My, my, my! What a crazy year it has been! I have been meaning to stop back in and update but the minute I got home from one trip, I was packing up for another! God has been so faithful to provide so many opportunities to me over the last few months. SO much to update you on!
Get this: just in the last 5 months, I’ve been to 13 different countries, over 30 cities and have caught WELL over 60 flights. Phew! Actually looking back at all the places I’ve been seems so surreal. Can’t believe this all happened in less than half a year! My heart is so full and happy. I just thought I’d share some of the cool ways God has revealed Himself to me this year.
First, I had a really cool opportunity that I wasn’t able to share with you all before due to confidentiality contracts. Now that the season has ended it’s run, I suppose I can share that my year started out with a bang: I got a random call from a friend asking if I wanted to audition for The Voice. Turns out, I have friends in high places who got me in to a private audition with the casting directors! That was the start of a 4-month process (mostly signing contracts and lots and lots of waiting) and concluded with a free trip to LA to meet all the casting directors for one final audition with about 100 other finalists. I met some of the most talented singers in the country. We spent an entire week in seclusion to complete more auditions, interviews and evaluations (and had a lot of extra time for singing around a bonfire in the evenings. Yes, this actually happened). Sadly, I wasn’t cast onto the show. But some of my new friends were! It’s been so fun to watch them succeed! (Way to go, Tessanne!) Clearly, God had other plans. 🙂
It wasn’t long after my time with The Voice that God opened other doors in ministry. About 5 months ago, I packed my bags for Indonesia – a country I’d never visited and definitely never even crossed my mind. Let me tell you, Indonesia is NOT easy to get to. After several flight delays and sleepless nights in airports, I made finally it. It only took me all of 4 days to get there. (yeah…4 days) It was definitely my most memorable trip to date. No, not because my bags were lost for the entirety of the trip (imagine trying to travel internationally with nothing but 2 outfits and an overnight bag for a 2 week tour) and not because I was sick the whole time (I started the trip with severe stomach cramps and ended it with a fever) but because God revealed Himself and His presence in powerful way the whole trip. In Manado, Indonesia, we hosted an outdoor crusade that drew over 200,000 people! It was the largest event Manado has ever seen and certainly the largest crowd I’ve ever witnessed. We also led worship at the largest church in Indonesia, Bethany Church, which hosts over 120,000 worshippers in their 30,000 seat auditorium each weekend. I learned so much from their pastor, who shared his vision with us for his church and their outreach ministries. Amazing what they are doing there.
It seems that after Indonesia, the rest of my life went in warp speed from the Canada tour, the Europe tour, my visit to Cuba and several trips within the country. Can’t believe all the places I’ve seen and all the expressions of God I’ve witnessed from country to country. It’s through these experiences that God has grown me, shown me pieces of myself that He’s been waiting for me to surrender and has pulled me to new, deeper places in Him. It’s in those deeper places that God has been birthing a new sound, a new message and new songs in me. In fact, one of those songs, I’m happy to say, has already been published with Word Records. Holy moly. Did that really happen?
Anyway, with this new message and new sound fresh on my heart, I’m so excited to share that I will FINALLY be releasing a CD! Yes, it’s long overdue. I’ve waited and waited for the right time and I’m happy to say that I finally feel like God has given me the go-ahead to push forward and release the sound He’s planted in my heart. I can’t wait to share what He’s been speaking to me about. I’m aiming to release mid-2014. Now, I definitely can’t do this on my own and that’s a scary thing!! But I know it’s also a faith journey that God has called me to. I’m sure I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks about how you can be a part. 🙂 But for now, please just remember me in your prayers.
With all of the traveling and all of the chaos, I feel that I’ve been a definite target for temptation and warfare. The last few months have been simultaneously exciting and exhausting as I constantly battled against the things being thrown my way. But even as I write, I’m reminded that the victory is OURS in Christ, our Savior, who has already won the battle on our behalf. Thankful that when I feel weak, I have someone strong to lean on. If you, too, are fighting against the enemy, I pray you’ll be reminded of this as well. Our flesh is weak but our God is greater, stronger and higher than anything that comes against us!
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Be encouraged, my friends. WE are loved beyond all measure and WE are VICTORS and CONQUERORS in Christ! So join me in setting out to do whatever He’s called you to in 2014. I trust it will be a year of absolute fulfillment.
Love you guys so much. More to come soon. xoxo