As a child of God, when God calls us to do something, and we do it, He goes above and beyond to equip us and bless us in it. I am finding this to be true again and again.
There have been times that I haven’t done what I knew God wanted me to, for one reason or another, and I’ve regretted it…even to this day. I wonder what blessings I lost in not being obedient to Him. I will probably never know.
The blessing of my last “God calling” happened last evening. (As I begin to share it, I’m realizing this post might be a bit long, but I don’t want to leave any important details out.) It all started while we were on vacation last week. One evening I was out on our balcony at the hotel, relaxing after a full day. I decided to check my email, and read one from a Mary Kay colleague about the upcoming Mary Kay event at a game at the local minor league ballpark. It was “Pink in the Park” night. I remember reading something like, “..we get to do everything from throwing out the first pitch, to singing the National Anthem…” I was stopped right there, and I “heard” in my heart (not audibly though), “Offer to sing the National Anthem.”
I think my heart almost stopped. My mind became filled with all sorts of responses and thoughts…”What? The National Anthem?” “Absolutely not.” “There is no way I can sing the National Anthem!” “Is this me just thinking this, or is this you, God?”
Then I thought of my friend Phyllis, who in obedience has picked up and moved to a new place where God has called her and her family to be. Obedience. I also thought of the many examples in my life of my own obedience AND disobedience to God. I knew I had to follow through and offer to sing the National Anthem….so I hesitantly did, silently hoping that they had already found someone else to sing it. 🙂 I mentioned to Ali that next morning what I had done, with an explanation as to why, and her eyes almost bugged out of their sockets. 🙂
I didn’t hear any definitive answer back for days, so I thought I was off the hook. (smile) Until Monday, when a friend of mine in Mary Kay said to me, “I hear you’re singing the National Anthem Friday night at the game!” (gulp!) “I am?” was my reply to her. After doing some checking, I found out she was right…I was to sing.
I really love to sing, and I know God gave me a voice to sing. He gave my mom one and He has given Ali one. I have sung in many weddings, I am a part of our worship team at church, and I really enjoy it. Singing is what brought me to the Lord in the first place, but it’s also an area where the enemy has tried to stop me and discourage me in the past. (That’s another whole story I will share another time.) And I get incredibly nervous, even thinking about singing in front of others…especially alone. I also hadn’t sang the National Anthem before any kind of event since my senior year in high school with my friend Patty before one of our basketball games.
Ugh…the nervousness had begun. I knew the only way I could do this was to rely on God’s strength, and not my own. I knew I had to trust Him, and not myself. If He called me to do this, then I knew He would also equip me to. But the nervousness all week was about to break me. I asked the closest people to me to pray for me…for God to take away the fear and replace it with joy, and for Him to be glorified through me. I prayed diligently for the same. I just wanted to please Him.
Yesterday at the Mission, I was a nervous mess, even though I tried to hide it. Thank the Lord I was busy enough not to think about it too much, but it was still in the back of my mind. I couldn’t eat…my nerves were preventing even the thought of eating. I’m thankful Tom, who I work with at the Misssion, understood and encouraged me as well. Tina also encouraged me with a phone call. Then it began to rain about 1:00 p.m. I began to think that maybe, just maybe, the game would get rained out and I wouldn’t have to sing after all! I silently hoped that would be the case. But no…about 5:15, the sky cleared and the sun came out.
I prayed all the way to the stadium from the Mission. I met my Mary Kay friends in the upper concourse, and thankfully Bonnie, one of my friends prayed with me before I went down to a room to warm up. I knew there was no turning back, but also a part of me wouldn’t have wanted to. I wanted to push through this and watch what God was going to do through me. I was humbled beyond belief. My children arrived (Bill had to work), and I was thankful they were there. I also wanted them to see what God can do through someone when we are obedient. Tina and her family arrived, and they got to be a part of the group to carry out and hold a huge U.S. flag in center field.
Just before I was taken out to the field, I felt my phone in my pocked vibrate with a text. I quickly read it…it was from my brother Pat. It read, “Got the radio tuned to 1450 AM! Kick some star-spangled [rear end]!” (Gulp) I thought in a panic, “This is going to be on the radio?!!! Oh no.” Before I could think anymore, I was taken out to the field, was handed a microphone, my name was announced, I silently prayed, “I trust you God. I trust you.”, took a big breath and began “O say can you see…”
Joy overcame me as I heard my voice coming through the speakers. I had a confidence and a passion that I haven’t felt for a very long time…and I knew it was God strengthening me and my voice. I focused on the flag flying over center field, and not on the camera that was in front of me, nor my image being shown on the jumbo-tron. I focused on God, and I thanked Him for this gift…as I sang and smiled.
After I finished, I heard applause, walked off the field and received hugs from my Mary Kay friends and Ali. I will never forget the look on Ali’s face…of happiness, pride, and joy. Brings me to tears now as I recall it.
I felt like I could breathe again. I felt a newness in me. I felt like I pleased God, and that was what I prayed for. I praise Him for what He did through me, as I know without a shadow of a doubt, that is something I couldn’t have done on my own. Thank you God.
I felt my phone vibrate again…from Pat the text read, “Encore! Encore! (Lighter held high).” Made me smile. It vibrated again with a text from Stacie, my sister-in-law and Pat’s wife, “You were awesome. I got teary!” Again, I smiled. Throughout the night I received compliments and encouragement. I thanked God for each one, and gave Him the glory.
This was one of the biggest things God had ever asked me to do, next to my calling at Mission of Hope. I’m thankful this morning that He chose me, little ol’ me, to do something for Him. I’m glad it’s over though! 🙂 But I’m wondering what the next thing is that He’ll call me to do. I guess I’ll soon find out…but until then, I’m just going to praise and thank Him for His equipping and blessing!
Obedience…what a gift!