I’ve been honored to participate in the worship track this fall here in DTS. Before it began, I thought I was going to learn how to lead worship… but God had a different plan. He has used every ounce of this class to teach me much more than singing songs and strumming a guitar: He’s taught me about my identity. The act of worship leading is introducing me to the importance of knowing who I belong to in every facet of life; not just singing in front of people.
The act of worship leading is introducing me to the importance of knowing who I belong to in every facet of life; not just singing in front of people.
The very first time I led worship on YWAM Louisville’s base was ironically the same day Carmelita Landers started her teaching on identity. I knew God was up to something. And then, when I messed up on stage not once, but multiple times in one session, I knew God was really up to something. It’s a lot like God to preface the start of “Identity Week” with my own personal identity crisis (which now, I appreciate the hilarity of it all).
When I stepped down off the stage after worship was over, I knew the truth I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe that everything was okay, it wasn’t a big deal, and no one expects me to be perfect. For a couple hours this worked, but I had to fight really hard to shrug it off and avoid running into a corner to bawl my eyes out. It’s funny how singing a chorus at the wrong time (twice), or singing the wrong words had such an affect on who I was, but that is what God used to crack open my heart wide to Him.
Our wonderful teacher, Carmelita, began the week informing us that our identity is in what Jesus has done for us and that recognizing our lies is crucial in order to walk in freedom. I immediately began to see the lies about my singing and leadership. I started to receive grace and heard the Lord speak to me, “Growth takes time. Even gaining confidence is a process, but it’s a process I am proud to walk with you in.”
Our identity is in what Jesus has done for us and recognizing our lies is crucial in order to walk in freedom.
A little later into the week I still felt the sting of failure. Relinquishing my false identity took more time than one big moment because lies have a way of coming from different angles. I still had lingering emotions of not being good enough due to my “performance”. So, I broke again. I asked the Lord why He put me up on stage when He knew I would fail. And once again, the Lord spoke to me saying, “I still want you up on stage even though you’re imperfect. You’re my daughter and I am proud of you 100% of the time through anything. My love has no limitations or boundaries. I don’t care what anyone thinks when it comes to loving you and putting you on display. When you make mistakes, I still rejoice in who you are. You are mine.”
Relinquishing my false identity took more time than one big moment.
With this, I became so enamored by His tender and beautiful Father-heart for me. So, my application is this: when I go out into any uncomfortable situation I will remember I belong to God. If I fear the opinion of man at any time, I will remember I belong to God. When I hit the wrong note or sing in the wrong key, my Jesus is proud and is singing in the wrong key with me. When I am in Kroger and want to pray for a stranger, I will not fear for I belong to God. When I am asked to speak in front of a group of highly educated individuals, I will not fear for I belong to God. When I step away from a situation I miserably failed in with a smile and deep freedom, I will know it’s because I belong to someone who sees much more than what I can bring.
Laura is in our current Discipleship Training School and is a part of the Worship Elective! She has a huge heart to genuinely love people and relate in a way that honors others and honors God. Laura has many talents and many interests. You might find her playing soccer, hiking, reading a book, drinking good coffee or simply being an awesome friend!