This is a paper I just wrote for my mission prep class. I realized that I never did document this moment of my life properly...but this is my latest attempt. I don't know that I will ever be able to truly write in words how this felt.
It was April 21, 2007. I walked onto the Alice Tully Hall Stage of the Lincoln Center in New York City with eight other girls. We had prepared for this moment for months on end and it was finally here. We were about to sing for a sold out crown at the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella. If you had asked anyone in that audience if 3 months previous they had even heard of Noteworthy from Brigham Young University they would have said no. We had twelve minutes to show them what we were about, and we gave them everything we had. We sang four songs that night, and while three of them were flashy and impressive, we truly only cared about one of them. After the first two songs we all looked at each other and realized that this was the moment. The whole reason why we had gotten this far was because of this song. The pitch is played and we begin to sing, “Oh Lord my God. When I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made.” I remember thinking, who can I touch today? Will there be someone in this audience who will feel the spirit this message brings? “How great thou art, How great thou art.”
The year of 2007 was a difficult one for me; I had been struggling with my own self, and depression. I remember struggling with simple questions, who am I really? Why am I here at this university? I felt inadequate and small. Then I got into Noteworthy, the all female a cappella group on campus. I still struggled but I felt better. I felt like I had a reason to get up in the morning because Noteworthy was something I loved and that I was good at. I could open up on stage and share the gift of song I had been blessed with, with all those who would listen. A few weeks after the semester had started; we had auditions for the solo in ‘How Great Thou Art’. I got it, and while that seemed like such a small thing, it truly changed my life. Although I struggled with small things that solo was a blessing because every time I sang it I felt my Fathers love for me. I felt love. I have been in the group for three years now, and to this day every time we sing that song, I cry. It reminds me of the power my Heavenly Father holds and that he knows everything about me. He knows what I need and how to lift me when I’m having difficult times.
There had been miracles that year with this song. We had the opportunity to sing it for thousands of people across the Country. There were numerous times after performances where people would come up to me and thank me for sharing that song. When I had felt so inadequate that year, I learned that I had been chosen to be a tool in the Lords hands to share the love I had begun to recognize, with so many people who didn’t have the gospel in their lives.
It was the time for my solo, the lights were bright and I felt the warmth of the spirit course through my body. “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, and take me home what joy shall fill my heart. And I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim my God how great Thou art. Then sings my soul, How great Thou art.” I am sure that this song was the only reason we were able to get so far in the competition. The Lord wanted us to share this song with as many people as we could, and while there was equal opposition and challenges that we faced along the way, we persevered. We were the first all female group to ever win the ICCA’s, but to us, that didn’t matter. After the whole thing was over I remember speaking with one of the judges after the show and he said to me. “I don’t know what it was, but when you sang that song…I felt something.” It was then that I bore my testimony to him of the spirit and the love that the Lord has for each of his children. The Lord knows each of us and will always be there to give us hope when we feel like there is none in the world around us.