Amazing Grace Showers
It was her choice....It was her fate..
My humble name is Grace, AKA; Amazing Grace Showers. I was your typical teen with big dreams, but not big talent. You see, like a lot of teenagers, I wanted to be this big sold out arena concert singer. Longing to hear that roaring crowd that could not get enough of me, I would fantasize I was on singing on tour.
Unfortunately, I was the worst singer ever to sing Happy Birthday. No pity party for me though, at least I didn’t waste my life in a desperate attempt to cling to a talent I never had.
Even to spite the fact I loved singing, I decided it was best for everyone ears to seal my horrid voice for good.
Soon, soccer became my distraction. I practiced very hard and after a while became coordinated enough to score a goal or two.
Then just as I planted my weary seeds into a new light, my grandfather passed away after a long battle with cancer. My world was torn apart, he always believed in me, but he was brutally honest about my singing voice and I loved him for it. He always said that he was my biggest fan, not because of my singing, but because I was his grand-daughter.
Just as my life was crumbling the Lord strengthened me.
Then about one year later while taking a long hot shower after a soccer game, there was this nagging urge to sing even though I vowed to keep a lid on it.
I opened my mouth and my voice puttered hopelessly like a dying motor boat just as it did before. I feared the glass shower door would not be able to withstand the agony I peeped so I stopped.
Then, while washing my hair, my throat started to burn. It was the worst burning sensation I had ever felt with pain so intense it moved me to tears. I held my throat while it relentlessly throbbed, burned and pierced. Suddenly the pain moved rapidly up towards my mouth and exploded onto my lips, then I knew what to do.
I sang Amazing Grace in the most loudest voice I could without concentrating on tone or pitch, suddenly, my voice adjusted itself into the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I could hear an incredible sound of heaven and joy.
My dreams finally came true, I could sing. Overwhelmed with emotion, I collapsed in the shower thanking the Lord with all that I was.
After a few days, I came to the conclusion that this gift was given to me for a particular purpose, but it was shrouded in mystery as of why.
One day I attempted to sing for my parents, but my angelic singing voice did not make an appearance and I felt embarrassed. “Was I just imagining all this ?” “Did I want to sing so bad that I was becoming my biggest fan ?” So many questions made me frustrated with the Lord.
I pleaded with the Lord to give me back the gift he blessed me with and to answer the questions I had. Weeks passed by without a response from the Lord and I was losing patience. Just before I became angry, Louanne, a neighbor of our family for years, came over the house to borrow some eggs. She was so distraught that she couldn’t make it to the market to get eggs. Louannes’s husband Seamore had terminal cancer and was being care for at home with the help of a hospice nurse. I knew him well and despite Louanne’s hesitation, I went over to their house to visit him.
Just as I walked into the bedroom where he was dying, he was throwing food in a fit of rage at the wall. I was surprised that for a dying man, he had more spit fire than an angry bull.
“I don’t want any company!”, Seamore growled.
The nurse tried to coach me out of the bedroom, but no words could budge me; it was as if my feet were super glued to the floor. Louanne tried to pull me back, but to her amazement I was a standing stone.
Something deep inside told me to approach Seamore’s bed. I felt like I was intruding on a wild beast so I avoided eye contact and walked slowly without any sudden movements.
Seamore became winded and coughed away his vileness. I gently placed my hand on his and gave him a soft smile.
“Sing to me”, demanded Seamore.
“Seamore, you know I can’t sing, besides it will make the pain worse”, I whispered.
“Sing to me”, repeated Seamore with a bit more authority.
“Alright, but it won’t be pleasant”, I cautioned.
I decided to sing Amazing Grace again, but I was fearful that I would sing atrociously, so I silently prayed for the return of my gift.
Louanne and the hospice nurse tip toed back into the bedroom so we could all pray together.
Suddenly I felt my throat burning, I knew my gift had returned with tidings of love.
I sang using every inch of my being; the dormant deep might within my gut; the love bulging in my heart; the free full-bodied air of my lungs.
The sound was sunlight that engulfed the room, the flowers that fragrant the fields and the water that quenched a drought. It soothed Seamore better than the Morphine. Seamore surrendered to it without fear or reservation, he was almost ready for his departure.
Louanne and the hospice nurse just wept and kept praising the Lord, for they knew no human voice could ever sound like that.
“Hallelujah!”, I thought. I had an answer to my prayers. I was meant to sing for the dying.
Seamore passed away a short time later after confessing his sins, proclaiming his love for his longtime sweetheart Louanne, and giving thanks to the hospice nurse who he treated worse than dirt.
The hospice nurse asked me to sing for the children stricken with Leukemia at the Children’s Hospital. I was delighted to volunteer most days after school to sing for the children.
I had to make tough sacrifices in order to keep singing to the dying. I had to quit soccer, resign from some school projects and limit my social life just to keep up with homework. I felt so happy and blessed.
Believe it or not, in doing something wonderful, I lost some friends. They sincerely felt like I was spending too much time to my cause, “being fanatical” and not enough time with them.
