Christina: "I Was Made to Sing" // "我為唱歌而活"

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ChristinaI-Was-Made-to-Sing

During her darkest days, Christina cried out to God and He answered by reassuring her of His great love for her. Christina在最黑暗的日子向神呼求,祂亦以祂的愛回應了她。

“In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” – Psalms 18:6. 

Joan of Arc has long been a fascination of mine. I was mesmerised by her story as a child when I heard of her visions and story of struggle against adversity. When I was 15, I traveled to Paris. There in the Notre Dame Cathedral is a statue of Joan of Arc, with hands held in prayer and a gaze to the heavens. I was traveling with my aunt, uncle and cousin as I went to Europe to celebrate her graduation from university. My parents had divorced the year before and my mother had become a terrifying spectre in my life. It was then that I had first learned of legal emancipation. I had no idea how I would do it but I wanted to pursue it. I had had enough.

I knelt before the statue of Joan of Arc and I prayed to God: “God, if you’re there, then please give me the same strength that you gave to Joan to get through this. I can’t do this anymore.” Almost immediately I felt this great force strike my chest. It was an immense surge of strength and it took my breath away. I literally was unable to breathe for a few moments and I gasped to regain my breath when I could. I was utterly perplexed. I spoke to my cousin about it but I don’t think that she understood.

It was a seminal moment in my life. It did exactly what I prayed for– it gave me the strength to carry on. I set the end of my highschool career as my immediate goal. Get the grades, get out of here. But it was my encounter with God at Notre Dame that assured me that He was with me and that I would be able to pull through. And this is before I became a Christian.

His plans have already far exceeded mine. I never would’ve thought that I’d be back in Hong Kong to try to pursue a healed relationship with my mother. I probably never thought that I’d become a Christian either. I thought that I knew God already. All that I am learning now would’ve been beyond my imagination before I left for Edinburgh to attend university.

I made a few vague wishes and a few important revelations were made to me during my time in Scotland. One of them was that I had wanted to sing for God. I had wanted to return to church and sing for a purpose other than just choir. I had noble thoughts. A key revelation made to me, confirmed thrice, was that I am meant to be a warrior in God’s kingdom. To be perfectly honest I still have a weak understanding of what that truly means. But now I really am singing for God.

I didn’t really think it would turn out this way. I couldn’t even harmonise before I returned to Hong Kong. I didn’t even really have a concept of it, as I always stayed on the safe shores of the soprano melody line when I was in choir. I was part of the worship team in my Scottish church but I again stubbornly held to the melody line. I hadn’t even thought of the fact that I was meant to harmonise with the worship leader. I just knew to sing. Keep singing.

I started hearing harmonies and singing them when I was filled with the Holy Spirit during worship at 180, the young adults ministry at The Vine in Hong Kong. A few friends and my young adults pastor heard me and suggested that I try out for the worship team. I was really worried, since I knew that harmonising was a requisite to be a backing vocalist and yet it wasn’t a skill that I had any control over. I couldn’t do much about that situation, however, so I simply prayed and walked into the audition. I tried to come up with harmonies prior to the audition, but I was really unable to. Some part of me hoped that they would teach me the harmonies later on and that I could do well just by singing melodies alone.

I waltzed in there, full of nerves. We started singing in a group and then we were split up to come up with harmonies for the three songs. I heard a few people try and as I listened I realised that I knew a harmony line for each of the songs… It was still a bit shaky but I was mostly there. Staying with my line was still difficult and listening was also hard but I eked out what I had.

It was enough. I got an email a few weeks later telling me that I was on the team.

A year later, just as I got a little more comfortable harmonizing and singing at church, I was asked to train as a co-leader for the worship team.

Recently, God had given me a solemn word about my new role as a worship leader (in training). He wants me to take care of my relationship with Him.

As I watch ‘The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc’, I am amazed by the closeness of her relationship with God. How utterly consumed she is by the messages that God has for her, and her purpose that she must fulfill is like a fire in her bones. I want that, but I am also thankful that God is merciful and has only slowly shown me my path and purpose. I am still confused, but I see something unfurling before me. I have a long way to go, but God has effectively planted this in me. I have no real gifting to offer except obedience. Which is what Joan had.

