Different Than Others
Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of friends and never lacked for anything to do, but I just never really felt like “part of the crowd.” I’ve come to learn that’s not a bad thing. You see the only one I really needed to feel connected to and “part of the crowd,” if you will, was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
At my young age of nine I discovered how I was different from other people. I really shouldn’t have been alive by this time, and since I was spared my life, I certainly shouldn’t have been “normal.” My mother explained what happened, but I really didn’t understand until later in life.
As I grew, my life continued to change. The discovery of music happened long before any of this, but I discovered my true passion in high school. Piano was set on the back burner and I concentrated on my voice and singing a lot more.
I had lots of fun in high school, singing soprano and “competing” with all the other girls. You see, once again, I didn’t fit in with the crowd. I wasn’t great and wanted to be better, but what was I missing? I did all the proper things, took voice lessons and learned to belt it out with the best of them. By my senior year, as far as I was concerned, I was at the top of my game. I didn’t realize how much more I had to learn.
The Missing Link
When I started college and heard some of the other singers my confidence dropped and I decided maybe I wasn’t good enough to go any further in music. So I decided to just enjoy life and work on other things, like the pursuit of a handsome young man, who is now my husband. After I was married, I was asked to sing the high soprano part in my church choir. My first thought was sure, I’m good enough, right? Wrong. Oh yes, I was able to sing it, but there was still something missing. In pursuit of the missing link, I chose to take voice again. The physical tools my voice teacher provided were only half the lesson. The most valuable thing she taught me was to depend on God in ALL things. I took me a lot longer to learn that!
In my endeavor to become a “great star,” I became a little conceited about myself and my so called, talent. You see the only time a talent can really be used is when it is put in the right place for God. As time went by I began to sing more for special music in my church. I was beginning to think this was great because I was doing such a great job. But there was still that missing link that I couldn’t seem to find. I was hearing the words of God come out of my mouth, but the feeling wasn’t there. Still, I wasn’t getting the idea.
Feeling the Pressure
I studied voice for six and half years and about four years in I began feeling the pressure. I was now taking voice twice a week and singing every weekend with the choir–sometimes singing solos in the same weekend. On top of all this I had become mom to two beautiful girls. How was I supposed to be great and do it all!? At the age of 28, I was asked to do a concert at my parent’s home church. Wow, life was really getting big!
I was practicing more than ever and trying to make the songs great while holding up my home at the same time. About two weeks out, I began feeling the overwhelming pain of pulling together my concert. It was so much pressure, I wasn’t sure I wanted to feel that anymore. Once again, I was missing the point of the ministry.
I was good at running away from things I didn’t want to face head on. My encounters with God consisted of me talking to Him, not with Him. Tired of the pressures of performance, I made a decision that I was going to walk away from music as soon as this concert was over. I would never sing again because it was just too much pressure on me and this was all about me, right?
The Moment of Truth
One day at work, I came in contact with a sweet young girl who was deaf. I was talking with her by writing to her when I suddenly felt the urge to ask her why she was deaf. That urge was God. She explained that she had spinal meningitis and encephalitis when she was a baby. This struck my like a ton a bricks, as the story my mother told me came flooding back.
When I was 15 months old I came down with spinal meningitis, encephalitis and the measles. I was deaf due to all the fluid. I had a set of tubes put in my ears and they exploded leaving scars on my ear drums. The second set was put in and they finally took. My parents were told that if I survived I could be deaf and brain damaged. I can tell you that I am neither. God performed a miracle!
The thought that I came out with no adverse reaction was impossible! In my quest to figure out this strange phenomenon, I began to pray, truly pray. I asked God why I was spared, not only my life, but my hearing too. If you think that God doesn’t answer prayer quickly, think again. He answered me almost faster than I asked the question, and in a voice that I could truly recognize.
He told me that my hearing was spared so I could do a work for Him and bring His words to life in song. So, I was supposed to sing for Him? But, what about MY glory? I was supposed to be the one to shine, right? Wrong. My purpose on this earth is not to show off, or to be a big star. It is to glorify God. It’s that simple! When I chose to have God take over my music ministry the doors began to open.
God has a purpose for each one of us. Look inside yourself and ask what you can do for Him today.
Cindi Palmer writes from Arizona.
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