I went to church last Sunday - and hymn 701 had a line about singing and having a crown in heaven *gets up and gets hymnal*...
My Jesus, I Love Thee
"In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow:
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus 'tis now."
A defining moment for me. You see, when you win the international quartet contest in Sweet Adelines, you become known as a 'Queen of Harmony' (actually that term really started in Harmony Inc., but liked it enough to use it too ;-), and yes, the winners all get crowned. When I sang this song this past Sunday, I felt a confirmed road sign on the path God wants me to take was ablaze with lights and affirmation. That light bulb 'a-ha!' moment, "I'm going to have a crown in heaven, where I'll get to sing in perfect, ringing harmony. All the time. And eat cheesecake and not worry that it will put ickies on my vocal folds. *yay!!!*"
This only child who made up stories and played alone a lot was (is still, some would say...) a dress-up queen was always a princess, a fairy princess, Cinderella... you get the picture -- so how cool that I could have an "adult" desire to become a "Queen" and get a real life tiara -- and if you know Mary Englebreit's artwork and her "It's Good To Be Queen" and "Queen of Everything" pieces, well, I liked those before I even knew about Sweet Adelines and Queens of Harmony. And wear the crown. And be part of an elite group of women.
I gave up this goal. It has been a rough month, this re-evaluating my 'objectives' and seeing if the goals I thought I wanted lined up with my values and how I see my life. What it takes to be a SAI Queen isn't what I want.
I feel sad. I feel relieved, all of a sudden I've taken HEAPS of pressure of myself. I have the pipes - I know music is a gift and a passion that God has given me, but I believe He is presenting me with His path of singing for the seniors, sans any crowns, because my heart is so touched, and so raw and so loving of this population. I know I can use my gift to encourage and bring a smile to someone's face.
The difference in how I feel after a performance for the residents at Fellowship Square, and how I feel after a performance with my quartet -- well, there is no comparison. Don't get me wrong. I am not giving up a cappella music, or barbershop! I get a fix singing with these women. But my focus has changed, and I'm glad.
It is right.
I don't know if I've accurately conveyed how I'm feeling - it is midnight, and I have a busy & fun day tomorrow -- but somehow I needed to get this out.