When, I got out of college, I put together a demo tape called, Brains and Beauty (I told you the other day that I was super conceited). Anyway, it featured the potential smash, “Bye Bye Baby,” a bitter ode to ex-boyfriends that I recorded in a local studio and another song that I cannot even remember, plus all of the lyrics that I had written at that point. I thought that if the right person heard it I was sure to be a superstar! My parents got me a four-track recorder for my 21st birthday and I started making a cappella songs. Some were great, some were not great. The first song I was truly proud of was the one I wrote when my Aunt Shebra passed away in 1998 after a brave battle with multiple sclerosis. When I got the call, all I could do was cry and write. My Aunt Shebra was a real singer/songwriter, she played the guitar, and she was awesome. After her memorial, I heard some of the songs she and her friends composed and it truly inspired me.
I wrote a song for my wedding, and recorded an a cappella wedding march. I wrote a couple of songs in law school. I tried to learn how to play the piano to put music to my lyrics, but it was too hard and I quit. After I had a pretty significant collection going, I copyrighted the songs I had. For the next few years, I wrote songs here and there. I even took my collection to a gospel conference where I was speaking and tried to get other artists to use them. But, I could never get the right person’s attention. I wanted someone else to take the reins and make my music and my dreams come alive. Because, no one did, I essentially gave up. And, two years after I gave up in my heart, my computer crashed and I lost most of my music collection, plays and poetry that I had written. (Remember computer users: Jesus saves and so should you...it's a joke, I'll tell you later if you want to hear it). At that point, I thought it was a sign from God that giving up was the right choice.
Over the last few years, I have lost two very close friends and my grandmother, one of my best friends. Those events sent me into a spiral of evaluating and sometimes over-evaluating what I had and had not done over the course of my life. At first, that resulted in a mild depression. I thought because I had not “been discovered,” I was destined to be used by God and I had made so many wrong turns that God didn’t want me as a witness for Him. But then, one day, I woke up. I cannot even pinpoint the day, but I started writing again. I started recording the melodies, so that I would not forget them. Then, I became determined to learn an instrument, so that I would have more than just melodies. I chose the guitar this time.
So, after some long conversations with God about what I should do, I decided to take a leap and really, seriously record the music that God has given me. And, I mean given me, when I started learning guitar, I thought it was a lost cause, but within three weeks, I was putting chords with songs. Now, of course, there had to be an attack. When, I realized how easily this new skill set was being learned, I thought, “I should have done this a long time ago.” When I heard the finished product of Worth Dying For, I thought, “I should have done this a long time ago.”
I shared those thoughts with my mom and she told me I can’t dwell in the past. I replied, “You’re right. Yesterday is never gonna happen again. All we can do is move forward.” Focusing on an audience of one, God, diving into the talents, that He has given me, and trusting that He knows what it best when it comes to those gifts has been a long time coming. I could feel guilty for not doing it sooner, but as Dr. Phil says, “Guilt is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” So, sorry devil, I won’t be looking back at the past, or to the sides at other people. I will be looking up to the hills from which comes my Help (Psalm 121) and looking forward to where God is guiding me. I am not sure what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. Ms. EV