It is currently after 2:00am and I need to be sleep, but I needed to write this now or it would have joined the long list of my other abandoned drafts. If you were not at the SBG concert tonight, YOU MISSED OUT! But it’s okay. I will attempt to describe how divinely epic it was.
I have been praying over this concert since October. Before this semester, I never really prayed consistently for events or people, but after God revealed the power of prayer and intercession to me at SBG’s N.O.I.S.E (Night of Inspirational and Soulful Expression), I knew that I needed to start early. I have participated in 4 SBG concerts since my freshman year, but I can honestly say that tonight’s concert was the first one I was genuinely excited for.
I have been in and out of various gospel choirs ever since I moved to LA in 2003. For me, the hype surrounding performances and church engagements died a long time ago. Now that I am deeply invested in God, however, (because for years I really wasn’t) I approach each ministry engagement with one purpose: to win souls for Christ!
As many of you know, this week has been extremely hard for me. My application to the USC Masters of Professional Writing program was due TODAY. (Yes, I submitted it in time. All glory to God) I spent a ridiculous amount of hours perfecting my personal statement and 20pg writing sample, not to mention all the random class projects that were conveniently due this week. Needless to say, I’m tired. Thankfully, God convicted me to meet up with the choir on time and not show up at 6pm as I had originally planned. (Don’t judge me! Haha)
The choir got to Bovard at 4pm. In my opinion, the sound check was a hot mess. Some of the microphones weren’t turned on at the proper times and we could barely hear ourselves through the monitors. Random secular songs were playing through the backstage speakers and in the main auditorium, but you should already know I shut that down real quick and directed them to blast gospel music instead… in love, of course.
The concert started pretty much on time and people were slowly, but steadily rolling in. The first half of the concert flew by unbelievably fast. We were back backstage by 7:30 and then the craziness began. Becca, one of the soloists, came to me during intermission and said she felt nauseous. We prayed right then and there and she instantly felt better. Instantly! As expected, she absolutely BEASTED her solo and allowed God to use her in the best way! Princeton led an altar call for the first time in SBG Concert history (I think. Fact check me if I’m wrong!) While he was talking, I was silently praying that God would use him and tug on the hearts of His children. 20+ people ended up surrendering to Christ! In terms of prayer, I was on a roll. (Not that I was the only one praying. Shoutout to all my fellow prayer warriors!!!)
And then it was my personal show time. I was randomly asked a couple weeks ago to rap in the middle of our last song “When I Get There.” With the Holy Spirit’s help, I wrote the lyrics in no time, but I wasn’t completely sure that I wanted to actually do it at the concert. I always experience an ungodly amount of anxiety before performing. To be honest, that’s why I don’t play piano in public anymore. It’s just too much for me to handle. (So sad, I know.) In addition to my apprehension, the fact that I wasn’t able to rehearse with the full band until TODAY was holding me back. I knew that God would work it out, but for some reason I was feeling extra nervous about it.
In the middle of “More,” I went all the way in and broke an earring. I discreetly put it back together before the next song, but when it fell off again, I gave up. I took off the other one and slid both into my pocket. My mother noticed all the way from her seat and gestured to me asking where my earrings were. I shrugged and kept going hard for Jesus. When the time for my song came, however, my first thought was, “oh no.” I was already wearing an oversized SBG t-shirt in which I felt rather thuggish. I lost my original shirt over the summer and couldn’t afford to buy a new one so I figured I would just be humble and count it as a loss. Without my earrings, though, I looked a little too humble.
Since my hair is super short and natural I always feel the need to wear earrings in order to look “pretty.” It sounds ridiculous, I know, but it gets REAL when you wake up some mornings unimpressed with your reflection. And, my insecurities have been at an all-time high lately. I know it’s nothing but the devil, but it’s still something I’m currently dealing with. (Please lift me up in prayer, y’all!)
Even with no earrings and an unflattering fit, I knew I still had to go out and give God His due glory. I simply accepted that no pictures taken during my rap break would make it into my profile picture album. Once on stage with the mic in hand, things continued to go wrong. Against my excessive prayers, the sound technicians forgot to turn my mic on and the first few bars were missed. I kept groovin’ anyway, but was caught off guard when Marcus asked me to rap the whole verse again. Little did he know I was already in a rush to go back to the back row where people couldn’t see me. I stayed up there, though, against my own wishes, and gave God the glory…again!
After the concert, as I was putting on a different pair of earrings backstage, I realized the whole situation had happened for a reason. In congruence with the song, my rap had been about Heaven and how there will be no pressure to conform (and about how we need to get to know Him now while we have the chance). While I was looking in the mirror, God reminded me that there won’t be earrings in Heaven. I won’t have any insecurities, let alone the feeling of a need to mask them. I thought it was hilarious that as I was rapping to the crowd about how amazing Heaven will be, God was reminding me that all the material things I place pride and value in DON’T MATTER from a Kingdom perspective. For me, that was the most powerful moment of the night. Well, one of them. America’s definition of beauty is irrelevant to God. To him, your soul is your sexiest feature. For this reason, He pursues our hearts and not our physicality. I will probably continue to faithfully wear earrings OR I may go on an earring fast. Either way, I am flattered that God thinks I’m beautiful regardless.
THANK YOU to everyone who came out tonight!!! SBG wouldn’t be what it is without your constant support and prayers! Your kind words of encouragement mean more than you know. I will continue to pray that God richly blesses all of you for your dedication to our cause. And an extra thanks to my mom and brother for the beautiful roses displayed in the featured image. I’ll do individual shout outs on Facebook! Goodnight, family!