Three nights onstage and three days later I’m almost fully recovered.
Last week saw my return to concerts for the first time this year. My choir (the Christian one I’m still proud to be a member of) was supporting the Christian songwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty with their special guest Stuart Townend. Nearly every church in the Western world has heard of these songwriters, their hymn ‘In Christ Alone’ is probably their most famous. Personally, my favourite song is ‘There is a Higher Throne’ which remains my go-to solo piece when I’m asked to sing somewhere new. The second verse goes like this:
‘And there we’ll find our home, our life before the throne
We’ll honour Him in perfect song where we belong
He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye as thirst and hunger die
The Lamb becomes the Shepherd King, we’ll reign with Him’
Things haven’t always been easy for me. I’d like to think that I’m a positive person, or at least I’m trying to be. But there are times when everything gets a bit too much. My dad had an affair when I was a teenager and my mum fell apart. He left and blamed me and hasn’t spoken to me since. I had to get a job to help support my mum and I continue to work to help pay the bills and everything. I’ve had to live with the most awful condition that I wouldn’t wish on anybody. It affects every part of my life and every step towards diagnosis and treatment has been a struggle and still is. There are times when I feel sorry for myself. I wonder how I’m ever going to have a ‘normal’ life, if my friends are going to still be there for me, if I’ll ever find a guy who can handle all of it and how or if I’ll ever have children.
The words of this song are such a comfort to me when I’m having a rough time. ‘He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye’ even when I read those words I feel comforted. My faith in God may not be perfect but it is my constant source of strength. It isn’t particularly cool to admit to believing in God but I’m not ashamed. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my faith.
The concerts were amazing. Three nights to a sold out concert hall. Three days of soundchecks and rehearsals, back stage banter and dressing up. I did all three nights but my friend only managed the middle one. She got such a bad case of the giggles that I had to actually take her out of the prayer meeting before the show started. I had heat patches stuck to my back and was knocking back the Tramadol during the intervals but it was such a great experience. Hearing the thousands of people, on stage and in the audience, singing together. Making friends with the cool band guys from Nashville, dancing to the impromptu jamming sessions after the show, meeting the people who wrote the words that have helped me through so much. ‘Twas a pretty great weekend.