Last night, I participated in a Gospel concert to kick off our county fair. I was the third performer in the line-up. Right before they introduced me, I started to get nervous. But something kicked into gear, as it always does. I can turn off Ashley the Insecure and turn on Ashley the Singer. It's weird. I can't really explain how it happens, but it's like taking on a character in a play. You become someone different.
My first song was Jerusalem by the Hoppers. It's an awesome song with lots of elongated notes on good pitches for my range. It builds, as a good song should. It just felt so good to sing it.
My second song, a special one to me, was My Tribute. If you don't know that song, you should look it up. It speaks to the true Christian heart. I introduced it by saying that I know all of the performers would agree with its lyrics. Standing up there, singing to that crowd - it's not about us. It's not about who sounds the best or who nails the notes. The glory belongs to God. He granted us the gift of talent, and through us, He speaks. During that song, I got chills - my personal sign that God is present. So, so awesome.
I closed my set with the Isaacs' He Ain't Done Me Nothin' But Good. It's a rockin' bluegrass number that makes everyone feel good. I also sang it in church yesterday morning...and biffed the words on the last verse. I know. But it happens. Particularly on songs that move like this one. Needless to say, I was a little worried that I would make the same mistake. I didn't! God was with me, and He got me through!
I felt really good about that performance last night. After I finished, I took my kids around to look at the animals. The pigs were weighing in, and there were a few cows in the Beef Barn. I could barely talk. My voice was raspy - so I know I sang my heart out last night. And when I woke up this morning, I was a little hoarse. (Hee-hee - a little county fair pun for you!) I started to wonder if perhaps I hurt my voice. What would I do if I couldn't sing anymore?
And you know, as much as I enjoy singing, I'd be all right with that. I ended on a fantastic note! I couldn't ask for more. I know I'll never see the likes of American Idol or even America's Got Talent. But if my final notes were sung giving praise to God, it doesn't get any better than that. Plus, I'm in a new stage of my life. Writing is now my focus.
I know that I will sing again. My voice is just tired. But it was interesting to go through that thought process. And through it all, peak or valley, storm or sunshine - it's not about me. I will forever look above. Thank You, Lord.
I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You.
O, my soul, rejoice.
Take joy, my King, in what You hear.
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3