When Brian and I first formed Faith Passage and began playing music and singing, I told him very clearly that I was NOT a creative person, and that there was no way I could write songs. We then proceeded to write 15 or so songs over the next 6 months – and all the while I insisted that I still wasn’t a songwriter, nor was I one of “those people” – the creative type. Recently we took a little break and attempted to re-group and write again. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to writing. I often ask questions of myself like “what if this isn’t good enough” or “what if this is sounds stupid.” This self-doubt is enough to make a songwriter just hang it up. At times I am intimidated by Brian’s amazing skill and creativity. He is a truly gifted guitarist and is constantly honing his craft and pushing himself to be better. He always reassures me and helps me to believe in my writing and singing…but there is always a hint of self-doubt that I allow to creep in. Recently, Joe Boyd, teaching pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati, tweeted about a new book by his good friend Todd Henry called “The Accidental Creative.” I began following Todd Henry on Twitter and have kept up with all of the buzz that has been surrounding this book. This morning, Todd Henry was at church talking with Joe (and to all of us) about the subject of creativity and how each of us has this creative side to us. He explained creativity in a way that I had never thought of it myself. We are all creative in so many different ways…and we are all made in the image of God – and we should act on the things – those creative things – that God has put on our hearts. (Obviously Todd put it much more eloquently than I am able to do here). The thing that stuck with me the most was the concept of “dying empty.” If we fail to act on those creative things that God has put on our hearts, they are no good after we are gone. We should do what we can while we are alive to explore those things and to express them – to empty ourselves of them. We left church and went directly to Barnes and Noble to buy “The Accidental Creative” and I can’t wait to read it. This evening, Brian and I wrote our latest song together…one that has been in the works for months but has never really gelled until tonight. I believe that this was the first time in our creative process that I was able to let go of my fears and anxiety as we created and just let it happen. I am so grateful from all of the influences in my life – to those who believe in me more than I do, who inspire with ideas, who listen and give feedback, and especially to those who take the time to be creative themselves.
Just over 6 months ago, Faith Passage played our first live show. I can still remember those feelings that accompanied that debut performance. We had only been writing music for a few months, had never played in front of an “audience”, and yet we were going for it. I remember those feelings that led up to that first song. They were feelings of fear, anxiety, self-doubt, excitement, and happiness – pretty much in that order. We did it though, and we were both so proud reaching a goal that we had set for ourselves. Tonight we are scheduled to play at Offering’s Cafe in Hamilton. We have played there many times and always have a lot of fun! As I go through my day today, I’m thinking about the show and my feelings compared to our very first show. The nerves are gone. I am no longer filled with the fear and anxiety. I think that the biggest reason for this is because we have grown in our style and our confidence and really know what to expect. I also feel like I have gotten over the self-doubt that I originally had when we would perform. I have truly come to realize and appreciate the fact that it’s NOT about us. Brian and I – Faith Passage – formed so that we could share the talents that God has given us. We love the chance to share our message and our faith and our music. We may not hit every note or every chord – but we do what we do with hearts full of God and a passion to share his love. So, no nerves or anxiety here…just excitement and happiness for the chance to meet new people and share our music.
I went to practice last night for the newly formed worship team at Foundation Community Church. Driving there I was in a “funk” to say the least. My day had been plagued by one problem after another. I was feeling like I just couldn’t catch a break. Looking back, those “problems” were little more than minor inconveniences, but at the time the combination of all of them were troubling. So by the time I was on my way to practice, I was fighting tears (and barely winning), sick to my stomach, and was the guest of honor at my very own pity party. We were working on a new song last night (new to us), called “Mighty to Save.” I had heard this song many times, and had always liked it…but last night I fell in love with this song. I sat there, buried in problems, singing about a God so wonderful, so might to save…how could I not get over myself? The problems I was dealing with were nothing compared to the power of the God I serve. We sang the song over and over and I walked away from that practice uplifted and strong and free. Our God is mighty to save…He saves me from myself everyday.