I’ve had a dream since I was young to make music. I was obsessed with movie soundtracks as a middle-schooler, and obscure lyrical geniuses as a high school student. But before all that I was the kid singing worship tunes in the backyard on my swing, totally obsessed with God and music.
When I was in high school I taught myself guitar and wrote my first song. I apprehensively shared it with some friends and they, to my surprise, liked it. (I would probably die if I found a recording of that today)
I graduated high school though, and my dream was lost. I slowly stopped writing songs and life became about jobs and money and careers. I started to really doubt myself, “I can’t sing well enough”, “I’m too introverted” “I’ll never make money” “it’s so unlikely this could actually be God’s plan” I even doubted that I could “look” the part.
So I switched career paths as far from music as I could. And here, running away insecure and terrified, I started to write again. It wasn’t just any kind of song, all I could write were songs about God. Here I was, grasping to keep control with a new plan and new career, absolutely unable to shake this part of me that completely delighted in connecting to God through writing songs.
Not trusting God had a plan for my dreams, led to deep depression and doubts about why I was on earth. God kept hold of me, but some days it felt like there was a target on my back, there was a real enemy telling me the songs were never good enough, telling me I had made too big a mess of my life. Honestly looking back on that time in my life I was in a bad place, finally moving into my last year of school I wrote a song that became my anthem and named it after the very thing that I believed more than anything, God’s faithfulness. The song I wrote, Faithful, was absolutely my story in the midst of despair, I had found God to be unshakably faithful. I was getting closer to big risks, but still not sure I trusted whatever God was up to. At this point Faithful and another song made it on a record my church produced, a huge honor, but I thought that might be it for these dreams.
I kept writing songs although I pursued a different career as a science teacher.
Sometimes we can be doing really good things as a way to run away from really risky God sized things, and that’s where I was, a Moses needing an Aaron hiding out in the desert.
After a semester I met my Aaron. He was an energetic youth worker with so much heart I couldn’t stand the thought of life without him. Brandon was a jump-start to my faith as he spoke courage and life into my dreams, the things I thought God might be wanting me to do. We married after a year and 5 months later he drained the bank accounts to fund an album project, launch a website, and brand my music.
Since we launched ETM we have traveled all over the state doing D-nows, retreats, and camps. We have recorded an album with ten original songs, and met some amazing musicians and phenomenal people. This year we will release our first album, be traveling among other places to Southeast Asia, and Zambia Africa, taking the worship GLOBAL!!!! How amazing is that?!?! God has been so incredibly faithful.
If you’re like me you probably struggle with confidence, especially when it comes to hopes and dreams, but Paul shows us confidence is profoundly Christian. In 1 Corinthians 15:10, he says by grace he is confident to fulfill God’s purposes for his life. Grace lends confidence to us in the pursuit of God. When we moved a month ago I was having a really tough time. My mind and heart were spiraling frustrated and anxious, I felt like the air was sucked out of the room and I was gasping to breathe. Then I found this verse and it was that deep breath I finally felt after gasping for days.
Paul says this at the end of vs. 10 – “And his grace toward me was not in vain.” Grace lends confidence to us in our pursuit of God.
So this has been the vision the whole time although I am just now owning it…Worship…create music that isn’t typical with holy lyrics that talk about real life and inspire us to respond to the Glory of God, in the midst of, and because of, the realness of life. God has called me to be obedient to pursue music not for fame, or wealth, or my renown but for Him. In fact, God doesn’t call us to success, he calls us to risk for we already have all the assurance we need in Christ.