I have a confession to make. It’s quite an embarrassing one, but the truth is I have been leaning too much on my own strength rather than the Lord’s. Sometimes I forget the scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
I think sometimes God allows us to lean on our own strength until we reach a breaking point and have to come running to Him. I am at that breaking point. I am at the point where the planning turned into worries, then the worries turned into headaches and stress, the stress turned into my being sick and bedridden for the last two days, and today I am in tears. I realize the Lord wants me to stop trying to figure it all out on my own, and stop trying to figure out what He has planned next and how everything is going to work. For some reason, I thought I should know, but apparently, I can’t handle it! I realize, once again, that I need to turn it all over to Him in prayer and petition (Ephesians 6:18: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints"). After I have done all I can, all I can do is stand and wait on Him (Ephesians 6:13).
It’s a long story, but to make a long story short...I thought I only needed $1,500 to make an album. Boy, was I naive! I found out that artists typically spend tens of thousands of dollars on a self made album. I had conversations with several people who made an album or who were involved with making and album and they all agreed with this, and they all said you get what you pay for, and if you produce and inexpensive album, it won’t sound good, and I need to hire professional musicians/instrumentalists for the album. Well, at this point, I have received donations of a little over $1,100, and that is after the money I have spent on things like copyrighting new song. I am very appreciative of these donations, and they will be put to good use!! The support and love I have been receiving is helping to sustain me in these difficult times of waiting.
Going forward, I plan to work full force on getting dates at local churches to sing and minister. I visited a recording studio today in Owings Mills and asked the producer what I can realistically do if I had $2,500. He said three songs…maybe one or two more if I’m lucky. Well, all this time, I have wanted to make a full album (and that's what I've been telling everyone!), so this idea of this hit me hard! He also told me I need to narrow down my songs to reach a specific audience, because I have quite a variety of songs (R&B and soul, rock, alternative, contemporary Christian, hymns, etc.) This was also a hard pill to swallow because I like the fact that there is variety in my music. Mind you, this man seems like a hardworking, ethical, and good Christian family man, and he was highly recommended to me. He has a lot of experience with producing and marketing great quality Christian music, and I believe what he is telling me is honest. The more I think about it, the more I do believe that releasing several great quality songs will be much better than potentially releasing a full, low quality album. This would be a start, and God can move mountains!
For the sake of avoiding a lengthy blog, I won’t go into the additional details of everything that’s been on my mind, but please pray for me that it will all come together! I don’t mean to overburden you with this, but please at least keep me in prayer (Matthew 18:19-20: "I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them"). My lists of prayer concerns includes setting up church visits, fundraising, music making (a big challenge for someone who doesn’t yet master an instrument), song selections, marketing, and waiting patiently on God’s timing.
I pray for abundant blessings for those who have already blessed my ministry financially or with their time and prayers. Thank you to Mark and Jen for your donation of voice lesson materials this past week (you know who you are!).
In the meantime, I will be praying and meditating harder than ever before, and I will be calling churches this coming week! I am confident I will have more good news to report to you next time!
Thank you and God bless you all!
"I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises."