Here’s what I know: My voice is a gift that I’m supposed to use to bring glory to God; He has a plan for me; I need to start my own music ministry. What I don’t know… everything else!
When I decided 10 years ago that I needed to pursue music, I knew that it would always involve God. I just didn’t know how. Was I supposed to be a Contemporary Christian artist? A country artist whose lyrics would have a moral and Christian basis? A rock/pop artist whose lyrics, while not overtly Christian, would convey a deeper meaning because everyone would know that I’m a Christian? I tried all of these variations over the years, all the while cautious not to appear too Christian in social media. I didn’t want to “offend” anyone.
I went through all of the steps trying to find my big break… walked through any open door I could find that didn’t completely negate my principles. I’d start making progress, and I’d think, “This must be how God’s going to make it happen for me!”, only to have something happen that made that possibility not work out. This happened multiple times until I finally got the message that I needed to quit telling God how He’s going to get His job done! (If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.)
I started just going with the flow, so to speak, and stopped looking for whatever project I was in to be my break. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I also started to stop trusting God to fulfill His promise. You see, this whole thing started with a promise I feel was from God that I will have a successful music career.
That brings us to last spring (2015), and a random email contact from a retired music producer, Steve, who wanted to get back into a music project and write some songs to fit my voice. This seemed too good to be true! Naturally skeptical, I decided to give it a chance. We worked diligently all summer and into the fall to finish an album which he was going to try to promote through some of his old contacts. Again, almost too good to be true, but he was earning my trust all along… never giving false promises or exaggerating what he could do musically. I found myself beginning to hope again. Remember what I said about making God laugh?
We were able to record and master 7 songs by the end of the year, with an additional 3 that just needed mastering. After the holidays, we were all set to get back to work when disaster struck… Steve had a heart attack. Family and health will always come before any music project, and this was no exception. Steve had to stop working. He simply couldn’t take any amount of stress or pressure. We had to dissolve the partnership.
Now, I do not think that God was laughing over this, but I had to wonder what He was trying to accomplish! This had been the best chance I’d ever had, and in an instant, it went away. I’m not exactly getting any younger, either… I’m turning 40 this fall!
So, now what, right? I hate to admit it, but I reached a very low point where I was ready to give up. 10 years, and I’m no closer to a music career than when I started. God’s not done with me yet, though.
I firmly believe that God intentionally surrounds us with the people we need… Some are there for us to help or teach, while others are there to help or teach us. So, not only was my husband, Joe, right there to smack some sense into me (figuratively speaking, of course!), but my former band mate, George Tifft, called me shortly after.
(George was a founding member of the Tifton Carver Worship Band, and I had sung with the group until we separated in early 2014. George has gone on to tour the country as a solo ministry, but we still keep in touch and perform together when he’s in New England.)
It’s funny how God can turn things around on us… What started out as a pep talk for George turned into a pep talk for me. It wasn’t the first time that George had suggested I should start my own worship ministry, but it was the first time it resonated in me. A little incredulous at the thought of actually being so bold and doing this, I mentioned it to Joe expecting him to tell me why I shouldn’t. He didn’t. What he did was invest in a new PA system!
So, here I am, way out on this limb of going solo, terrified, but trusting that this is actually where God wants me. And the ironic part? God is where He always should have been… in the center of my vision and leading the way. No more hiding behind being PC and worrying about offending anyone. I should have always been more concerned with offending my Father.
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 10:32-33, words of Jesus
I’m done playing the PC game. If I fall, I’ll fall to God, and I know He’ll always be there to catch me.
Lots of Love,