Letting Our Light Ever So Shine!
And now for a moment of transparency. (Gulp) 😳
You know, I recognize that I have been amazingly fortunate to be featured in and around different corners of the world singing. From The House Of Blues to Carnegie Hall. From Good Morning America to BET. From Switzerland to Japan...with lots of other global experiences in between, destiny has opened paths for me to be able to share my gift of song.
Why do I bring this up? Well, because in my years of living I have never ever sung on the church stage. That may not sound so strange. But for those who know me personally it would.
Many have asked about singing in church and several times have encouraged me to pursue sharing my gifts in this way. However, though I always wanted to...for long moments, limiting scripts had caused me to carry on these mental arguments about the matter. The bottom line is, I was dealing with some kind of irrational fear. So, I never sang in church.
Lots of folks seem to think I grew up singing in the church. But that answer would be nope, I never even sang in a church choir. Little did I know that 'stuck in the groove' needled part of myself was being confronted to once again face the dragons.
By way of some interesting un-foldings (isn't that always God's way), I received an email by the Church Music Director via a request by one of the head member's. The head member is an awesome woman who had been working on me for a while to sing at church. 😁
So, in comes this email and the subject line reads, " Would You Like to Sing This Sunday?" And baloop went this noise and huge drop in my stomach. Amazing how you can think a thought and your body immediately reacts to the emotion transmitted. Oh my.
Well, after unconsciously biting off a few finger nails, I went on to read the rest of the email ...."Hi Charisse," it said, "I know this may be too short notice, so if you are unable to do no problem...but can you... ? Aha...wait! Oh yes, there it was. There was the exact words in the email that would provide me an instant escape.
And so began all the trapdoor "get out of it" excuses which were running like track stars in my head. Jockeying in the mental garden for first position was the convenient excuse that it was "too short notice." Coming in close second was, maybe "next year." Okay, that's a stretch...maybe in a few months.
Now, in the past... I would go consciously nose blind and let such types of excuses own me. And if I had NOT been on alert to notice the voice of some old sabotaging behaviors ...I would have been locked up again in thought jail.
But you see, I have a secret weapon now. It's called awareness. Over the years, I have invested much towards shaping up my divine inner super powers, effectively cleaning up & training up my thoughts. Teaching them how to sit and stay like good little puppies. Whereas, those negative ninny thoughts could once sneak the key from under the mat and go unnoticed past the conscious gates, invading & taking up residency in my head space. Within, I adamantly vowed, no, not this time hunny.
This time, I was able to examine those stuck in the mud thoughts, holding them under the light of truth. And when I did, I could see that it was just fear shouting loudly the demand of its sophisticated lies attempting as usual to have its way.
Yet, on the other side of the coin was a beautiful gift of invitation and opportunity. If I could only choose it, it would help me prune the fear, further expanding & making room for the inner greenery of my brave to take charge.
So I squashed all that inner conversational small me talk and cerebral nonsense and told myself to snap out of it. I hesitated no longer and decided even if I felt fear, I would do it anyway. So, I responded back to the email with a big happy YES. Well, not really a happy YES. But it was a victorious one:)
I knew that I was overdue in taking the plunge. I needed to walk my talk you know. So glad I did. Woot Woot! There I was at Sunday service, standing on the church stage as the lead soloist for both the 9 & 11 a.m. services. I was so proud of myself for facing my fear, delivering my first church solo ever!!!
I am not afraid to also admit, before hitting the stage, I birthed more than a few butterflies in my thoughts that made my stomach begin to react and flip flop. But thankfully, even though a bit nervous, I knew I had to push past the fear. Therefore, I snatched up the mental reins and began to think my thoughts, instead of the other way around, allowing my thoughts to think me.
And just WOW! When it was all said and 'sung,' everyone at the church blessed my heart with words of warm enthusiasm. All the congregation was so sharing with their wonderful welcome(s), along with their ultra generous acknowledgements towards me. Some people confessed to me and others that they were not allowing their light to shine by way of their own gifts. But now felt more encouraged in going forth to do so so after watching and hearing me sing.
I even received some other offers to sing for various upcoming occasions events. 🎉
Oh, and guess the theme of the sermon? It was, "Living As The Light–Not being afraid to let your light shine" 😱 How befitting that title via me dealing with that exact issue.
Aww. Well, here's to another page turn and new beginnings. Truly grateful and surely blessed for the jump :-) I stepped over the fears and out on my faith and now I am now a regular, requested soloist at my church. Yay!
Lastly...my lesson learned: Indeed, it is good to let our light shine...and shine as brightly as we can. Because, when we do, we encourage others to also ignite the flame of their own embers.
Thank you God. 💝🎈🎇😊