Last Friday, all seven of us at The Tea House, as well as another friend did something I am incredibly proud of. It's something that doesn't come massively naturally to any of us, making it all the more a better reason to do it, stepping out of our comfort zones.
To the whole school and visitors.
We sang, strummed, tinkled, picked, twiddled and hit all the instruments we knew how to, with everything we had within us, and took part in our school's band event. Us.........a band.....cool right?!
It was something we have been practicing for weeks and weeks, getting all those fine details to a T. It was so much fun doing all the rehearsals, and our friendship grew even deeper because of it. But as we approached the real day, an ever-increasing lump of fear seemed to grow in all our throats - one that can't easily be swallowed. Knowing that we would have to get up on stage and for me, be as vulnerable as it gets in front of everyone - sing.
I'm pretty sure the rest of Jasper and Carnelian (our band name; the beautiful colours described in Revelation to reflect God's throne) checked themselves, as I did, in the run-up to the event. I asked myself, seriously, why am I doing this? (A tip for anyone facing any challenges - always check your motives. It allows the Lord to enter in and move in power!) Well, I was having fun making something I love with my friends - music. I was showing everyone that I wasn't too scared to perform. I was doing one of my favourite things- singing harmonies.
But none of these reasons seemed to cut it for me. The one and only reason that did was this:
HE was the one that gave such life to us all as we put those songs together. HE was the one that gave us the stamina to keep going when so many other bands dropped out. And most of all, HE was the one that I wanted to do it for, to give praise to through performing, to thank him for blessing us with music, with amazing friendship, with the opportunity to share some of our identities with the school.
Without Him, I was nothing. We were nothing.
Just before we headed out on stage, we all prayed together, asking the Lord's spirit to be over us, and for God to shine through us. I felt energised, ready to go ... excited! And we had so much fun playing those two amazing songs to everyone, it sounded our best yet. I loved every second of it.
It felt like I had kicked down a wall by stepping out into something I wasn't entirely comfortable in doing. I'd like to encourage you to do the same. It was so worth it! Momentarily scary, but eternally rewarding.
The two songs we played were 'Faint Not' by Jenny & Tyler (if you haven't already, check out this amazing American couple who make gorgeous music together as a living) and 'Souvenirs' by Switchfoot (all of us' favourite band). They are not light-hearted songs, and have a deeper meaning that resonates with all of us. Here's some snapshots of my favourite parts:
"Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury let me pardon
Where there is darkness let the light come, come"
"We quit because it's not an easy fix
And then forget that they are even there
We forget to care"
"Here's to the twilight
Here's to the memories
These are my souvenirs
My mental pictures of everything"
"We were so young
We had no idea
That life was just happening"
I can't tell you what I joy it has been to treasure these last few weeks with you, my friends. We'll never forget this. In no particular order....Gina, you led so brilliantly, both instruments - voice and guitar - sounded beautiful. Megan B, I'm so proud of you performing. Your flute playing graced our pieces with utterly blissful delicacy. Kate, you underestimated your ability to play everything perfectly on stage...gorgeous! Abbie, I am amazed you only just learnt bass for this, you sounded like a pro. An absolutely essential asset to the band. Milla, your beautiful way with the piano was mesmerising, especially finishing off 'Faint Not'. Connie, thanks so much for doing drums with us, it sounded fantastic and you helped us keep the beat. Eve, it was so much fun doing harmonies with you, the judges noticed...thanks for adding all that much needed passion to the songs. And lastly, but not leastly Megan D, you were a brilliant and trustworthy techy for us! We would have really struggled without you.
You are all amazing and pride bursts in my heart thinking back to us standing on that lonely stage on a day never to be forgotten....Friday 1 June 2012.
One of my bucket lists ticked off -
With lots of love
P.S. On a side note - check out Kate's bio! She's finally done it! It's inspirational stuff...