"I felt weak and insecure"
When I was about 10 I started dreaming of being in a band.
Having seen countless videos where loud guitars blasted out of huge stages to seemingly endless seas of ecstatic fans, this dream promised a freedom and liberation from the world I knew, one that would transcend the view of my bedroom window and set my life apart from the boring normality everyone else was destined for.
You can imagine then after years of pursuing rock stardom, when I was urgently asked to join a band due to support Alice Cooper all around Europe, and would mean leaving the next week…
I thought my dreams were coming true! The tour was amazing, we played like there was no tomorrow, we were filled with so much hope of ‘making it’… but over the next three years, the grim reality of the music industry came crashing down on me and the tensions within the band were making my life incredibly difficult. Once confident and optimistic, now I was hurt and resentful. I felt weak and insecure of my own ability. I was totally lost, without any direction. And what’s more, my source of strength, the hope of my dreams had been completely shattered.
It seems evident to me now how God had been trying to speak to me for a while, however it took meeting a beautiful girl for Him to
She knew I needed a church and though miles away, she kept encouraging me. Every excuse I made God swiftly removed, until one day I get my attention. I can’t tell you how I ended up in conversation with her as the whole thing is a blur, though I do know God’s hand was on every step of that night and I’m still adamant the guy I talked to at the bar was an angel! As our relationship began to develop, she started to share more and more about her life and the horrific things she’d been through. The more stories, the more I heard about how God had rescued and protected her, had strengthened and provided for her. It seemed she had far more trust in God than most of us do in our friends and families. I never once questioned the validity of her words and despite being stubborn to her initial offers of prayer, her absolute hope in God was pure nourishment to the broken state of my soul. This said, there still lay a big void between where I was at and God, or any understanding of how God would reach me.
got the po
There were so many young people, some I had frequently seen out and about in town. It immediately started to repaint my perception of what a Christian looked like. As did the peace and positive attitude that seemed to fill the place. My previous experiences at church had been few, in the little village I grew up and whilst lovely I’m sure, I can honestly say I don’t remember a word that the Vicar said. This time however it seemed as though God was speaking directly to my heart and calling me to question where I was and what I was doing with my life. Every week I kept going back. It seemed as though God knew exactly who I was and how to touch the depths of my soul. I’d heard people speak about having a ‘personal relationship’ with Jesus and though hard to comprehend, as time went on I started to relate to what they were talking about. It seemed like this Jesus really knew me and wanted for me to know Him.int after being told by three different people in two days "You should be going to church mate"! That Sunday I made sure I went to one off the list she had recommended and the whole thing blew my mind.
Things started coming to a head with the band and at the same time God told me something that changed my life. “I made you with a purpose James. I have a plan for your life”, He asked me “Do you trust me?”. I must have spent the whole of the next week praying, wrestling hard with the implications, but in one moment it all fell from my head to my heart and for the first time, I felt peace.
Stepping blindly into 2004, knowing nothing other than… Jesus loves me, He made me for a reason and He has a plan. His instructions were simple… “Follow your heart, keep your eyes on me at all times and don’t worry. I will provide”. The last 6 years have been a crazy adventure, one that has lead me to places I never would have gone and along paths I never would have trod. Even though life has been far from easy, taking that leap of faith is the best thing I ever did.