I did a really good job of hiding the fact that I couldn't sing from other people. And I did this for a while. But after a year of it, the desire of singing began to grow again. But I was afraid of it. How could I do something that I was told I wasn't good at? It almost felt like a cruel tease to have a desire to do something that I wasn't able to do. I still did more hiding.
The summer after I graduated I went to Brazil with my church for the very first mission trip I had ever been on. I was 18 years then. It was a hard trip, but God did something absolutely amazing in my heart! While I was in Brazil, I began to sing! And I sang with Jennifer! It was so great! It was the first time in over a year and a half that I stood up in front of people and sang.- O.K. it doesn't matter that they couldn't understand me! :o) - God used mine and Jennifer's voice to touch the hearts of those who heard! And it was amazing to me that that was how God got a lot of people to come! " Come tonight to church, the Americans will be singing!" How cool is that! When I would be at the church services at night, (which is when we would sing) I would feel this Joy swell up inside me! And that would arouse and stir to life again other feelings that I had long forgotten, that were tucked away from my childhood.
When I returned to the States, I automatically went back into hiding. But not for very long! You see, there was one thing that I didn't take into consideration when I was singing in Brazil. I guess when I got back, I thought that all of that would stay there. That it wouldn't affect me. It was just part of the high of the mission trip! But, there was this one girl, and I won't mention her name, ( Jennifer) that wouldn't let me forget that I could sing. She always encouraged me to sing, and told people that I could. And every time she would say something, it pierced my heart. It caused a pain that I can't describe, but one that I wanted! God used her, and she didn't even know. She kept all those feelings at the surface, and didn't allow them to be buried.
It was just a few months later that we began the college ministry at our church. And a little after that, we started the band for Solomon's Porch. They had auditions and I tried out. And so began my singing at Harmony Hill. I was 19 years old.
I wish I could say that I started living out of what I knew that God wanted for me, but I can't. It was still a great struggle for me as I began my search for my "calling". I was stuck at a point where I couldn't go forward. I had decided that I was going to be an RN. I had been trying so hard for over a year to get into college. But every time I would begin to pursue it something would keep me from being able to get all the stuff in order. My last attempt, I had already had all the things in order and I was ready to go, but the car broke down. I had no way to go! Once again the door was slammed shut in my face!
A week before I left for Passion '06 God began to whisper to me what He wanted from me. "I want your heart. Give me your heart."
"I already have!! I don't know what you mean!"
It was the last day we were at Passion that God finally opened my eyes to what He was saying!
For so long I had been covering up my heart with dreams, plans, and ideas that were my own, and not His. I realized for the first time that I had made those plans to go to school so that I could escape from my heart! That's what was expected of me! "You need to be an RN. That would make the family proud. Not that other thing!! Remember, people will laugh! That's a failure waiting to happen!"
Right then, I gave God my Heart, my dreams! No more acting as if I know what I'M doing! What ever He had, I was willing to do. Even if it meant being looked down on. No more listening to the enemy's lies.
God told me so clearly that for this semester he wants me to sing! And that is what I will do. And for the first time in my 20 years, I'm really living out God's dream for me.
I realize that it seems so insignificant. It even sounds to me like it is something that shouldn't matter. I mean it's just singing, isn't it? Not really. If that is what God has asked me to do, then it's not just singing.
And I am also very aware of the fact that if that is what God has asked, then that is what Satan will try and stop.
I am engaged in war, and this is a fight that can't be ignored. I will no longer fight half heartedly, but with my whole heart! I allowed Satan to, in a way, disarm me. But by the grace of God, I won't stand for that any more!
Natalie Y. Hill