Optimism is the one quality most associated with success and happiness so why not surround yourself with people who lift you up, who challenge you, who make you better, who believe in the goodness of others?
To that end, I bought tickets for a women’s event called Dare. I heard about it on my local Christian radio station but had no idea what to expect, except that it included one of my favorite Christian music artists. My daughter and I went together.
It was incredible! Hosted by Natalie Grant and Charlotte Gambill, it was an evening filled with inspiration and hope. These women are extremely gifted, each in their own way—music and speaking. With their talent they could easily sell out much larger venues but they choose to do this, performing before modest crowds of a couple thousand, to make a difference, to touch the lives of others. To empower, to lift up other Christian women, fill them with boldness and an audacity to be who God intended them to be. It was both humbling and inspiring.
Natalie totally rocked Sunshine Church with the kind of jaw-dropping praise worship that brings tears to your eyes. And as beautiful as Natalie’s music was, Charlotte’s message was just as profound: Dare to be who God made you. Don't let people label you. When you’re misunderstood, don’t be bitter, be better. When God calls you chosen, forgiven, clean, hope, daughter, etc., you need to know your name and respond. Good things will happen.
Natalie had her own message too. Affected by an episode of Law and Order that dealt with human trafficking, she began to do research which led to a life-altering trip to India where she witnessed first hand the red-light districts, an experience that changed the trajectory of her life and her music. She founded her own organization to raise awareness, which has since joined with Hope for Justice, an international organization with the aim of eradicating sex trafficking.
Did you know there’s more human slavery in the world now than at any time in history?
She described how in her own city of Franklin Tennessee, a quaint little civil-war town, there was a massage parlor where the depravity of sex trafficking was happening - not just prostitution but real human bondage. By raising awareness, getting others to talk about it, people began to question what was going on there and put a stop to it. All because they began talking about it.
Word of mouth has the power to change the world. Make your voice heard, for whatever it is that moves you.
Personally, I’ve been wavering in my budding career as a writer. Am I writing for the right audience? I’m told there's a too much reality in my stories for the staunch Christian audience yet too much faith message for the secular market. In the world of publishing, where does my writing fit? What is Gods plan for me and for the stories I have to tell? Do I have what it takes to forge my own path, to write “cross-over” fiction that appeals to the broader secular audience yet doesn’t offend devout Christians?
My debut novel, Angel Beneath My Wheels, was released yesterday. I pray it finds a broad audience, does not offend, and gets people talking about its message. It’s a good one—You’re worth it.
Thank you, Natalie and Charlotte for inspiring me to dare to be known as…Christian author.
Have you touched anyone lately?