Since I have been in the piano playing mood lately I thought I would share my story with y'all of how I got started. Just for the record: I like to play the piano more than I like to sing! If it came down to it, I would much rather play the piano in front of a large crowd then sing a solo in front of a small one.
It all started when I was eight years old. I distinctly remember hearing my pastor's wife sing, "Sweet Holy Spirit" while she played the piano. I also remember that she was the only one in the church who could play the piano for herself to sing. Everyone else used a tape. (That was before CD's came out!) Mama said that I went to her and daddy and told them that I wanted to learn how to play the piano so that I could sing in church. My parents realized that this could be a passing whim, so they didn't act upon it right away, but told me to pray about it. I obviously didn't give up because soon my parents were looking for a piano!
They came across a lady who wanted to sell her daughter's piano since she had moved out and never came back for it. The lady wouldn't give my parents a price but told them to "take it home, get it tuned, and see what you think." Meanwhile I was spending the night at a friend's house I had no idea that a piano was being moved in to our living room! Then next morning at church mama told me there was a surprise waiting for me at home . . . even some of our church family knew about it because I still remember Bro. Kelly telling me that "You're really going to like your surprise!" The suspense was eating me up! On the way home I told them that I was going to go to my room and close my eyes so that they could just put it in my lap. I was clueless!
When I walked in the front door of our house and saw the piano sitting against the wall I was happy to the point of tears! I couldn't believe I had my own piano!
Soon I started taking lessons from a preacher's wife, I was 9 years old by this time. I loved learning and some people said I learned fast, especially when it came to hymns!
When I was 11 years old the piano player in our small church left to go to another church leaving me to be the only piano player. I only knew 4 hymns, but that was a lot better than singing without music, so we sang those songs until I learned new ones . . . which was pretty fast. Within a year I had learned over 100 songs and was even playing for the youth chior! It was starting to become very evident that God had a speacial plan for me. A plan that involved the piano and singing.
I am still amazed at how God used a small desire that he placed in my heart while I was eight years old to do such a work in my life. I am a very shy person and at first glance many would be surpized to hear how often I have to get in front of people to play the piano and sing. Being active in music has helped my self confidence that otherwise may not even exsist had it not been for the piano. When I feel like giving in to my embarassment and quit playing the piano in church God always reminds me that this talent belongs to God and I have no right to quit.
Over the years God has opened up many doors for me and my brothers and sisters to sing and play the piano in church and nusing homes. Sometime I love it, other times I come just short of vowing to never set hands on the piano again! But overall I have a passion for music that will always stay with me. Some day I hope to give piano lessons (besides me brother and sisters who I already teach) so that I can share my love to play the piano for God with others. Who knows, maybe someday I will be an inspiration to a little child which may be the beginning of a life lived for the glory of God through the piano. That would be the most wonderful accomplishment of all!