For I Am About To Do Something New…

Leading up to my time in Nashville, I reflected a lot on Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

“For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

It’s fascinating reading back on journal entries that I wrote in the days leading up to my transition from Oklahoma to Tennessee and seeing the strong connections to what is happening in my spirit now. While here, I am focusing on writing, performing, and recording. While the Contemporary Music Center is a Christian-based program, they encourage you not to write “worship” songs. The purpose of this is to think more broadly and dive into more aspects of life to relate to an audience. Even when I’m writing songs that I don’t necessarily want to write, it’s helping me hone my craft. The writing process does not come easily to me, and even less so as I am writing in styles that aren’t appealing to me. We have to write songs every other week, so exercising the writing “muscle” everyday has been great and I am thankful that “school” this semester is putting my thoughts into a song. We have been learning about rhyming and metaphors. It is highly encouraged to co-write songs with others, which can lead to deeper conversations with those whom you are working with.

The performing has been a similar challenge. Our performances are to entertain rather than lead. Within that, I am learning how to take risks, like perform up-tempo songs without my guitar to hide behind. It is teaching me how to own and work a stage, how to tap into my confidence, and engage with an audience in a new way.

CMC has been a wonderful challenge for me. It’s easy to think “Well, I don’t feel called to be an entertainer” or “Why can’t I write the songs I want to write?” But then I think back to Isaiah 43:19.

“For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

Do I not see it? He has already begun! He is doing something new! Since my time here, I have found myself in situations that seem to be forcing me out of my comfort zone. But it’s in those times that I feel like I’m closer to God. The farther out of my comfort zone I am, the closer I am to His heart. It hasn’t always been easy, and there are times I need to remind myself that seeds are being planted inside of me during my time here that may not spring up this year or even next—but God knows what He is doing. No opportunity is wasted. All we have to do is say, “Here I am, Lord,” even when the next step isn’t what I thought it would be.

– Libby Frees

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