-known local artists, and even though I can’t claim that the opportunities in music are because of what I’ve done, I will declare that saying “YES” to God’s calling will open your eyes to reasons for why you shouldn’t put yourself in a box.