E X P R E S S I O N S:
L I V E S F U L L O F W O R S H I P
Whether you are a believer or not, worship is an innate part of the human DNA, one of the most natural responses we can have. We worship everything from our our jobs and money, to our relationships or the Lord. For this series, various members of the worship team will be discussing what it looks like to live dedicated to worshiping God in our every day lives.
"As a growing worship leader and as someone who has grown up in the faith, what has your journey with worship looked like and how has it played out in your daily life?"
Growing up in a Christian home and living in a family filled with pastors really set me up for a solid foundation of faith. I started to sing when I was around 4 years old with my Aunt Teri, who is a worship leader at Real Living Ministries, a church my Aunt Joy started eight years ago. We made a CD of worship songs together when I was 6 and it all sparked from there. I knew I was meant to worship. As I got older and started to grow more and more in my faith, I knew I was ready to add a microphone into the mix. I was about 13 years old when I started leading worship at my church.
This led to a countless number of amazing encounters with the Holy Spirit and stepping out in my faith - seeing the Lord work in ways that no one could explain other than to say, it was undeniably Jesus. As I got older, I started to be more bold and open about my faith with others outside of my family and church. This led to me getting judged and made fun of for praising something not of this world. Being about 12 to 15 years old, it was really hard for me to dive into my gifting of worship because I was so worried about what others would think of me. Discouraged, I began to limit myself and what I allowed God to do through me, keeping my faith to myself. As a result, I became kind of distant towards God and stopped singing at my church.
Freshman year was a struggle. Mid-way through, every single week at church for about five months straight, I would uncontrollably cry and I never understood why. As my freshman year continued I let my boyfriend at the time, my expanding friend group, and other priorities push God out of the number one spot in my heart. After weeks of feeling guilty and convicted, and being named by my shame and regret for so long, I knew I couldn’t fight the fight of the world all by myself anymore. I needed a change.
I needed Jesus back in that number one spot.
Finally, I started to get back into singing which led to me worshiping alone in my room - this time surrendering every part of me to Jesus and soaking in the Holy Spirit's presence. After a few weeks of this, I finally started to feel at peace with myself again. I knew in that season that my mess was going to become my message to those around me and God was in the process of doing something radical in my life.
Fast forward to senior year. I have never felt more in touch with God than I have throughout this year. Walking in a daily surrender with the Lord has allowed God to show me things and put me through situations that have taught me so much. Coming to Crossroads this year was one act of surrender that has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.
After receiving a prophetic word at a worship night a few days prior - a word that expressed I needed a season between just me and God - I woke up that following Sunday September 11th, 2016 to God saying, “You need to go to Crossroads.” Since it was early that morning I decided to go the following week; September 18th, 2016. Ever since that 9:30 am service, my life has never been the same. Pastor Dave preached on “Faith is Greater Than Fear”, using the acronym F.E.A.R.
Afraid of change and confused by what the Lord was doing with me by sending me to Crossroads, this really helped me change my perspective. When Pastor Dave said this, it helped me realize that I have to face my fears and rise in this new season of whatever God had in store for me. So I began to come to Crossroads regularly.
After several weeks go by, I heard on Church News that Crossroads Youth Collective was looking for students to lead on the worship team, and I realized in that moment what my purpose was for going to Crossroads.
I needed to get myself back into worship.
After a series of events and several affirmations from the Lord showing me that leading worship wasn't going to counterfeit the season between him and I, I ended up not only leading worship for the youth but for the Sunday morning team as well. On December 18th, 2016 I was put on the schedule to sing Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong. It was such a surreal moment when I found out that I was singing and when I was actually on the stage that morning, it felt as if it was only God and I in the room. Now every time I sing on Sunday mornings with the Crossroads worship team it's a new and exciting experience. There is nothing I love more than to be apart of a team that is on fire and excited for God to move during worship as much as I am.
In present day, I am beyond grateful to have been given this opportunity to write this blog post about my experience as a worshiper. I can honestly say that these past six months being a member at Crossroads has changed my perspective about so many things. I have built countless lifelong friendships, learned lessons that will carryover with me for the rest of my life, and I have grown tremendously as a worship leader and in my relationship with God. The next chapter of my life is called “New Beginnings” because I just got accepted to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, CA.
Over the course of the last several years, two verses have stood out to me:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. // Romans 12:2
I had to learn to not be conformed to this world, but to trust in God’s tests that turned out to be God’s good, perfect and pleasing will for my life. I had to learn that worship is something to be carried on and off the stage by daily surrendering myself to the Lord.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. // Hebrews 12:28-29
I am grateful to be apart of a kingdom that cannot be shaken because I know that when we offer worship to the Lord through every circumstance, he is the spark that starts the whole flame.
I encourage you all to fully surrender to what God is wanting to do for you in your life, even if it doesn’t make sense. He has your best interests in mind and he will not let you down. His work starts where the impossible begins, and he is a God that is always faithful to complete the good work he has started within us. When we fully surrender to our lives to Jesus, we are not only worshiping him with our whole being, we are surrendering to a Father that will bless us with more than we could ever possibly imagine.