My Worship Journey – By Elisha Garcia
As an update as to where I am on the subject of worship, I am head-on, full-force. I know that my love of singing and music came from my dad, who was and is always singing around the house (he has an awesome voice) and so I was always around it.
My love for worship, however, developed over the past five to six years. It was about four years ago, that I really felt the calling on my heart that the passion I have for it was a gift from God and it was to be used for His glory. For years I have been asking the Lord to bring me to a place where I could worship and lead others in the beauty of it, and let’s just say, the doors have never been opened. I was starting to wonder if that was even really my calling, or if it was just something I would love and continue to do in the quiet, but never in front of anyone else.
My journey began when I started to lead worship with my family at our home church in Los Lunas New Mexico and it was something I loved from day one. From there, we were all growing up and not all living in the same area anymore so we had to stop that. My walk was also not right with the Lord and I knew I had some changes to make. After that, I thought I had missed my opportunity. Like God was (I knew this wasn’t true) somehow saying, “Well, I gave you a chance and you blew it.” But I wanted so badly to have a second chance.
When I moved to the great – yet sketchy city of Albuquerque, about eight months ago – I started to look for a new home church that was closer to me and that maybe had some sort of opening that I could work my way into. I wasn’t asking for much, I just wanted a chance. But, as time went on, I realized that it wasn’t happening. I honestly thought it never would. I began to get frustrated with the countless questions of how it could even be? I remember even going to the Calvary located in Bosque Farms and the pastor saying something about needing worshipers but I never asked him – for reasons I didn’t know then.
By this time my precious mom had asked me to lead worship for a bible study her and her husband Dan had started so I was absolutely loving that. I had the chance to lead in front of a small group of about fifteen people and I couldn’t be happier. That lasted for about two beautiful years.
After about a few months in Albuquerque, I applied for a job at the Calvary in Albuquerque for the Barista position. I had plenty of coffee experience and it would be a great way to be involved with ministry there and maybe even find myself a spot on the worship team some day. But when I received that offer for the job via email, I just couldn’t bring myself to accept it. Which seemed crazy since I had really wanted that job for a long time. I felt this uneasiness that I couldn’t explain. It wasn’t even a financial uneasiness, even though it was going to be a slight pay cut, it was more of a spiritual unrest. The more I prayed, the more I realized that the Lord was letting me feel this way because He (I didn’t know this yet) had much bigger plans for me. So, despite my selfishness of wanting the job, I turned it down.
Shortly after this, as I was sitting in church with my dad, the strangest thought came to my mind. “Elisha, I want to you to be on the battle field, in the front lines.” And it couldn’t have been more clear then that. God confirmed that I had made the right decision and had stayed right where He wanted me, on UNM campus working in the Satellite coffee shop, in the heart of a place that seems to have all but forgotten the Lord. But our Lord is so amazing and will always confirm what He asks us to do.
Shortly after this happened, I had some opportunities to share my faith with some customers, ones that I had never spoken to about the Lord before. I even met someone who was going through a hard time and offer her some encouragement and we are now friends. God has been so gracious to me. And that is not all.
Several weeks ago now, I was at a concert for the band, “For King and Country” when I got a call from my grandmother who was laughingly telling me of how they had asked her to lead worship at her church that coming Sunday. Her church is the Calvary in Bosque Farms. She then said, “It’s like asking me to bake a wedding cake, I have never led worship before in my life! You have to help me!” And amidst us sharing a great laughter, I agreed and we led worship that Sunday with guitarist, Richard. I thought it was amazing and truly loved every second, yet I knew it was a one time thing. But then something else extraordinary happened. They asked us to do it again in a few weeks! I was excited and glad to do it and at that time, we asked another friend of ours, Susan, to help us. So now our little group consisted of me, my Grandma, Susan and another guitarist Lin, who was filling in for Richard. The Lord allowed the second time to be just as blessed as the first and I kept thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this all the time?” I had really gotten to like the small church and all the wonderful people who attended. But I wasn’t going to ask the Pastor, (The same pastor that I didn’t ask before) probably for the same reasons as before. And yet, that very next Sunday, after church he came to us to ask if we would be willing to do it permanently! Wow! I couldn’t really believe it. God had not only allowed me this opportunity, but He had granted me what I had been longing to do for so long. His grace and mercy and love never fails.
Since then I have had the amazing privilege of becoming a full-time worshiper with my grandma, Susan, Richard and Lin. My best friend Joelle has also worshiped with us and I hope that she will again. When we first realized we would be doing it every week, I was thinking it might be hard, but then I realized that ministry and doing things for our precious Savior is never easy. It will always require a sacrifice to be made. And I was willing to make it because of the fact that the Lord had answered my greatest heart’s desire. God had changed my heart towards even the worship of Him and made me develop a sacred respect for it’s meaningful beauty. As I fell more in love with the worship of Jesus, I fell more in love with who I was worshiping. I soon realized that every single one of the amazing people on our worship team needs this in their own special way. This was not all about me, by no means.
The Lord has answered my prayers along with the others and it was humbling and mind blowing to come to that sobering thought. God not only gave me a chance, He gave all of us a chance. A change to get up and stand before the people He died for and to sing to Him with our heart.
To sing to His love, His goodness, His unlimited joy and hope. To proclaim through His gift of music the beauty of knowing Him. And in the process, He is blessing me every single Sunday when I get to sing to my God of all He has done. I look out and see the reflection of that same joy in the beautiful faces of God’s people singing with me.
I am not a special worship leader with a great voice who was asked to show off my talents in God’s name. I am one of them. A sinner saved by grace who the precious Lord has allowed me a taste of his goodness through this gift of worship as I sing with His people in His precious place.
“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” ~Psalm 104:33