Recently in my interviews on radio stations across the country, the prevailing question asked by the hosts was, “What do you want people to get from reading your book Driven by Faith.”
My response, “First and foremost, I want God to be glorified. I hope all who read my book will be inspired, encouraged and motivated. I want people to see themselves in my struggles; to see if I can do it – an ordinary housewife and mother of five who made it Carnegie Hall – then they can realize their dreams too.”
After nearly 20 years of disappointments and failed concerts in Memphis, I stepped out of my comfort zone and made a giant leap of faith. On the advice of a friend who knew a choral conductor and after one face-to-face meeting with that same conductor, I embraced a challenge more than 3,000 miles away. Without funding and no ideal of how to raise the needed money, I signed a contract with a choral group in Portland, Oregon, hired a film crew for the event and booked reservations.
Then, the preparations started. During the next several months, my husband and I along with our children scraped and saved every penny. But that was not the hard part. On the eve of our departure for Oregon, the grim reality could no longer be pushed away. We were short thousands of dollars for the last payment.
The dilemma was simple– no money, no concert. What to do? We had nothing left but the train tickets in our hands. Now came the hard decision; sadly, there was only one logical answer and that answer was painful…cancel. But that’s when I made my leap of faith. We boarded the train for the three day journey west, trusting that God would provide.
Arriving in Portland, checking into the hotel and attending rehearsals, we had received no solutions, but still believing God for the answer. The final rehearsal was wrapping up; the last payment would be due within minutes. Then, my son, Todd who had arrived late, walked in with a loan check from a bank that was given to him just one day earlier. But here is the miraculous part of it all… he had never applied for any loan.
Even though we did pay back the loan, the ordeal was a mystery to the bank. But I knew. God had provided a way out of the impossible.
One day it seemed that the pressure of persecutions had almost consumed me. But in the night I heard a song, “The Lord Is Near, whom shall I fear?” I woke up lifted and encouraged. Turning my attention to writing, I completed that song,”The Lord Is Near,” which became a part of my oratoria,”Exodus.” It is amazing how God will bring something wonderful out of a bad experience when we put our trust in Him.