I do admit that my commitments made it difficult to make sleepover appearances, shopping outings and parties, but I always reminded them that they could come with me to the hospital.
I was very grateful to one of my friends Elaine who understood my dedication to the sick and decided to share in my mission.
Everything was going perfect until I was faced with the ultimate temptation.
A man came to my school claiming to be a record producer and wanted to fly me out to LA to record a demo in his studio. He told me he heard me singing while driving past the hospital on the way to the airport. The man told me I had rare talent and he was shocked beyond belief that I had not been signed to a label. I blushed over his compliments and believed in his heart filled promises, but everything seemed too good to be true. The Lord knew that all I ever wanted, my most unattainable desire, was being a singing superstar, and this man came out of nowhere handing me the opportunity on a silver platter.
Singing for the dying was shoved to the back burner and all I could see were the large crowds chanting my name, television interviews, commercial endorsements, radio stations over playing my songs, signing autographs, rubbing elbows with celebrities and perhaps starting my own clothing or perfume line. I could taste Hollywood on the tip of my tongue while riding moon roof in a stretched limo taking me to the Music Awards.
Within a week of meeting the record producer, I was in LA on my 18th birthday. It was a struggle to convince my parents to let me go, but they concluded I was old enough to make my own decisions.
Everyone warmly greeted me at the recording studio and told me what I wanted to hear, it was like honey to my ears. They set me up with a microphone and had me review a demo song on sheet music. I did not like the lyrics, they seemed a bit out of place for a girl like me, but I shrugged it off because hey, this was my dream my entire life. After rehearsing it a few times underneath my breath, the studio was ready to hear it. I tried to sing, but then all the lights went out. It seemed that there had been problems with the circuit breaker inside the studio, so we had an hour break. I wondered off into a dark office room to take a quick nap.
Soon after laying my head down on the desk, I had a vision of an angel armed with a sword of fire in one hand and a fountain pen in the other. He spoke me to me “ The Lord has given you free will, but choose wisely. Stay vigilant and don’t commit to a contract unless you believe with all your heart and soul this is what the Lord wants for you”.
Suddenly, I felt someone tapping on my shoulder and telling me it was time to try again.
The electrical problem was fixed and I sang with all my passion. Everyone was astounded and giggled like school children watching someone being kissed. I was blessed that the Lord gave me my gift unconditionally, and I was granted the safe passage to fame if I wanted it, yet I remembered the warning.
After all the hard work of recording the demo of a song that did not make much sense to me, I was presented with a contract. I could not believe what I was experiencing. “Pinch me now so I can wake up”, I said to the record producer.
“You’re a star and I promise you your life is going to change forever. I’ve got someone standing by to change your image, you will go shopping for new clothes and you will make tons of money doing what you love”, the record producer grinned.
“Wow!, Thank you so much, I am so grateful for this chance of a lifetime”, I cried.
A moment later, a large brick of papers was dropped in front of me and I was told to sign the last page.
“Can I read it first?”, I asked.
“Sure, take all the time you need, but I assure you that all it contains everything you have been dreaming of”, the record producer answered freely.
I grabbed the black ink pen and was about to sign, when my hand started to stiffen, it was then that I told them I was going to read through it first.
I went back inside to the dark office and turned on the light to read the contract. I remembered what the angel had said about not committing if you do not believe this is what the Lord wants for you. I took a deep breath and started to read the first page, but I could not understand half of it. I turned to the second page and then became more confused, only understanding the first few sentences. I turned to the third page and I was lost! I prayed for wisdom and it was given to me when I read the twenty-third page which was out of a staggering one hundred pages. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was signing my soul over to greed. They wanted me to work for two years straight (no day off) Fifteen hours a day in order to promote me, and I was only going to get paid a little. It was like paying all the interest upfront, making them rich. Also, they wanted me to pose in several distasteful ads for my first album to attract the young crowd. As I read on, I become more and more sick to my stomach. Not only did I NOT believe in this contract, it was not in the best interest of my faith nor deserved my gift.
I hurried back to the record producers who were confident that I had signed the contract. They didn’t even look at it as they tossed it aside and started to talk to me about when I was leaving for my first gig. I smiled and allowed them to talk because this was the last time they were going to see me.
They drove me to my hotel, I grabbed my things and left for the airport. After I called my parents and told them what had happened, they booked me a flight so I could fly home.
The next day the record producer booked me as an opening act for a six month tour and called me to find out why I was late meeting him for lunch.
“Your contract specifically states what happens to your earnings if you are late”, the record producer yelled with his real self showing.
“We are not under any contract”, I gently spoke while getting ready to go over to the hospital to sing.
“You signed the dotted line, we have a legal binding agreement”, he yelled
“I never signed it”, I said. I disconnected the call and drove to the hospital to sing.
A few years later, after finishing college, I had a new calling. I joined a traveling church choir and toured in arena concerts all over the world. I finally had the fame that had always wanted and believed that it was the amazing plan for me all along.