Robert and I have recently taken the direction of being more full-time on the mission field. Therefore after 28 years, I “retired” as the pianist/keyboardist from our church’s worship team. The Lord told me I didn’t “step down” but “stepped off” the platform. It’s more of a lateral move – moving from one thing to another – not a stopping altogether. But I am no longer playing piano at our church. It’s someone else’s turn.
I joined our worship team in 1987 as an eager 23-year-old with a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition and a desire to serve the Lord with all my heart. At the very time I was joining, there was an out-going worship leader who led on piano and a new incoming one who led from guitar, leaving the piano position open to be filled. But these were big shoes to fill. Who was I to fill this gap of a dynamic player who’d been there for years? Then I figured out I wasn’t supposed to.
Oh, I heard the voices of the enemy: “You’ll never be as good as she was.” “You’ll never play like her.” And he was right. I would never be like she was. I wasn’t supposed to be like her or play like her – I was supposed to be me.
I can only be who God created me to be; I cannot be anyone else. Through many years and by the grace of God I became a confident player, not looking to be anything else than what God made me to be.
So right now, as I am overseas writing this post, I know there’s a gap I left at my church. But I also know there is someone who will fill it in. And to that one who will – and to you, dear reader – I just want to impart one simple thing:
Don’t try to fill someone else’s shoes. Learn to walk in your own.
God has given each one of us our own gifts and talents not to be compared to or judged by others. Giftings don’t come in a “one-size-fits-all” package. They are in “one-of-a-kind” vessels. We all have individual shoes we’re to walk in and a particular path that God alone has designed specifically for each of us.
I encourage you to grow in your personhood, become who He made you to be. Yes, there’s learning involved, that’s part of the journey. Don’t expect to just slip into all you can be right away. I didn’t and still haven’t. It’s a process. So whether you’re young or not-so-young, embrace growth. Embrace challenges. Embrace failures. Embrace life. God’s constantly refining us.
As Robert and I travel the world I’m always in awe of God’s beautiful diversity in people. Each one of us is so incredibly and wonderfully unique in our gifts and talents. Your gift may not be playing piano or anything to do with music at all, but it’s vitally important to the Kingdom. Don’t be afraid to step into your own shoes and walk. Walk in whatever God has for you for however long He has you in it and do it with all your heart.