Back in my college days, we sang a beautiful song called “Try to Remember” from the musical The Fantasticks. It’s such a lovely song, with a melancholy melody and lyrics that sing all on their own. I woke up thinking of this song and remembering what happened to me this past Sunday…
After I finished leading the music for the worship service, I sat down in between my husband and my daughters. There’s something so special about sitting with my family in church- it felt like heaven!
I admit that I was more focused on the presence of the Lord than I was on the sermon that morning. But the most wonderful thing happened- I started to remember last December and how absolutely miserable I was. For the last 12 years I have been dealing with allergies. My symptoms started off pretty minor, and I would lose my voice for a few weeks in the first few years. And then each year my symptoms increased- as did the amount of time I was plagued with a cough and laryngitis. And unfortunately, these symptoms have always been the worst during the Christmas and Easter seasons- which are the BUSIEST times of the year for anyone involved in music ministry!
Last year around this time, I remember feeling so defeated. I even questioned if He really wanted me to keep singing for Him. I am embarrassed to admit that there were many Sundays after church when I cried- feeling like I had let Him down, feeling like I embarrassed myself (by something I said, or by my voice cracking…). I am embarrassed to say this because it made worship all about ME and not Him!
After lots of prayer and encouragement from my Christian friends, I resolved to worship and praise Him- even if! Even if my voice was gone, even if my cracking, coughing, weak voice would embarrass me- I would STILL sing His praises and be obedient to sing!
Well, after the Christmas season last year, I decided to finally visit an allergy doctor. After going through the testing, he determined that I was having reactions to nearly all of the 60 environmental things I was tested for. After trying other medications to help alleviate my cough and other symptoms, I decided to try immunotherapy- allergy shots.
I have been doing them since May, and I have FINALLY reached the “maintenance” phase. It has been a long process, and it’s been quite time consuming- 2 visits each week, 3 shots each time. I have prayed and prayed that this would help and that I was not wasting all this time!
But Sunday, as I sat there with my family in the service- He reminded me of all that He has done for me over this last year. He has taught me so much about worship… how my skills and talents are useless without His power. How being an “instrument” is not for other people to pat me on the back, but to glorify Him! And usually by September, the coughing begins…but praise the Lord- the cough is almost non-existent! I am so grateful and thankful! I wanted to stand up and shout on Sunday when He reminded me of what I felt like last year compared to now!
So whatever trial you are going through- no matter how big or small it is- try to remember all the things He has brought you through, and keep on praising Him!
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12