I joined the choir because I loved to sing. In fact, Singing is the only consistent thing I’ve done in my life. I sing in the bathroom, on my way to school, in the kitchen and many times in my dreams. When I’m sad, I sing. When I’m excited, you’ll hear my voice loud and clear. Forgive me, but I’m that lady who sings before sharing a testimony in church. I know it annoys some of you but I just cannot help it.
When I surrendered my life to Christ and began to grow spiritually, it was very clear that ministering through songs was God’s call upon my life. Soon, my gift began to blossom in ways that amazed me. I have lost count of the number of people who approached me, narrating in specific details how my ministrations gave them hope. The number of new members increased. I began to receive invitations to minister in different churches.
It wasn’t long before I made enemies in the choir. The envy and jealousy spread like wild fire. Some of my friends were avoiding me and at that time, I was having lots of proposals.
For weeks I cried because I felt abandoned. Several times I pleaded with God to take my voice away.
Couldn’t we be like the workers in the children department? I have never seen people bond so closely like the children church workers. They were like a family, always looking out for each other I was already thinking of moving to the children’s department when one morning, I received a call from a company I had applied to in Benin. I had passed the interview and was to resume work in two weeks.
My church has a branch in Benin. After submitting a testimonial to my new Pastor, I was introduced to the choirmaster.
Bro Daniel is tall and slender with very attractive features. I was greatly impressed by the way he handled the team. One minute he threw a joke and we laughed so hard that sometimes tears ran down our faces and the next minute, he frowned and scolded the soprano singers for taking a wrong tune.
I went with the flow and enjoyed staying out of public glare until one Wednesday evening during the rehearsals, Bro Daniel mentioned the title of the song for the next service. My heart jumped in excitement and the lyrics began to play in my mind on its own accord. It was one of my favourite songs.
‘Who knows this song very well?’
My hand went up. When I looked around and saw I was one raising my hand, I quickly put my hand down. But the choirmaster had already seen me.
‘That sister over there. Come out.’
I felt faint. All eyes were on me as I stood up. Why did I raise my hand? What if I messed up? As I walked to the front, the lyrics of the song disappeared. I was clearly nervous as I stood before the choirmaster who was holding a microphone.
‘What’s you name?’
He touched my shoulder slightly and smiled. ‘Breath in.’
I did as I was told.
I exhaled. But that didn’t stop my hands from trembling.
I sighed. The choirmaster picked up his guitar and motioned to the keyboardist to pick the right key. Slowly, I began to sing and then I increased my tempo, forgetting everyone around me. When I finished, I raised my head to find the members of the choir staring at me.
Bro Daniel’s mouth and eyes were wide opened. The choristers clapped and began to whisper among themselves. The choirmaster quickly gave out orders. He would take the first stanza, I’ll come in at the second and we’ll both take the third stanza together. By the end of the rehearsals, the choir room was charged. The members of the choir were standing up and jumping as they chanted the chorus. The rehearsals ended in some serious prayers.
I made quite a number of friends afterwards, but somewhere in my heart, I wondered how long before I become the object of envy. For that reason I tried not to get too close. On my way out of the church after one of the rehearsals, Bro Daniel blocked me at the entrance.
‘For God’s sake, who are you?’
I smiled. ‘I am God’s beloved child.’
‘Jesus! You are so good. I’ve never met someone with such powerful voice.’
‘All glory be to God sir.’
The praises showered on me by the members of the church got to me. Clips of my ministration were posted on social media and before I knew it, I began to receive calls from people I had never met.
When I saw how this was affecting me, I went on my knees again and reminded myself that I did not belong to myself but to God. Every Sunday morning after dressing up for church, I would recite this verse I had pinned to my heart from the living Bible.
I can do this only because Christ’s mighty energy is at work within me.
Continue reading from Part 2