The end

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There was an embarrassing silence. I had just cleaned off the table and sat down again to entertain our visitors; a married couple from church with their two teenager girls. Out of the blue, my husband asked me if I could sing a song for them. He must have thought that he had come up with a brilliant idea how to break the silence. But when I looked into our visitor`s unenthusiastic faces, I doubted that anything good would come out of my singing. He didn`t seem to get the signal. Instead, he went on to tell them that I had been taking singing lessons for half a year. I wrote my own songs and was even planning to make a CD. It didn`t seem to impress them. But my husband remained adamant. I decided to sing a song I had been practicing in my singing lessons.

Somewhere into the song, I realized that I had taken the wrong playback CD and was singing in a key which was too high for my voice. As I looked into our friend`s serious faces, I became increasingly nervous. My throat tightened. After I had finally finished, there was no more mention about my singing. Instead, our friends started a new topic.That just about confirmed my dreaded thoughts. I had sounded terrible. Not only did I feel like an idiot and a loser, but I felt like this was the end. Not only were our visitors just anybody from church, but the couple were both singing in the worship team. All of my hopes and dreams about one day singing in front of people and of making the CD were instantly shattered.

Fortunately, our guests had become more entertaining. There was a big lump in my throat and I didn`t dare to say more than absolutely necessary. I couldn`t compose myself anymore. As soon as our visitors left, my tears started flowing. My husband held lovingly around me as I sobbed and told him how stupid and totally embarrassed I had felt. He didn`t say much, only that he understood. That was all I needed to hear then and there.

It was getting late. My husband went to bed. I didn`t feel like sleeping. I needed some time by myself to sort out my messed up feelings. But I wasn`t completely alone. God was there with me. I felt so confused and I was angry.... I was angry at God. Why had God so clearly told me to make the CD just to make me lose? Why had he told me to be bold only to break me? Why had he made me walk this road only to create a trap and let me fall into this hole of despair?

In the bible we read about somebody who indeed was thrown into a hole. His name was Joseph. God had given Joseph dreams. When he shared his dreams, he got into deep trouble. His brothers were jealous and hated Joseph. One day they decided to get rid of him. They threw him into an empty cistern. Eventually, they had a better idea how they could even profit from their misdeed. They fetched him out of the cistern and sold him to some traders who took him to Egypt.

I wonder what Joseph must have thought when he was down in the hole and when he was sold away. Had God forsaken him? Had his dreams come to a bitter end?

Fortunately, the story didn`t end for Joseph on the way to Egypt. Fortunately, the story didn`t end for me either the day I failed in my singing performance. Finding myself in this hole of mine, I was desparate to find a way to get out of it. It suddenly popped into my mind that I probably wasn`t the only one who had experienced something like what I had gone through. Maybe there were some “survivor- testemonies” layed out on the Internet which could help me back on the right track again.

I turned on my laptop and typed whatever came into my mind. It started off with something like; “What do I do when I have failed in my performance singing Christian songs and feel embarrassed?” At some stage I must have written “write christian songs”. Suddenly I found myself watching a new Youtube video where a Christian Singer/Songwriter and Worship leader was announcing a new club he was about to launch which he was going to call “WriteChristianSongs”.It was going to be an online community of Christian Songwriters, from beginners to advanced, from all over the world, who would like to learn and grow in their songwriting skills. We would get weekly songwriting challenges where we were supposed to write a song containing a certain phrase ,topic or Psalm. When we had written our songs, we should post them on Soundcloud, Youtube or something similar for constructive feedback which we would give each other.

As I watched the video over again, I could feel joy and hope filling my heart again. There was no need to search anymore. Instantly, I knew that it was the Lord who had guided me to the site! I was so exited and could not keep it to myself. I turned off my laptop and went to wake up my husband to tell him the good news. He was quite surprised at my sudden mood change. But most of all he was so glad and relieved about what I had found.

“WriteChristianSongs” was launched one month later. Today, almost 5 years later, I am still joining the club. I cannot express in words how much this songwriting community has blessed me. I have found Christian Songwriting friends for lifetime and eternity! Tears of joy fill my eyes as I write this! I know that I wouldn`t be where I am today had it not been for the club. It was in this community of other Christian songwriters that I learned from other songwriters how to write good songs. It was my songwriting brothers and sisters that encouraged me and kept me going. I was surprised to find out that many people even listened to my songs on Youtube and liked many of them. From time to time I would write songs which were not so well written. I learned how to take constructive criticism as a chance to learn and improve. I learned that I could even help other songwriters grow in their skills by giving them my critiques and encouragement.

God had a marvelous plan for me. Likewise he had a wonderful plan for Joseph. When Joseph was in Egypt, he was sold to Potifar, who was captain of the guard of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Joseph quickly rose to power in Egypt. God told Joseph through dreams that there would soon come a time of famine in Egypt and the surrounding countries. Wisely, he therefore stored up grain and prepared for those years with famine. Not only did Joseph spare his own life from starvation, but also his family`s. Ironically, his brothers, who earlier wanted to destroy Joseph, had in end effect their lives spared through their misdeed. In Genesis 45:4 we read about Joseph that he told his brothers;

“I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don`t be upset, and don`t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives”.

You can read the whole story about Joseph in Genesis chapters 39-45.
I would like to encourage you with Joseph`s story and my story. God`s ways are higher than our ways. What we see is only limited. God is sovereign. He sees from beginning to end.

I cannot imagine where I would be today had not God let me fall into that hole on that cold and dark winter night. I would not have written the songs I have written for my CD. I would probably not even have been capable of making a CD. I would maybe not have had the courage to stand in front of an audience to sing freely, unafraid from my heart, despite my imperfection, as I do today.

What I have learned through this experience is that God sometimes lets us fall because it is the only way we can successfully carry on . When we think we our drowning, he will lift us up and put us on the next stepping stone.When we think it is the end, it might just be the beginning:-)