BY ERIN MURPHY, CHOIR MEMBER
Growing up at Grace, I would always hear about the importance of spiritual community, but never came to understand it or really experience it for myself until pretty recently. In late 2015, after brushing off over a year's worth of choir-related emails assuming it wasn't my thing, two of my close friends convinced me to join them in singing with the Grace choir for Christmas Eve. At the time, I had no idea that a seemingly insignificant "yes" would later have such an impact on me and on my faith journey. I mostly stuck with my friends and the few other high schoolers, unsure what to say or how to act around the adults. However, I observed how the choir regulars interacted with each other and was blown away by the depth and authenticity of the relationships I witnessed. I felt awkward because I didn't know how such a close-knit group would perceive an "outsider." A part of me craved whatever these choir people had in their community, even if I didn't understand it fully.
Looking back, this was definitely the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me, leading me to where He wanted me. When I returned for a prayer gathering in February, I was greeted by name by choir members I had never held a conversation with, and this was just so unexpected yet so needed. I truly felt God's embrace through the people He strategically placed in my path that night, and so I kept coming back. The experience of worshiping, praying, laughing, running the cafť out of coffee, believing in North Dakota, bonding, and even shedding a few tears alongside so many brothers and sisters in Christ over Easter weekend was what did it for me. I felt God tugging on my heart, saying this is where He wanted me to be, that I had a place in this community. I made my own kind of bold move in saying "yes" to God again and surrendered all my anxieties surrounding whether or not I would belong in the group, officially joining the worship choir in April. In retrospect, these fears were understandable but ridiculous at the same time, as they proved themselves wrong almost immediately.
I was welcomed with open arms not only into a choir and a care group, but into a family. I was blessed with care group leaders who couldn't have been more excited to meet me or to have another young grasshopper in the group. These two gals truly took an interest in getting to know me and shared in the excitement and anxiety of my senior year. I couldn't believe how easily I was welcomed and accepted by everyone. I had been invited into the most authentic and Christ-centered community I had ever experienced. I was never looked down upon for being the youngest of the bunch (even though I've earned the nickname of "cricket" because even the young grasshoppers are older than me) but was valued for who I am and whatever I may have to offer. I have learned so much from a group that worships with abandon, prays bold prayers, loves each other fiercely, and simply shares in the joys and trials of life together. What started out as a simple "yes" has resulted in continuous blessings both big and small: birthday and graduation cards, shared laughter and stories, and God allowing me to be discipled by someone who speaks so much love and truth into my life. I'm so grateful not only for the relationships I've built, but that I get to do what I love and be in the front row to seeing the Spirit move at Grace.†
If this blog strikes a "chord" in you (ha, ha), check us out most Wednesdays from 6:45-8:30 p.m. at 146th and Fishers Campuses. View the 2016-2017 worship choir schedule.
146th Vocal Director: Kendra Kirby,†firstname.lastname@example.org
Fishers Vocal Director: Dee Ann Marshall,†email@example.com
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Just as Erin felt blessed by the Choir family, the family was blessed by Erin being with us.
Posted by Tom Huckstep on August 10, 2016 @ 6:36 am