「我 在 急 難 中 求 告 耶 和 華 , 向 我 的   神 呼 求 。 他 從 殿 中 聽 了 我 的 聲 音 ; 我 在 他 面 前 的 呼 求 入 了 他 的 耳 中 。」詩 篇 18:6

我從很久以前就被聖女貞德吸引住了。我小時候聽過她的夢想和她在逆境鬥爭的事跡就迷上了她的故事。我十五歲的時候到巴黎旅遊。在巴黎聖母院大教堂裡有一座聖女貞德合手祈禱、遙望天堂的雕像。我當時正在跟我的姨母、姨丈和表姐在歐洲旅遊,主要的目的是慶祝表姐大學畢業。我的父母在前一年離婚了,而我的媽媽成為了我生命裡可怕的幽靈。就是那時候,我第一次得知甚麼是合法獨立權。我不知道我如何能辦到,但是我知道我想去申請。我受夠她了。

我在聖女貞德的雕像前下跪,並對著主禱告說:“主啊,如果祢存在,那請祢給我等同於祢給聖女貞德的力量去熬過這一關。我不能再走下去了。”我幾乎立刻感覺到有一股強大的力量觸擊我的胸口。那是一股蜂擁而出的巨大力量,讓我一時間無法呼吸。 我真的有幾片刻不能呼吸, 當我可以的時候,我喘著氣去恢復我的呼吸。我陷入完全的困惑。我告訴我的表姐,但是我覺得她不明白我在說甚麼。

這是對我的生命影響深遠的一個時刻。那時刻正是我所禱告祈求的-那一刻給了我力量繼續走下去。我把我的高中生涯設定為我眼前的目標。拿到好成績,馬上離開高中生活。但是, 我在聖母大教堂裡和主的接觸對我保證了祂與我同在,而我將能渡過難關。這都是在我成為基督徒前說發生的事。

祂的計劃遠遠超越我自己的。我從來沒有想像過我會回來香港去嘗試去修補我和我媽媽的關係。我可能也從來沒想過我會成為一位基督徒。我以為我已經認識主了。我現在所學的一切都在那個還沒出發遠赴愛丁堡讀大學的我的意想之外。

我只是許了幾個很模糊的願,而我在蘇格蘭的時候卻得到了幾個重要的啟示。其中一個是,我想為主唱歌。我想回去教會有目的地唱歌,而不是單單為了參加合唱團而唱歌。我有高尚的目標。我得到了一個被確認了三次的關鍵啟示,那就是我註定要當神國裡的戰士。老實說,我到現在還是不太明白這當中的真正意義。但是,我現在真的為主唱歌了。

我沒有想過接下來的事情會這樣發生。我在回港前甚至於不懂得唱和聲。我對和聲根本一點概念也沒有,因為我在合唱團的時候常常都停留在女高音主調的安全範圍裡。在我的蘇格蘭教會裡,我是崇拜隊伍的一員。但是,我再次固執地堅持要唱主調。我根本沒有想過我應該為崇拜領隊唱和聲。我只知道唱歌,不停地唱歌。

在一次180(香港The Vine教會裡的青年事工)的崇拜中,被聖靈充滿的我開始聽到和唱出和聲。我的幾個朋友和青年事工的牧師聽過後建議我去參加崇拜隊伍的試音。我很擔心,因為我知道能唱和聲是和音歌手的先要條件,但是我還沒有對這技巧有十分的把握。對於這情況,我當時沒有甚麼可做的,所以我做了簡短的祈禱後就走進試音室。我在試音前嘗試過唱出和聲,但是我根本唱不出。我心裡希望我只須唱主音就能通過試音,而和聲就留待他們日後再教我。

緊張的我提起勇氣走進去。我們首先一組人一起合唱,然後,我們分成小組各自為三首歌編和聲。我聽見有幾個人嘗試,而當我在聽的時候,我發現我為每一首歌都能唱出和聲的旋律⋯⋯雖然我唱得不太穩定,但是我大概能掌握那旋律。保持唱出那旋律對我來講還是有點困難,聽出旋律也不易,但是我盡我所能放聲唱。

這已足夠了。幾個禮拜後,我收到一個電郵告訴我我通過試音並能加入崇拜隊伍!

一年後,正當我開始能夠比較自在地在教會唱歌和唱和音時,我被邀請參加崇拜隊伍的領詩訓練。

最近,主給了我這個正在接受培訓的崇拜領隊一個莊嚴的啟示。祂希望我去照料我與祂的關係。

當我看“The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”(“信使:聖女貞德的故事“)的時候,我很驚嘆她與主能有著那麼親密的關係。她對於主給她的啟示完全獻出所有,而她要實現她的目的的決心就像她骨子裡的一團火。我也想像她一樣,但是我也很感恩主憐憫我,慢慢地對我表明我的前路和目的。我依然有點疑惑,但是我看見我的前路續漸展開。我還有很長的路要走,但是主已把祂的旨意播種在我心裡。我沒有甚麼天賦能獻上,我有的只是服從。這也是聖女貞德所有的。

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