Under the shadow of a threat from my mother, I join church at the age of thirteen. She promised to take me by and hand and lead me to the front of the sanctuary when Reverend Bridges opened the doors of the church. In my thirteen year old mind, that was the most humiliating thing she could have done to me, therefore, I acquiesced to her threats. You see, no one was going to live in mom’s house and not belong to a church congregation. Mom was raised and lived by Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
When I left home for college I rarely attended church with Easter Sunday and Watch Night services on New Years Eve being the exceptions. I was relieved to be free of being forced to attend church when that wasn’t what I wanted to do. As a little girl, pre-adolescence, I enjoyed attending church with my paternal grandmother but that was the end result of me wanting to be with her all of the time.
Although I believed in God and the Holy Trinity I didn’t truly accept Christ until I was 24, some eleven years after my forced coercion. I have never resented my mother for doing what she did but it does make me wonder if I would do the same to my child(ren). Because of this and my shyness I was never an active member. Oh, I paid my tithes and attended Sunday services on a regular basis but never joined any of the auxiliaries/ministries. I was content to sit in the pews.
As I have matured in life and in my Christian walk my desire to become more involved and connected has intensified. The idea I should be serving and utilizing the gifts God gave me has gnawed at me for quite some time and I have finally taken steps in that direction. I can sing but I have never felt comfortable doing so in public. There have a been a few times I stepped out of my comfort zone and sang Karaoke in a club, at a friend’s wedding, and even did some back up vocals for an uncle when I was 15 years old. I am only comfortable only singing, casually, in the presence of close friends and family.
I am once again stepping out of my comfort zone. I joined the church choir and my first rehearsal is tonight!! I was both excited and nervous during the vocal testing last week and I am feeling the same today but there’s no turning back because:
There’s a praise on the inside
That I can’t keep to myself
A holler stirring up
From the depths of my soul
So excuse me if I seem a little giddy
Or maybe even strange
But praise is the way I say thanks
J. Moss – “The J Moss Project”