A couple of weeks ago, I asked God about what I should launch for a group business coaching program I joined earlier this year. There was a deadline to submit what we would be launching in 1 week. I had just one week to get it together!
I was so surprised by what came back. All of a sudden, I had a huge urge to record a video singing a worship song and post it on YouTube!
I know that when Holy Spirit nudges you, a lot of times things come from left field and you’re wondering where that came from. This was one of those times for me.
I hadn’t sung since… high school??
I may look young, but that was nearly 25 years ago!
Fear quickly tried to come in. “Who am I to sing?” “I’m don’t have a voice like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, or Whitney Houston.” “I’m not a singer.” “I don’t have any singing talent.” “My voice is so ordinary.” “Who’s going to want to listen to my singing?” “There are so many other amazing singers out there.” “Who’s going to want to listen to a mom?!” “There are people out there that OBVIOUSLY have a talented voice, but I’m not one of them.” And the list went on and on.
Luckily, my eyes had been opened to God’s Kingdom and how the enemy tries to deter us from what God calls us to do with these negative thoughts.
I quickly shrugged off all those thoughts, and started giving myself more encouraging words.
“If GOD asks you to sing, surely He has a reason and a purpose.” “If God wants you to start this YouTube channel, He will bring the people that need to hear your voice.” “If God wants you to sing, He thinks you are good enough for this task.” “If God wants you to do this, He will give you the voice as you walk in obedience.” “God will heal your dry, cracking voice that hasn’t sung in decades.” “Just be a good steward of your voice. Hydrate and drink hot lemon water and do what singers do.” “You just need to develop your voice.” “You’ve never taken any singing lessons. Your voice is great for someone who’s never taken any voice lessons.” And on and on I went until I felt fortified and encouraged enough to trust that initial prompting to sing worship songs for YouTube.
God had actually planted this idea in my mind a year prior. Often times I find myself humming or singing sounds without even realizing it. One of those days I had been washing dishes and singing some random notes, an opera like voice came out of me. I was shocked! Then, the idea to sing worship songs on YouTube came to me. “I had thought… interesting. Now, that’s a new thought.” So, when this nudge came a year later, I knew, NOW is the time.
Later that night, God started placing His thoughts into my mind of how I had been a singer all along, yet I just didn’t see it. He reminded me of all those days in high school and even middle school when I had sung.
I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz school play in 8th grade. I sang the song,”Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” in front of the entire auditorium! I auditioned for choir in 8th grade and they wanted me to transport to the high school for choir (which I declined because I thought it was ridiculous). I was a singer/dancer in high school, and that took a rigorous audition to make the cut. I was the cantor at my church, leading the congregation into singing (I only did this because no one else volunteered). I was co-choir director at my church in college. I was an occasional backup singer for my friend’s band, and she had asked me to sing at her wedding, but since I didn’t think of myself as a singer, I had declined. I had sung in choir at school since 4th grade through high school. And how much karaoke did I sing in high school and college? It was my lifestyle!
Perhaps people in my past had viewed me as a singer, but why hadn’t I?
It suddenly became clear how I had been engaged in singing most of my life before adulthood.
As I was flooded with all of these thoughts of why I WAS able to sing, I felt the goodness of God encouraging me. I felt humbled and wept as I healed from all my previous “not good enough” and “I don’t have that talent” thoughts. He healed an insecurity that I didn’t even know I had.
For every belittling comment satan puts into your head (which are lies), God has a counter argument that is Truth.
Recording the Audio
I knew nothing about recording singing. I had just one week to get this done!
I decided to walk in obedience and just ignore any thoughts of not being good enough, and I decided to just do what was necessary to get the job done.
I knew I had a microphone somewhere from an interview I did nearly 8-9 years ago when someone had connected me to a motivational speaker to interview. I was scared of doing that too at the time, but I just did it.
Now, God was calling me to something so new!
I asked my husband to help me find the microphone, and after a day or two, he finally found it! Meanwhile, I was scouring YouTube for videos on how to record a cover song. Just a month ago, I didn’t even know what a cover was, but my husband educated me on it.
I researched how to record with an iPhone (if I had to use that as a last resort), how to set up a microphone, how to use GarageBand, how to create a cover song, how to download karaoke music off of YouTube, etc. Then, after I set up the mic along with a handheld recording device, I just tried it.
I have to be honest. It sounded pretty bad. 😂 There was a lot of voice cracking from my dry voice as I had been dealing with a dehydration problem for years. Thankfully I was alone in my office and no one heard (except God, that is).
I just kept pressing on.
I figured out how to bring all the audio I had recorded into GarageBand and pair it with the background music.
And then… my hard drive went caput. “HD out of disc space.” Over and over again, many laptop kept reminding me how I was at maximum capacity.
This wasn’t going to work, so I remembered I had an old laptop that I didn’t really use. I pulled it out, charged it, and decided to unsync Dropbox from there to free up storage, and perhaps use that as my music editing device.
This laptop hasn’t seen the light of day since 2016. There were so many updates, laptop crashing, and other problems, but a day or two later, it was finally ready usable.
