CCM: Specifically, how do you encourage other women who don’t have the type of platform that you have into using their strengths, their voices for God’s glory?
NG: First, every single one of us has a voice. [We must] break the cycle of that “comparison trap,” that, “But, I won’t do—but, I won’t be.” I think it’s really about discovering the God given passion that He has put into your heart and life and realizing that if it is from God, all the things that we think disqualify us or sideline us or will never come to pass…those are just the things that the Father of Lies uses to keep us silent.
I was talking about this just last night. So often we want to point to a circumstance or a situation that has silenced us, right? Like, “Oh, it was a bad marriage…it was this, that, or the other. It’s my own mistake, my shame, my childhood, my ‘something’ that has silenced me.” But the truth is that the only one who can silence the song that God has put into every single one of our souls is ourselves.
When we can realize, “Okay, these things were done to me, but I actually I have the power because of Christ living in me—I actually do have the strength and the power to rise above that and to let my voice rise above the brokenness.” I think that when we begin to take responsibility, it begins to actually break down the hurt and the wrong—the holds that can have. When you realize, “Okay, I’m not looking to raise my voice because I need a platform. I’m looking to raise my voice because when I do, my life will begin to soar on God’s melody. It’s the thing that will help me rise above the broken pieces of my life.” I think that whatever comes along with that, is an incredible benefit, but it’s God’s glory. It’s Him receiving glory through us rising above the brokenness, that’s [why I believe in] brokenness He does his best work. That’s where He likes to shine the brightest.
CCM: You, in particular, are a singer and the book title does have the word “voice” in it, so how has going through this spiritual process seeped into your music?
NG: It has definitely influenced it. But first and foremost, what I have really realized over the last few years is that singing is what I do, it’s not who I am. I think that so often, whatever it is that we do—whatever it is that we are gifted at, whatever it is that comes easy to us—it becomes our identity. Through this process I’ve really discovered more power in discovering whose I am, daughter of the King, chosen, beloved, cherished, valued [by Him]. I kind-of foolishly thought singing made me those things. It doesn’t. It’s just a way to tell the truth with a gift that I did nothing for but that He gave me. Discovering that has drastically changed my songwriting, the things that I sing, and the way I go about it all.
When you come to see me in a show, you realize that I’m not going out to be an entertainer—and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, I really don’t. I think it’s amazing if [entertaining is] your gifting, but it’s not mine. My gifting is to be a truth-teller and I think that one of the greatest gifts that He has given me is an ability to connect with people. My music is what brings them to the table, but I think honesty, genuine transparency, and an openness about my insecurities, fears and struggles is what keeps them there.
I also think it’s where they begin to discover who Christ is—through my life, not just through my music. I know that’s not exactly answering what you asked, but it is in the sense that it’s playing itself out in my music and my art because the development of who I am as an artist has become so much more than the music. Does that make sense?
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