Choir Flashbacks...

Keyboards at Christmas 2010

Sitting in the choir loft last night with a bunch of teenage girls, my mind went back about 30 years...I was 14, sitting in the choir loft at FBC, Conway, with veteran altos Myrtle Lee Selig, Wanda Landers, and Cynthia Lamberson.  I learned so much from those ladies and others there through the years!  I was a bit taken aback last night to realize that now I'm one of the "veteran"  (sounds better than old! ;-)) choir members in the midst of a group of young girls. :)

Fast forward a few years, and I was in the brand new choir at a brand new church...what fun we had in those early days at Woodland Heights!  I remember our very first rehearsals in the Gobers' living room, and then the excitement a couple of years later of rehearsing in our brand new choir room in our brand new church building...we could almost still smell the fresh paint! 

Then came Grand Avenue...where I was the recent college grad in the midst of ladies who had sung in the choir at Immanuel with my grandmother and with my parents when they were dating. I loved hearing the stories they had to tell about those days! Loved, too, the "grand" musicals we did there. :)

I've been in choir at Oak Cliff now for almost 16 years. That doesn't seem possible!  LOTS of memories there...so many I can't even get started or I'd be here forever!  I've made dear friendships and sweet family memories, sung tons of wonderful music, and learned a "tremendous" amount about music and true worship from Lyndel. 

God has done some amazing things in my life over the almost 30 years I've been an adult choir member.  I am so very thankful for all the memories and all the things He has taught me through those years in various choir lofts. :)  

I'm also thankful for the latest work He's done through choir...giving me peace about letting it go.  Singing in choir has been as much a part of life to me as breathing...not just these last 30 years, but since I started preschool choir with Neva Hayley and Shirley McCone when I was three. :)  I've loved {almost :)} every minute of it.  

And yet...I'm closing in on my last few weeks as a choir member for the foreseeable future.  As part of our "transition time", Bayley and I have been going to choir rehearsal at Oak Cliff in preparation for singing with them in Keyboards at Christmas.  I am so thankful that we've had the opportunity to be part of that for one more year.  Hard as it is to believe, Keyboards weekend is only four weeks  away!  :-O  Then our days of juggling the activities of two churches will be over, and I'll be on official sabbatical as a choir member. 

When we first started feeling our hearts tugging toward Grace Lavaca, one of my main thoughts was, "But what would I do about choir??  I can't leave choir!"  I knew that there was no choir at our little mission church, and I knew that it could be years...if ever...before there was one.  In those days when we were hearing God say, "Maybe someday", I think my subconscious thought was, "When they are big enough to have a choir!"

Our God works in amazing ways, though.  The night that we began to feel God might be changing "Maybe someday" to "Now!",  I suddenly realized that I had total and complete peace about leaving choir behind indefinitely.  That stopped me in my tracks and was one of the {many} confirmations that yes, this was God's plan...because only He could turn my heart on a dime from "I can't possibly leave choir!" to "I'm totally okay with this!"  

I really thought that after a month or so "off" between the time that we joined Grace and the time we started rehearsing for Keyboards, going back to rehearsal in September would remind me of all I was missing and make me sad.  But, again, God has given total peace.  I *love* our congregational singing time during worship at Grace, and I have truly not felt one moment of "lack" in not having or being in a choir.  

I have no idea what God's plans for the future hold.  Grace may never have a choir, or Grace may have a choir sooner than I think.  While Grace is "home" now and where we plan to be for the duration...we thought that about Oak Cliff, too!  So...one never knows if, when, or where God may move us from here.  He may someday lead us to a different church with a choir, and if so, I may or may not sing in it.  Or He may someday lead us to another church *without* a choir!  Who knows? 

Never in a million, quadrillion (as my kids would say) years would I have ever thought I could say this...but I'm fine with any of the above.  God has given complete contentment, and even joy, at the prospect of choir later, or choir not at all.  Quite a change of heart for the girl who thought she'd follow in her daddy's footsteps...he was still singing in choir just weeks before he was homebound, even when people had to {literally} carry him into the choir loft. 

I am so thankful for our church.  I'm thankful for the sweet music there...for Rachel's piano music every week, for John who leads us in singing, for Billy who does the sound, and for Bro. Gary who keeps them all in line. :)  I'm thankful for the 5th Sunday Singing we had a while back and I'm already looking forward to some of our family participating in the next one. :)  Most of all, I'm thankful for the ways that God changes the desires of our hearts to conform with His when we delight ourselves in Him.  

For those readers within driving distance of Fort Smith, I want to invite you to attend Oak Cliff's Keyboards at Christmas.  It's an amazing time of worship through music using four grand pianos, 18 pianists, and two choirs.  This year there are three opportunities to attend...Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 or 6:30, or Sunday at 6:30.  For more information, check out the Oak Cliff website, or contact me via the comments or the email option on the "Profile" page linked in the sidebar.

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