Monday, September 1, 2008

Sunday Success

Ok, I have to take a moment and post a huge victory for myself. Background first, when our church had grown to the point of bursting the seams, we "split" our "ward". For those of you not members of our church that is just what we call our congregations. Anyway, our new ward was short on piano players so it was necessary for me to try and brush up on some barely there skills. I was willing, but that doesn't mean it was good by any stretch of the imagination. Over the last 3 months I have been practicing every day off and on all day long.

Even though I have improved and can now play more songs (in the privacy of my home where no eyes or ears can see and hear) it has not translated to my Sunday playing. Luckily, I play for the women and as one sister (we call each other Brother and Sister at church) put it, "It is better than plan B which is A Capella." Barely. No one has complained about me stopping while I try and remember what in the world my fingers are supposed to be doing.

Well, shortly after starting to play for the women, my friend Shelly asked me to play for the ward choir. Absolute TERROR! I'm just not good enough to do justice to some of this music, but I told her I was willing to try. Willingness has to count for something in heaven because the skill is not here yet! She gave me a stack and one of them didn't look too bad so I have practiced it for 2 months. I got to the point where I could do it at home, but I could never make it all the way through with the choir during practices.

Yesterday we were scheduled to perform it and I tried to get Nathan to play it instead, but for some reason he and Shelly would not let me out of it. During our last practice in the morning I did not manage to play the whole thing without a big mess up. I was so frustrated and finally angry at myself. I did not want to mess this up for Shelly or the choir and it didn't make sense to me that I could do it at home but not in front of anyone else. So, I started praying. For the next 40 minutes I prayed constantly, "just help me get through it without stopping." I prayed for the confidence to do the job that I had been asked to do. I knew that I had done my part. I had practiced every day to learn this song. The only thing holding me back was my own insecurities.

The moment came and I walked up to the front and sat down at the piano. I did not look at anyone as I sat down. My hands were shaking and I did not know how I was going to do it, but I started to play and the choir started to sing, and I made it through all three verses without more than one or two fumbles (that miraculously included the right notes too) that no one else noticed. I can not tell you how grateful, happy, relieved, elated that I was. If we had not been sitting in the chapel I would have stood up and thrown my arms in the air and yelled for joy. I don't think anything could have wiped the smile from my face. Prayers work!!!! I know I will still struggle to play, but for me that was a huge victory to play that one song all the way through while other people were listening. The song was "I feel my Savior's Love" out of the choir book. I did feel His love as I tried my best to be a part of the choir in a very new and uncomfortable way. I know he sent an angel to make up for my shaking hands and help me get through that performance.


AZ Larsens said...

Woohoo! Way to go! Don't feel bad about messing up, I took 8 years of lessons and have been playing for 22 years, am the primary pianist in our ward...and I STILL manage to mess up a bunch! Of course it would help if I rememberedto! I'm sure your ward appreciates you. Good job!

edith said...

Yay, Charity! (Charity never faileth, you know.)

thehubby said...

She did a wonderful job! I was really very proud of her doing it. I could tell she was nervous before she started, but it sounded like she played everything perfectly. Wat to go hon!