As of lately, I've been learning some valuable lessons about faith.
On the surface, I've made faith to be this tool I use to get what I want. Thinking, if I'm faithful in my plan, then God will bless me with my desired results. To a certain extent, faith does work like that.
But there is something flawed about that theory, however. Here's what I've come to realize over the last couple of weeks. Faith is deeper than praying over your plans for yourself, it's about trusting God's plan for you!
If you've been following my blog, you've probably read about my recent journey in understanding my definition of success. I've concluded that success is a process. It got me thinking about my journey as a musician.
Many of you may not know that I've been exposed to the money driven music industry since I was 12. I started off in a girl group called, "MISS". I went solo at the age of 14 and started recording and creating my own sound.
When I was 16, I was offered a record deal. The only requirement was that I had to change my sound and my look. I turned down the deal to preserve my identity. This is still one of my proudest moments, to be able to have the confidence at that age to stand up for myself. I sometimes wonder who I would have been had I signed that deal. In the end, I know God had my back then, same as he has it now.
I took a break from music when I graduated high school and went to college. College was a place where you could redefine yourself, and I didn't want to be the girl that sang anymore. Slowly, but surely, people started to find out. It was ok, it helped pay a lot of bills in college.
When I moved to Los Angeles for Grad school, I picked music back up again. This time as an outlet for my own expression. It wasn't about getting a record deal, or performing for a chance to be a star... I was broken, hurting, seeking God, and using music as my healer. Some of my most powerful pieces were written during this phase in my life.
Music wasn't about fame, or money, or power anymore. It was about me saying what I felt God has put on my heart to be said, and using my gifts and talents to say it. Even now, I still feel that way.
Over the last 15 years, I've developed a loyal fan base. I've experienced countless moments where people have thanked me for impacting their lives. I have traveled the country to perform. I have written things that have freed me from pain, and ego, and suffering. MUSIC has done amazing, healing things for me.
Music has made me who I am today. It has afforded me opportunities to eat when I didn't think I would. It has opened doors for me in ways I didn't know possible.
And if I were to quit music now (which I'm not), I could say, "I've had a successful music career!" That brings me incredible peace. For the first time in my life, I've let go of my death grip on my music career and given it to God. I've always "surrendered" my music career with stipulations. I'll surrender music if you just let me finish this project... I'll surrender music if you just let me do one world tour... I'll surrender if.... God don't do ultimatums!
Now my focus is not on what success looks like for me, but what God considers to be successful for me. And THAT, is greater than anything I can imagine.
Since giving my music to God, I've had some incredible advances in my music career! I've gotten multiple phone calls in the last couple weeks with people inquiring about my music in ways I never anticipated my music to be used. I'm making advances that make a lucrative career in music seem more feasible than ever before, and the lanes are opening up for me to finish "Audiobook" once and for all. THAT, is what faith will do!
Faith is about opening your mind and your heart to what God has in store for you. ALL THE WAY! And leaning on his plans for you, not your plans for yourself. It's about relinquishing control of everything and allowing Him to work on you from the inside out. Faith is about knowing that God's plan for you is far greater than yours will ever be. So that you can just breathe, thank God for another day, and follow that small voice that speaks to you in your stillness... With no expectation.