While the last twelve years of my life have been extraordinary, they have not been without trials, temptation and pain. I honestly believe that God gave me Summer Days just to remind me that regardless of what I was going through, the sun is still shone through everything. So while this song was relevant for the past, it is still very relevant for today.
When I recently launched out into this musical world, I didn’t really have an idea of what I was getting myself into. I mean, I had a small clue, but the clue quickly became one huge reality. I did a gig the other day and the sound was so challenging. I sang flat at times because I could literally hear nothing and I felt so deflated afterwards. I had to give myself some serious pep talks (and my nearest and dearest did too). Everyone said the ministry was amazing and yes, people’s lives were touched. But that little perfectionist inside me was not impressed (learning to let that die too).
From a social media point of view, I’m doing my best to keep my stories alive. I’ve never felt comfortable ‘putting myself out there’ because creative people can be very touchy and we definitely don’t like criticism. I am yet to go live on any of my pages because I dread talking to myself alone (I’m now crying with laughter). Or worse yet, singing a song where you hit a wrong note for the world to hear (clearly I still have unresolved issues).
I’ve had to register with all these different agencies just to release 10 songs; well, it’s because I want to do this properly and professionally, plus I’m an indie artist. The administration of it all has been on another level. The expense… has been immense… but God has graciously provided for everything. The emotional upheaval has been intense. When I was first in the recording studio I was bemoaning to God, “why now, I feel like I’m too old to be doing this?” He gently reminded me that He used Moses at 80 years of age (I’m nowhere near there). I was so pumped the other day when I heard Faith Child say in his gig that if you’re less than the age of Abraham (100) and Sarah (90 or 91) in the Bible when they had Isaac, then you are young!
Apart from all that, the more I’m getting to know other artists out there the more I realise I’m one teeny tiny voice amidst a million others. I’m trying a few different things to share my album with people because I know it will touch lives! That is why I am so grateful for Dennis and his team at aStepFWD for setting up the UK Christian Chart. I love their motto – supporting; uplifting; empowering. It’s not about competing but giving artists like me a forum to be heard.
So yes, what I’ve launched myself into is definitely walking-on-the-water kind of stuff. But in the midst of it all I have met some incredible people and have been given the most fantastic opportunities. For example, Steve Best and Simon Tuck from UCB have been such a blessing. Deliverer was added to the UCB2’s play list from the beginning of August and just this past week I was interviewed and featured as a new artist. I cannot tell you how amazed I am and what a dream come true that was. I was also contacted by Dave Wood from Louder Than The Music and they featured my album on their website and sent out a mailer for me. Cross Rhythms also got in touch and said that they have included me on their website and will also be reviewing my album soon.
My dad’s cousin in Illinois, Gloria and her husband, Jerry Cummings (originally from Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes), have featured me on their radio station and website. They constantly give me shout outs and have also introduced me to Steve Harris, who has added some of my songs to his radio networks. I have also been introduced to Jeremy and Kaci Neely – artists based in Nashville, TN. They have been a great source of encouragement to me as a new artist, offering tips and advice of how to find my way in this industry.
I’ve also become an enthusiast for Home Grown Worship, an initiative set up by Andy Baker who has been so supportive. By the way, sign up and you can receive free songs every week! The songs are beautiful and so uplifting.
There are also wonderful friends like Sarah Stockinger, Teresa Fragapane (Claudia Fragapane’s mum), Anelia Wepener and Sarah Ansah who have been there for me through thick and thin, supporting me, praying for me and just being there whenever I’ve needed some guidance. There are so many more others who have just been a source of support and encouragement for me and I am so grateful. So many of my friends from Slimming World (pregnancy loved me too much) have listened to and bought my album. Too many to count and too many to name. I really see God’s favour on my life and I am thankful for everything that He has done for me so far.
So, my point of all this is that ‘Summer Days’ is a constant reminder that while I don’t always see clear blue skies, the sun is still shining through everything. There were very difficult times I went through as God was transforming my life, but He was always there. And now that I’m on a new journey, God is still there and He has given me what it takes to handle this new season of my life. I can’t wait to see what the next 12 years hold for me and my family.
Article originally published by A Step Forward.