I’m telling you all of this because I’m trying to illustrate how sometimes there are so many hurdles to fulfill God’s plan for you. Just because there are hurdles doesn’t mean you should stop. They are there to thwart your plans by the enemy, and sometimes it’s just our own issues, but wherever they come from, we just need to find another way to make it work. The key is to just not quit.
After uploading all the audio into GarageBand, I quickly realized that I was recording on mono. Only one earbud was playing my singing. It didn’t sound good.
I asked my husband again to help me figure out how to record in stereo. He had no idea, but he pressed a whole bunch of buttons, not knowing what he was doing, but just trying whatever buttons were on my recording device. Whatever he did, and I’m sure he is not even sure himself, it worked!
So, I recorded again, and again, and again, and again until I maxed out the memory on the SD Card.
I had to transfer all the info to the laptop. It maxed out the space on that computer. I kept working on unsyncing everything from Dropbox except the music. I removed everything from the SD card to the computer, and I continued trying to record more, only to find that the SD card didn’t actually delete all the files. Somehow the card was full and I didn’t know how to delete what was on there, even though I had deleted a bunch of files from it.
I decided to just use what I had, hoping it sounded ok, and moved on. Sometimes it’s hard to have the patience to do it again just one more time, especially in a time crunch.
Creating the Video
I had to find a presentable background to stand in front of to record the video portion of the video. I had been recording in my office, but after looking at that video, I realized it looked too busy.
I couldn’t find a plain wall anywhere that would work that had decent lighting, so I just decided to use my doors to my office. 😂 I confirmed with my husband to see if it was ok, and he agreed it was better, so onwards I went.
I set up a tripod for my phone on my desk, tried to set up my iPad with the karaoke song on it from YouTube and tried to press both around the same time to start recording.
Many takes later, I had a bunch of video footage.
Editing the Audio
Then came the editing! You see… the process of following God’s will is not always easy. It’s a huge learning curve most of the time.
Endurance and perseverance kicked in, and a deadline, of course, helped.
I figured out how to adjust the audio to make myself sound a little better, and clipped from different parts of audio from different audio tracks.
I didn’t have quite enough takes, but at this point, I didn’t want to spend the time figuring out how to delete everything on the SD card and do everything over, so I just settled with what I had.
Editing the Video and Creating a Thumbnail Image
Once a “good enough” edit of the audio was completed, I exported it and uploaded it to iMovie to try and sync it with my video. I adjusted the lighting in the video and created a thumbnail using a screenshot of the video and an text app on my phone.
Not all of the audio synced with the video.
I honestly didn’t really want to put my singing up on YouTube, and especially one that was flawed, but I brushed off my own perfectionism and just focused on the due date.
Very, very late into the night, I finally finished on the day the submission was due.
There were more edits necessary, but at least I committed and followed through on SOMETHING.
I uploaded the video to YouTube, but when I listened to it on my phone, I realized the volume was too high at certain parts and a tinging sound was happening. So, the next day, I deleted the video, adjusted the audio levels and re-uploaded it.
What a process! It’s exhausting just to tell you the story.
When God Calls
My point is, that when God nudges you to do something, often there’s a lot of work on the other side.
He has a plan for us that we don’t see, but as we keep following in obedience with each step, He’ll reveal little nuggets of His vision for us.
One of the things He revealed to me was that I should publish this video on my personal YouTube channel. This was a huge step for me because I like to live in the world of anonymous, and putting myself out there WITH my name as the channel name was never something I would have done if He had not placed it on my heart to do so. I trusted there was a reason for this.
Since that day, just a little over a week ago, I’ve gained so much more clarity on what I will be doing with that channel, including playing violin and other instruments that I will learn, and received new ideas of other things to implement, one of which is this blog, and another is an e-commerce shop.
Honestly, I don’t know the order of things, but as I ask God each step of the way, the next step is revealed.
God’s Plan for You
God has a plan for you too. He’s calling you into new things in different seasons, and He is preparing you for what is to come. The key is to ask Him. No matter how small the situation or task, ask Him what He would like you to do.
What He has planned for you is what you were created for. He’s given you gifts and talents that you might not even recognize without His help (like me!). These gifts are meant to be shared, to bless others, and to use to glorify God.
Sometimes what we think is our path and calling might be different from what God has in mind! I would have never imagined creating music since those were gifts I had no interest in before, but remember, God does not waste. He has a purpose and a reason for the gifts He’s given you, and when He calls you to pick up that thing that you may have laid down a long time ago, it is now time to put that skill you developed into action.
As you walk in obedience, overcome hurdles, and press forward, you and God will be walking in sync, and you will be the vessel He had intended you to be. He has the best plans for you, and His dreams for you are greater than the dreams you can dream for yourself.
Remember, with God, all things are possible!
Is there something you feel like God has been calling you to do? Is there a hidden idea or talent you have buried somewhere that you wondered what it was for? Have you walked into something new that God has called you into?
Please share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!