Music has been my whole life for as long as I can remember. I remember being the kid in church children’s choir who got all of the solos. I remember working on a song with the worship pastor at my church when I was 10 and how amazing it felt to perform it. I remember my first voice teacher being really strange, yet giving me tools for my voice that I still use to this day. I remember when I finally found a voice teacher that I really clicked with and working on my pieces to perform in Phantom of the Opera (the worst rendition of that show ever, I might add). Everything was music. I was music. It was the only thing that ever mattered to me and the only thing that I was ever good at. It was my identity.
Recently, however, I’ve been struggling. When you’re studying what you love at the largest Christian school in the world, it’s really easy to notice how much better everybody else is. And when you aren’t the best anymore, it gets really hard to know if you’re even good at all. I struggle a lot with theory and musicianship, which are two of the core classes in the music program and classes that require you to pass four semesters of each. I’m in my fourth semester in college and failing theory and musicianship two for the second time. I can name at least ten people right this second who have more talent and will go much further than me in this field. I’ve lost the love that I used to feel when I played music, and I just wonder why I’m even doing this anymore. I’m so close to quitting, and I think the only reason I haven’t yet is because I keep reminding myself that music is all that I have.
If I’m not a musician, then who in the world am I?
In all of my sin nature, I’ve somehow gotten into my head that music is the only thing I ever have been and ever will be. I’ve convinced myself that music is the only thing that has ever given me worth. I’ve told myself that the only reason I have friends, the only reason I’m respected, and the only reason I have of believing in a future for myself is because of my musical talent. And that is such a huge, huge lie. My identity is not found in music. My identity is found in Christ. If you take away the music, what are you left with? You’re left with a daughter, a friend, a writer, and a sinner. But if you look past even those things and look all the way to the core of me, all that is there is Christ. That is my identity. When I became a follower of Jesus and I allowed him to enter into myself, he became not just everything I sought after, but everything I was. The reason I will be allowed into heaven someday and the reason that I am able to love him and fellowship with God here on this earth is that I’m not defined by anything in myself anymore. When my Father looks at me and sees me for what I truly am, all he sees is his Son. It’s beautiful. I have hope and I have a future because of this. I don’t identify myself by how my voice sounds, how my fingers play the piano, or how good I am at my theory homework. I define myself by what Christ has done for me, and what he has done and continues to do through me.
Don’t allow Satan or your own sin nature to convince you that you only amount to your abilities or strengths. Remember always that God uses every part of you, both the weak and the strong, to glorify him and do beautiful things for him.