The guitarist strummed with all his might as the keyboard player’s fingers danced across the keys during praise and worship at the True Gospel Holiness Tabernacle. It appeared to be just a typical Sunday morning. Sweet sounds came from the pulpit as the choir sang one of their standard weekly tunes and the congregation echoed the pleasant melody.
As the music continued to play, the spirit of God began to move in the humble little church. People danced, shouted, held up their hands toward heaven and fell down on their knees to worship the Almighty. While some of the church members got out of their seats and ushered themselves up to the front of the building, Gianna sat in her seat, wrestling with the thoughts in her mind.
She was jaded and a bit apprehensive about praising God. She would watch as the others would cry out to Jesus and lift up their hands to reverence the Lord, but Gianna was just too afraid. What would people think of her? They might call her a fool for not praising God a certain way. Or what if her voice sounded funny when she called out to Jesus? What would her friends think? All these ideas and more came to life in Gianna’s head. She wanted to stand on her feet and give God the glory, but she was just too nervous of those around her. After she replayed different scenarios in her mind, she finally decided that she would rather stay seated instead of possibly becoming the laughing stock of the church.
Gianna prayed a silent prayer as she remained in the comfort of the third burgundy pew from the front of the sanctuary. She could still hear the notes being played on the instruments and the people yelling out to magnify the Lord. She breathed deeply and calmly and could smell hints of cinnamon as she inhaled. Then, she felt a tap on her left shoulder. When she looked up, she saw Sister Gloria smiling down at her. Sister Gloria signaled for Gianna to follow her, and so she did.
They walked up to the front of the building at the foot of the hand-crafted mahogany cross and stopped just short of the altar. Sister Gloria grinned again at Gianna as they stood face-to-face, and then Sister Gloria spoke softly to her.
“The Lord is showing me that you have a desire to praise Him like we do. You want to shout and glorify the Lord, but you’re too scared. Don’t worry about the people around you. It’s all about praising God. Just let go. If you truly desire to have the Holy Ghost fall on you, He will, but you have to let go.”
Gianna repeated the words that were spoken to her in her mind. ‘Just let go, just let go’. It kept on repeating until she finally heard the words in her heart as if she’d never heard them before. Gianna wrapped her arms around Sister Gloria and glided straight toward the beautiful cross ahead of her. As Gianna stood opposite of the cross, she began to cry. Her mind raced with thoughts of her wonderful Savior. She wept with sincerity until she heard the words ‘just let go’ in her thoughts one last time.
Gianna rose up her hands and felt the spirit of God descend on her mightily. As the power increased, she finally felt herself let go. She fell down gracefully as if a hundred angels held her and placed her gently onto the floor. As she lay there weeping, she heard to voice of God speak to her.
“For weeks you’ve been in church praying quietly in your chair and meekly praising My Name so that others would not hear you when you’ve really wanted to scream and shout. Gianna, it’s not about the words you use or the sound of your voice. All of this time I’ve just wanted you to lift up your hands and surrender yourself to Me.”
Gianna lay there for a while before getting up onto her feet again. When she arose, she started to yell and honor the Lord with her praises as she wanted to before.