I'm a church singer. I've spent my life singing in choirs, church musicals, weddings, funerals and strumming a guitar around (church-related) campfires. I sang a solo in church this morning. The number of times I've stood alone in front of people to sing could possibly be in the hundreds. Yet, every time I'm given that opportunity I go through about a week of emotional agony and intense self-doubt. Preparing and performing expends a huge amount of emotional and mental energy for me. That's the difference between a church singer and a professional singer.
I have a very limited range and ability. My voice is best suited for Mozart or Puccini, so if I'm at a party and there's a piano nearby I can't just belt out any old song - unless the party has a classical music theme or you enjoy singing along in Latin.
Even stranger than my limited repertoire is the fact that I can ONLY sing in church. I've tried singing at parties, bars and even at the school I work at - and I can't do it! I choke miserably and make a total fool of myself. I get the message and I'm fine with being a church singer. But I still find myself - well - I hate to even put this in writing - I find myself giving God ultimatums. Like - if my voice lets me down, if I screw up this time, well, I may never sing a solo again! I can just see God feigning to play a tiny violin with His fingers and holding back the tears.
Actually, I firmly believe that He desires and requires all of us to use what He's given us - big or small. So anyway, today, I sing my solo. All goes well. Thank you. Next the choir is up for the anthem. I am front and center. In the middle of the anthem I must have tilted my folder a little too far forward and suddenly all the music and papers fall out onto the floor in front of me. At least I made the congregation smile. Don't take yourself so seriously Diane.