I grew up with music all around me. I took piano lessons from the time I was 5, sang duets at church with my sister in elementary school and was involved in my church singing and leading worship from about the age of 11.
I didn't experience my first choir until I was in college. As a music major it was one of my required courses. And it was my favourite. I'll admit, the first couple of weeks were stressful. We had a rehearsal camp where we were given music and just started singing. No plunking out parts or anything. I was not used to that!
In just a couple of weeks we had our first concert and we had to have probably close to 20 songs memorized, all the while starting all our other classes. Worse I had been home schooled and had never experienced balancing course loads (ha ha!). I thought I was going to die.
But then I fell in love.
Something magical happens on choir risers for me. There is a whole other side of me that comes out, that can't be expressed any other way. Words to songs take on meaning they never have before. They become deeply rooted in my heart. I feel it is a place I can freely and truly worship without hindrance. I don't know if it is because of the mixtures of harmonies around me or what it is, but if I'm given the chance to sing with a choir, I'll take that over anything.
It is also the place I have been most broken. God has shown me so many things standing on those risers. Things I need to work on. Things I need to pursue. Things I need to be humbled about. Things I need to let go. Things about Himself.
I have had every emotion on those steps from elated joy to seething anger, to painful hurt to deep sadness and everything in between. But it is one of my favourite places to let those emotions out. It is a safe place for me. Which is funny because it is so exposed.
I haven't sung in a choir in over two years. I had a fantastic opportunity to lead a kids choir and (hopefully) give them a similar experience in those two years. I loved doing it, but really missed singing. On Tuesday I joined a choir again. It felt like I was home. I didn't realize just how much I missed it! I'm so excited about this year.
What is the “choir riser” experience in your life? That one thing that fills your soul more than anything else?