This is a guest post by author Faye Jones Howard
“Your song is vague and it lacks focus. It’s redundant at repetitive. However, I would say that it has passion! Hone in on your craft by taking a songwriting course”.
This statement came from an evaluation of a song that I entered in a competition held at a gospel music conference and workshop. Little did I know that this evaluation would set me on a spiritual journey, while revealing the plan of God for my life.
No one could have convinced me that my song, “I Choose You, Lord”, would not touch some lost soul, thus revealing the everlasting love of Christ! After all, I was a poet who had been blessed with a passion for the written word. Unfortunately, “passion” was the only positive comment about the song. I was determined to turn all the negatives into positives!
I went on to take a songwriting class which taught me about the technical aspects of constructing a good song. I quickly concluded that the song was indeed vague and did lack focus. I was most likely the only one who knew that is was about “The Prodigal Son”. I used beautiful, descriptive phrases and the words sounded so good, but never quite got to the point of the song. I was prompted to do the whole thing over, but something inside kept pulling me in another direction.
The first revelation from this experience became very clear. I had to study to show myself approved! I dived into the Bible, started at the beginning and began to write my own study journals. I tend to internalize everything that I write and ended up with the words not only on paper, but in my heart. I realized at that moment that I had to have a relationship with this Lord that “I” had chosen.
I returned to the music conference with song that I had written as a result of my experience and came in third place. I had no idea of what I was doing except following directions and writing from my heart. Yes, I held on to my passion! I was very proud of myself, because there were people from all over the country and some foreign ones also. One judge asked me so many questions about how and why I wrote this song, I wondered if he really believed that I actually wrote it. It all became clear when I returned the following year and placed second! God’s fingerprint was all over the songs, because all good and perfect gifts really do come from Him.
I began to use the gift of the written and spoken word in every venue that I could and had the most rewarding experience mentoring several high school students with their senior projects. They were all interested in writing and a couple wanted to be contemporary Christian singers and songwriters. Although I could not assist them with the singing part, I definitely could set them on a firm foundation that would assure them that God was at the center of their plans.
Providence is defined as the fatherly love and care with which God controls all that happens. The plan of God is and continues to be a mystery to us. We do not know when or how it might be revealed in our individual lives. The one fact that we can all be assured of is that His plan is a good plan. His plan will produce fruit, and more fruit.
God’s everlasting love is something we all have in common and each one of us has an assignment. Ironically, my plan was revealed through the song that I have yet to complete. Some day I will make the necessary revisions to it, but the last line will remain. The Holy Spirit had already penned it. The song ended with: “The one thing I did not see; you had already chosen me.”