Several years ago, my husband scored backstage passes for Nichole Nordeman. I was elated to meet her, primarily because she was formative in my own song writing. I still feel the emotions of lyrics from her first album as they shuffle through my iPod:
It’s well past midnight
And I’m awake with questions that won’t
Wait for daylight
Separating fact from my imaginary fiction
On this shelf of my conviction
I need to find a place
Where You and I come face to face
Proof that You had really risen
When he placed his fingers
Where the nails once broke Your skin
Did his faith finally begin?
I’ve lied if I’ve denied
The common ground I’ve shared with him
And I, I really want to know You
I want to make each day
A different way that I can show You how
I really want to love You
Be patient with my doubt
I’m just tryin’ to figure out Your will
And I really want to know You still
For some time, I wasn’t sure what to do with this woman’s honesty. I’d never heard Christian lyrics that were so raw and real before. When Wide Eyed released in 1998, I felt like I’d found a close friend in Nichole.
Yesterday, as several of her songs piped into my ears during a workout, I wondered where I’d be if Nichole had never found her voice. What would my life be like without her influence? (Nichole’s song “Every Season” was like oxygen for me following the sudden loss of my father.) Nichole is one of a handful of people who has been instrumental in my spiritual formation. It sounds weird to say that, since I don’t really know her. But her voice has great impact for me. I’m not talking about Nichole’s vocal ability; I am talking about the words she chose to share, and the way she spoke them through lyrics that moved my soul. I’m talking about her voice.
This thought about having a voice, agency and impact originated some time ago for me. Since I’ve slowed down my pace by keeping the Sabbath, it has returned. I am able to listen more to what God is saying, to see more what He is doing, and to attempt to join in His work in a more meaningful way. As such, I’ve been reminded of my own, God-given agency. Lately, I am re-membering God’s call to find my own voice and speak the truths that He is showing me in the way that only I can speak them.
I want to encourage you to do the same. As part of your Sabbath keeping, converse with God about your voice. God has uniquely gifted and equipped you with His message. How are you expressing it?
Who has been instrumental in your faith walk? I’d love to hear about the voices of those who have helped to shape your faith.