This year, I decided to embark on not one but two humiliating leaps of faith.
I’m a masochist like that.
I joined an orchestra for the first time in nearly two decades, when I’m much less in shape and battling arthritis. Because music.
And I’m writing my first nonfiction book and pursuing traditional publication. Because I know two people who really want to read it.
Overall, I’m so happy about both decisions. Elated most of the time. Because both feel so in tune with who I am as a person. Both actions are a reflection of my heart and the product of my entire life’s journey to this point.
I play the violin because I have called myself a violinist since I was five years old. It took me four more years to even start lessons. I never questioned I am a violinist through the years that I prayed for lessons, the decade of instruction and performance, the years of teaching and conducting, and the valley of illness that laid it all aside. I believe that music uniquely glorifies our Creator, participates in His Own voice of praise, unifies His saints, and prepares our souls for eternal worship at His throne. Since the temple era, there is no higher calling for priests, musicians and artists than to use their life’s craft to lead God’s people in worship, and it is an honor to join the saints doing so each Sunday at church and each Thursday in orchestra.
I write because God gave me words to say, and I’m not done saying them. It was a calling I purposefully ignored early in my adulthood, but then obeyed in my thirties as God opened the doors unexpectedly. I believe that our communication, both casual and formal, written and spoken, is a reverberation of God’s image in us. We create with our words — we create hope, joy, peace, and love in those around us as we speak God’s truth over our lips. Some of us word over blogs, social media, and books. Others word over text, letters, and phone calls. But we are each called to speak life and light into a dark and dying world.
These two leaps, though — performing and writing — are humiliating. They both bring me, every day, face first into my flaws. It’s one thing to think about performing and to talk about writing a book. It’s another thing to pick up your instrument and let others hear your mistakes, to send a manuscript out for someone to count the errors.
It hurts. Like Edmond peeling off thick, scaly dragon skin, I’m wincing under the layers of my own pride and humiliation. One humiliation wasn’t enough, I had to sign up for two ways to self-abasement.
But the more it hurts, the more I know it’s right. I need God to peel off my self so I can be true. I need Him to expose my inadequacies so I will depend on Him. I need him to humble me before others so I will reach out in love and compassion.
I need to be ordinaried so I can see Him work extraordinarily.
A month ago, I was worried about impressing my stand partner in orchestra so he would respect my skillz. And I was concerned about building a platform so I could sell books. Both of those are worthy goals — don’t we want to influence others, lead our group, and impact the world with a message of hope? How very good.
But now I realize I had it wrong. That’s not the plan God has for my life. I’m not super-celebrity-virtuoso-violinist or super-celebrity-blogger-author. My name is not Hilary Hahn/Ree Drummond.
I’m Lea Ann. And my world is small, my voice is little, my goal simple:
Do all to the glory of God.
One ordinary violinist and ordinary writer, ordinary mom and ordinary friend, worshiping an extraordinary God.
I’d love to keep in touch!
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