Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Have you ever had anyone who believe in you more than you? A person who is so convinced about what you are good at that they can make you change course in life to pursue their vision of you. They will send emails, call at midnight, and make sure you look the part for the occasion they called you for in order for you to succeed. Thank God for such people. Cheerleaders! Sometimes what they push you into isn’t where you should be though, at least their intentions to you are positive and without ill will. Celina Charlier has been one such cheerleader for me. She brought out the “Adele” in me and nurtured a side of me that I had not taken seriously.
I love to sing jazz and soul and since I’m from an already heavily musical family, singing was always just a by the way. After all, what’s so juicy about being able to carry a tune or sing in a minor that some people can’t even hear. It’s a side gig I thought. However, Celina thought more and quickly brought me into her choir and encouraged me to grow my voice. It was a major growth moment for me because I had allowed my shy disposer and nervous crowd tendencies to affect my voice. I realized through her that how we feel on the inside about myself greatly affects what comes out and how it comes out. I loved to sing, no doubt. But Celina told me that people loved to hear me sing. Which was a whole different thing. Shower singing and big stage singing are two different worlds. Singing before an audience, as any other art that involves an audience, is a service. You can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t sing about confidence if you don’t have it. You can’t sing about joy if your knee’s are knocking together. By constantly reiterating to me the value of my voice and the messages I could render to people through song, Celina beat that useless timidity out of me.
Celina came into my life at time when I needed a senior figure to fight for my talent and show me its worth because I didn’t know how and I certainly didn’t know why. Art had always been second nature to me, so why struggle, why rehearse? Why take sheet music and stay up till 1AM on a grand piano learning note for note. Why? Why should I take care of my voice and drink warm liquids and gym for my heart health? It’s because art is a ministry that is not for our own keeping. It’s to be invested and shared to change lives. And by Celina speaking this truth to me weekly, I was able to get out of a self-focused bubble and share what God had given me.