If you find yourself in Central Illinois on a Sunday morning and walk into a tiny, red brick, small town church you might see me there. Most likely barefoot, definitely dancing and sometimes, holding a microphone. I have loved music for my entire life and leading worship is something brings my heart so much joy. Now, I know what you’re thinking.
“Laura, you can’t quit music if you still make music.” This is different.
I’ve wanted to write songs forever. I’ve wanted to make music that made a difference. I wanted to go to school and pursue music because that’s what people told me I was good at. I did that and I’m pretty sure there are still bad recordings on Myspace to prove it. The problem with this is that when you get into any type of music making scenario (including leading worship) sometimes, ego and talent get in the way. It becomes competitive even when we don’t intend for it to be that way.
I gave up making music in college because, I found that even God loving people considered themselves musicians first leaving everything else secondary. It is in this kind of environment that beauty and friendship withers. Competition is not someplace that joy can actually flourish at all.
I have some of the most amazing musician friends. One in particular, let’s call him Jon (because, well, that’s his name.) He is one of the most talented musicians I know. But, not so much so that it turns into a competition, ever. He seeks to bring out the best in those that he writes and performs with. He will tell you that “such and so played guitar on this song I just recorded and he’s amazing.” He always points it back to the others around him.
I’ve known very few musicians like him. Even though I work with some amazing ones and went to college with some great worship leaders. That’s why I gave up. I was exhausted with the inability to be Jesus in the creative process. I wanted to be a community builder, not someone that instilled distrust in someone’s own skillset and passions. Making people unsure of themselves isn’t my deal. So, for now, I’ll lead when I’m asked to, sing with friends at their shows, and sing in the shower, and the car, and the grocery store but, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make music for me again.
That’s why I take the stance of cheerleader, supporter, “fangirl” and friend. I love to watch those that I love and care for do what they love to do. For now, this is enough. Perhaps, it will always be enough.