“Would you like to sing ‘Joy to the World’ with me for the Christmas concert?” she asked.
“What? Uhh…sure!” I replied.
A month prior to this exchange, I had expressed to the worship leader of my church that I was interested in joining the worship team. Since then, we mutually decided that I would start practicing with the worship team on Sundays, and once I felt more comfortable, I could officially join the team. She also invited me to attend the worship team meeting, where we would discuss logistics and plan for the upcoming Christmas concert. I decided to attend the meeting because I figured it would be a great way to connect with other members of the team and get involved in the planning process. Little did I know, the meeting lasted for nearly three hours and was entirely in Spanish, of which I understood very little. I thought this would be an excellent language-learning opportunity and tried hard to follow the conversation, but to no avail. Feeling helpless and frustrated that I couldn’t contribute anything to the conversation, I started to regret my decision to attend the meeting, and I wondered how many other ways I could have used my time more “productively.” Towards the end of the meeting, I felt so physically and mentally exhausted, not to mention totally defeated, that I stopped paying attention. It was at that moment that the worship leader asked me if I wanted to sing with her for the Christmas concert. Surprised but grateful for the opportunity, I excitedly agreed.
The day of the concert, however, the worship leader became sick and was unable to sing. By an unexpected turn of events, I ended up not only leading “Joy to the World” in front of the whole church, but also participating in other Christmas songs for which I hadn’t prepared. I was riddled with anxiety because it was the first time I took on such a visible role at my church, but the Christmas concert brought so much joy to everyone, and I was incredibly grateful that I got to participate in it. Not only that, I think my participation made it more apparent that I wanted to be part of this community and serve in whatever ways I can. This experience has shown me that God truly works in the most unexpected ways. It also taught me the importance of showing up, being present, and saying yes. All of this was only possible because I first said yes to the attending the meeting, said yes to singing at the concert, and then actually showed up to practice. Every now and then, God invites us to step outside of our comfort zones, to try something different, and although we may be inclined to say no at first, I have found that saying yes to His invitations is always worth it in the end.