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