Serving as a music minister in a church is a privilege, not to mention a place I never really thought I’d be. I was blessed to be born into a Christian home and raised up in a Southern Baptist church. My mother was an organist and vocalist in church since before I was born. Having this kind of background, it was really not hard to fathom that I would become a follower of Christ. I was saved when I was in the third grade. It is also no wonder that I have a music background. The problem lies in that for most of my life, I was a drummer, not a singer, musically. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, all kinds. Playing drums over the years has brought me great joy. Professionally, I have been a firefighter and an emergency room nurse, not really career choices that prepare you for leading worship services. But, working in public service, doing my best to help others, has been kind of a calling. The problem is, while I have been helping others, and living a Christian life, I have been the one trying to call the shots.
A few years ago, I started having trouble with my back. The pain continued to worsen to the point that I had to come out of work and have back surgery. During this time away from the hospital, God showed me that I was spending more time serving others than Him. I got more involved with family and church. Once, I went back to work, I had a better grip on how to balance my work life with the rest of my life. I was really trying to focus on living my life for God first. During this time back at work, two major life changes came my way. One, my back got worse, not better. It was discovered that on top of some spinal issues, I had an auto-immune disease where my body was attacking itself – it was eating away the protective coverings around the nerves in my legs. My balance, strength, and ability to walk became greatly decreased. Second, God opened a door to become the Minister of Music for my church. I didn’t see this coming, but God had a plan. It just took praying, obedience, and some humbling of myself to get out of Gods way and allow Him to work in my life.
The medical issues that I developed are frustrating. I was not ready to make the necessary changes in my life that came with learning to live with a disability, but I was up to that challenge. I moved to a desk job within the hospital system. I am still able to help others as a nurse, just in a different way. Taking on the responsibilities of ministry at my church has opened my life up to a much closer relationship with God, as well as allowed me to see a new direction for my life and the way I live.
There are many challenges when you take on a leadership role in a church. Decisions that I make now can affect many people, not just me. I spend a great deal of time in prayer as I prepare services. We are a smaller church that has a blended style of worship service. There are some in our congregation that really appreciate a traditional style service with hymns and some gospel music. There are others that are moved more by worship and contemporary style music and worship opportunities. I have to try to come up with services that allow each person that comes into our service to find something that allows them the opportunity to worship and feel closer to God. It can’t be a service for everyone, but a service that reaches each one. It is a blessing to me each week to watch people in the service light up or bow their heads when a song or special touches their heart. It is amazing to watch the God we serve move in the hearts of people in a way that each person needs, and in His time. I feel very blessed that God has allowed me this opportunity to serve Him at this time in my life.
As I said, I was a drummer, fire-fighter, and a nurse, not the obvious path to becoming a music minister. Getting out of the way of God and letting Him lead, I now see that ministering to others has been my calling all along. I was just slow to get out of the way. Now, not only am I helping others as a nurse and leading the music at my church, but God has also placed a calling in my life to help others understand the truth of the Gospel and defend Christianity. My experience in science and the medical field along with a lifelong knowledge that the Bible has always made more sense to me than what I was taught in school, I am studying apologetics and starting a personal ministry to reach those that may question the truth of God and Christianity. In Proverbs, we are told to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths, (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV). I still do not always understand God’s plan for my life, but I put my trust in Him. I know that as He places opportunities before me, He has a purpose, I just try to be obedient to The Lord and stay ready for each chance I get to spread His love, whether through music or teaching the gospel.