Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Gift My Mother Gave Me

My mother gave me the gift of loving music. As far back as I can remember, my mother would sing or hum. I remember having a particularly hard time in school my fourth grade year. One morning as I was getting ready for school, dreading the day ahead, my mother shared a trick with me. She said, Whenever I'm sad, I hum or sing. I remember replying, I can't sing at school. She went on to tell me that I could sing in my head or hum very softly.

That day as my class was standing up against a hallway wall, waiting our turn to enter the cafeteria, dread and anxiety weighed on me. My mother's words echoed in my mind, and I began to sing Jesus Loves Me in my head. Within seconds, the weight lifted. Her trick had worked for me. And so began my need to sing about Jesus. I applied that little trick in many circumstances throughout my elementary and middle school days.

Years later, I spent hours singing in the car, driving the long commute to and from school and work. Late night classes left me weary, but singing made the drive home enjoyable. It wasn't until I was in my early twenties that I realized what I'd been doing all those years: worshipping and declaring my need for Jesus. And I was hooked. Worship through song was an essential part of my life.

A couple of years ago, I stopped singing. Like my mother, I'd been one to sing around the house, humming a tune while folding laundry, or belting out a song playing on the radio while I cooked supper. But I allowed circumstances to hinder and almost destroy the way I love to worship. Mark would sometimes come home and mention that he missed hearing me sing. I missed it too, but I'd given up.

My heart would ache and every fiber of my being wanted to scream when the church would sing a song I had so often sung as worship. Tears would slide down my face as I wondered if I'd ever dare to sing again.

Little by little, the flame of my passion began to flicker again. I went from standing silently during the music portion of church service to singing just above a whisper. I couldn't bear to sing much more than that.

Then one day while home alone, I gathered every cd of every song I'd ever sung and stood in front of the speakers, and sang for two solid hours. My voice was shot, but my spirit was soaring. Having sung so many songs declaring the name of Jesus couldn't do anything except lift my spirits. There's something about singing His name that humbles the heart and renews the mind.

There have been so many times that singing about Jesus has been my saving grace. These days I don't take for granted the gift my mother shared with me all those years ago. I count it a privilege to sing the name of Jesus and do so not only with my voice but also with my heart.

1 comment: