Testimony Tuesday - Katie
Hello! Most of you won’t know me, but my name is Katie and I’m a History teacher. I’ve been at Aldates for a few years, and have loved singing as part of the worship team. Worshipping Father God through music is a key part of my testimony and how I’ve grown in my relationship with Him.
I grew up in a Christian family, my Dad is a Baptist minister. I feel incredibly fortunate that my parents believed their relationship with God was the best thing in life, and so wanted me to be part of it too. We grew up praying together and I was really involved in an amazing youth group at church.
Just as our ordinary lives were so intertwined with our faith, life was pretty immersed in music too. We had drums, guitars, pianos, wind instruments and karaoke (of course!) all over the house, and my Dad’s CD and Record collections took up most of the bookshelf space! We loved music! And we really loved singing and praising in Church.
Music is such an amazing way to express joy and gratitude! My favourite song growing up was:
"My lips shall praise you,
My Great Redeemer,
My heart will worship,
Whether you sing, dance, play an instrument or just love music, there is nothing like it in the way we can express how great God is!
Music is also such a deep and honest way to express our hurts, distress, sadness and confusion. I saw a funny Lock Down meme yesterday using Rihanna’s song Unfaithful: “I don’t want to do this anymore!”.
At difficult points in my life, there have been worship songs that have helped me reach out to God from the depths of my soul. When I was 18, I went on a Gap Year to work for a church in Belfast all on my own. Life was so different and I felt really lonely in the first few months. There was a new song we sang at the church that got me through that tough time:
“Higher than the mountains that I face,
Stronger than the power of the grave,
Constant in the trial and the change,
One thing remains....
Your love never fails, Never gives up, Never runs out on me”
Hope, when it feels like there is nothing left.
One of the hardest times in my life was when my parents’ marriage was rocky. My Dad ended up moving out for a while. That summer I went to Soul Survivor, clinging to God in my pain when it felt like my ordinary little life was falling apart, and the song we sang over and over:
“Christ alone, Cornerstone,
Weak made strong, in the Saviour’s love!
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all”
Singing to our Father God, through whatever life may bring, is a way we can cry out to him. Using worship songs helps us express what we want to say when we don’t have the words. In the Bible the book of Psalms is a collection of 150 worship songs. A lot of the Psalms are songs of sadness, doubt and desperation. The composers and writers of these ancient worship songs didn’t hold back in expressing how they were really feeling. Instead, they turned to him in honesty, knowing that his arms are always open wide.
During this strange time of lock down, I’ve been reading a Psalm every morning. One of my all time favourites is Psalm 108:
“My heart is confident in you, O God;
no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
Wake up, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.
Now rescue your beloved people.
Answer and save us by your power.”
- Psalm 108:1-3, 5-6
My prayer for you, whoever reads this, is that you find a Psalm today that helps express how you’re feeling or thinking. Know that our Father God is waiting with his arms open to welcome you with whatever song or Psalm you bring.
And, as I was reminded this morning by Simon Ponsonby’s Thought for the Day: the most incredible truth, is that God is singing songs over us too!
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty saviour.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
- Zephaniah 3:16-17
Why not go and put on some worship music and praise God! The worship pastors at St Aldates have put together a spotify playlist you can listen to, or try listening to the latest Rend Collective album for some inspiration.