Why Everyone Needs a Standing Ovation at Least Once.

Dec 14, 2017 by

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“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life.” Auggie Pullman in Wonder

This is a quote from one of my favorite children’s books of all time and my favorite movie of 2017. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a well-crafted overcomer story, especially when it stars a kid with an obvious challenge, who not only survives his first year of middle school (which is also his first year of public school), but comes out of it more confident then ever. He gets to the end the year knowing what a difference he made just by coming to school day after day.

I thought of Auggie’s words after my second performance with the Blackhawk Chorus, when we received a standing ovation for our Holiday concert, “The Season of Song.” Our first performance got one too, but something about this one hit me differently.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I choose a word for the year every January 1, as well as a special Bible verse. My verse for 2017 has been Jeramiah 29:11, which I chose when a friend gave me a ring for Christmas with “’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord…” engraved on it. It took a long time for me to settle on a word, but after considering all that God had done over the past few years, and the things we were still working on together, I picked restore.

I couldn’t wait to see what God would restore in 2017!

When December arrived, I felt a bit let down by the whole restore theme. Unlike when I chose loved for 2016, I couldn’t point to a long list of tangible experiences that left me feeling like a new woman. Exciting things had happened—teaching at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, receiving the True Grit Award, being invited to join the West Coast Christian Writers Conference Board, attending my first speaker conference (Leverage), joining the Blackhawk Chorus—but what exactly had God restored?

I got my answer during that standing ovation, taking a bow with new friends, feeling joyful, relaxed, and… what else did I feel?

Confident.

That was what God had restored. My confidence. He’d used the chorus, along with all those other exciting things to do it.

Being part of the Blackhawk Chorus required auditioning, and learning complicated music. It was a step out of my church choir/worship team bubble. It meant explaining my vision problem to complete strangers, and realizing that the only way to prove that low vision wouldn’t hinder me from keeping up was to keep up. I’d always prided myself in being a quick study when it came to memorizing songs… until I had nine pieces to memorize including one in Latin.

At times I feared that I might end up like one of those rafters who thinks they can handle the rapids because they rode Roarin’ Rapids at Six Flags once and didn’t cry when their clothes got wet. Okay, it wasn’t quite that extreme, but I did leave a few rehearsals praying that they wouldn’t kick me out before I got to wear the dress I ordered.

Other than those moments of self-doubt, I loved everything about being in my first community choir, including how it stretched me. These people could really sing, and they were extremely nice. We got to hit real high notes! It took me a while to reach some of them, but they were on the printed page waiting to be reached and I eventually got there. Well, except maybe one, but it was REALLY high! Singing complicated music made the satisfaction of finally getting it down that much sweeter.

Jeanie and I auditioned on the same night and quickly bonded. Mutual fear and trembling does that to people.

When the audience stood after our final song on Sunday night, I understood why Auggie decided, “Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life.”

Because we all need to hear, “Great job! All of that hard work paid off.”

We all need to know that we’ve touched hearts.

For some of us, it’s the thing that clues our brain in to what grew while we were learning nine songs including one in Latin and keeping up just fine.

When we’ve been through so many hard things that hard becomes our comfort zone, sometimes we don’t realize that confidence is what we need restored until it happens.

 

What has God restored in your life this year?

What has God restored in your life this year? Click To Tweet

Thank you to my friends Melissa, Emily, and Terri, for encouraging me to try out for this amazing group.

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