During my middle school years, I was starting to develop my core passions: Jesus and music. I started writing my own songs (though I didn’t know how to play any instrument). It was also during these years that my Dad took me to my first concert, a Carman concert. We drove about an hour or so to attend, but when we arrived the place was packed and the church could no longer fit anyone else. I remember being turned away, and though I was bummed, that episode struck me as fascinating. I began to study the life of Carman and follow his ministry. It was after this night that I began to realize what I wanted to do with my life.
If you know anything about the ministry of Carman, he would never charge for a ticket to come to his concerts – no matter the venue. He sang his original songs and then he would preach the Gospel and have an altar call to receive Christ. This was my dream. I wanted to travel, singing original songs and preaching the Gospel. However, it seemed more than a passion, it was a life calling – one that I would commit to for the next season of my life.
After singing Radically Saved, I followed up the next year singing “Make is Right” by Kenny Marks. The song was not as explicitly Christian but talked about dating relationships with a single truth of “Make it right fall in love with Jesus tonight.”
By eighth grade, I was finding my groove. I wrote an original song and my youth pastor put together the track with a little Carman flair to it. The song was titled “God’s Word” and talked about the power of it. This song was very Christian. I remember I was bucking the system once again, however the school had been down this path before with me so they just let it go. However, the day of the talent show, the principal called me into His office and talked to me about the song. He told me that personally he did not have a problem with the song but that the school could not be in support of my song choice.
I came out, introduced the song as an original and sang it. It was a joy to see entire family, my youth pastor and his wife, as well as friendly faces.