Over 30 years ago, I stood in the front row of a kindergarten performance. We were singing for all the parents at the elementary school. I wore a beautiful dress hand-made by my mother. My hair was long and styled in a curly Q, Shirley Temple sort of fashion. I felt like a princess.
During the performance, I sang “from my diaphragm” just as Mrs. Summers instructed. My heart felt as if it would pound out of my chest when the audience applauded our performance. Since I was in the front row, it was as though everyone were clapping just for me.
At the end of the performance, Mrs. Summers spoke words that would impact me for nearly a lifetime. She walked up to my mom and said, “she certainly is the most excited and eager student I had this year, but she couldn’t carry a tune in her pocket (hahaha)”. Most certainly she was just making a joke, but those words hurt me.
From that day on, I was insecure about my singing. It became a source of embarrassment and I didn’t want anyone to hear me. When I was home alone though, I would belt out songs as if I was on stage. It made my heart dance and my soul felt alive.
Years later when I began attending church regularly, I found a place of comfort where I could sing freely. One morning a woman asked why I didn’t join the choir. She said I had a beautiful singing voice and sang from my heart. I gave a little chuckle and told her I KNEW I wasn’t choir material. With a look of surprise, she simply suggested I pray about it because I would be a nice addition to the choir.
That night I prayed and God began to show me how those words from my childhood found a home in my heart. He showed me that, even though the words didn’t play in my mind, the feeling from them came to surface each time I sang.
With the new revelation about why I had a hard time singing in front of others, I began to do some research. What did science say about singing? What did the bible say?
Professor Graham Welch from the University of London studied the health benefits of music and singing for over 30 years. His findings suggested that singing was good for the heart and lungs because it was an aerobic exercise. In addition, he said that singing reduced stress and increased our emotional well-being because it increases the “feel-good” hormones called endorphins.
When I went to my bible I found this scripture…..
Psalm 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song; skillfully (on the strings) with a loud and joyful sound”.
Science was saying that singing was good for me, and my bible was saying I should be singing loud and joyfully!! I cant even tell you how excited this made me feel!
I made a decision to stop believing the lie that had been rooted in my heart for so many years. The following week, I joined the choir at church, singing talent or not, and I began to feel better. Slowly, I started singing in other places.
Now I sing in the streets, I sing in the gym, I sing while I lay outside tanning, and I sing while I drive. It doesn’t matter if I can carry a tune in my pocket or anywhere else, I carry it on my heart. Singing brings me so much joy. When I see someone else singing, I smile because I know I see a happy person.
What is the point of this story? Words (as innocent as they may be) can be spoken over us and they can hurt us, mold us, cause us to believe untruths about ourselves. We need to go to God’s word and believe what the bible says, not what our insecurities say.
Maybe you are insecure about something and you don’t know why. Maybe words were innocently spoken over you that hurt you. Maybe the enemy is just whispering words meant to steal your peace.
Go to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal truth to you.
Love yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy every part of you. Your heart and your spirit will thank you.