Today, we are featuring our first spotlight of 2020, singer Rachel Troublefield! We are honored to have her with us today. She shares with us her journey, all about sitting in grief, where she would like to perform, her UK tour, and most importantly, all about her new EP Come Closer being released on January 17, 2020. We are so grateful for her time. Thank you, Rachel!
Check out her new music. Make a playlist. Read, listen and share, ladies.
MW: Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood:
RT: I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. I’m the youngest of four kids, all of us have VERY strong personalities, my parents as well, so it was a very loud household. We fought a lot, and we laughed a lot. We still do! We were always doing activities. My brother is an actor. He’s ten years older than me and started acting at 9 years old, so for as long as I remember, I was in and out of the theater and dance classes and competitions for my older sisters. We did the arts; we did sports; we did church; I was expected to do well in school! We were all over the place, haha! It was busy, but it was really fun. And so filled with love.
MW: When did you first start singing and songwriting?
RT: I started singing, I guess, around age five. My sister Valerie and I did church musicals. And then, there was choir in elementary school all through high school. I started songwriting, honestly, by accident. I started with poetry and eventually, I don’t even remember how, I started putting melodies to the words, and then, I learned guitar– and the rest is history!
“I started songwriting, honestly, by accident.”
MW: You have an EP being released. Tell us more about the message in this EP. What kind of journey does it reflect?
RT: Wow! This is hard! I feel like there are many messages within this EP. But I guess, the most prevalent theme would be a line from track, “Come On Come Closer”, which is where the title of the EP, Come Closer, comes from: “there is no room to carry all that shame.”
It’s a journey of vulnerability: of celebrating life and the human experience in all it’s forms: single, in love, in grief, in shame, in freedom, in dancing. This is the most vulnerable I’ve been, so far. I actually deleted all my previous work offline because I truly wanted to start over and be like, this is me! I talk about being single; I talk about struggling with my body image; I talk about loss—all in poetry/song form, but it’s still pretty vulnerable for me. And honestly, for the first time, maybe ever, I’m totally okay with putting it all out there! I like really really like who I am. The Lord has been really gracious to me in teaching me how to love myself. And I do!
“It’s a journey of vulnerability: of celebrating life and the human experience in all it’s forms: single, in love, in grief, in shame, in freedom, in dancing. This is the most vulnerable I’ve been, so far.”
MW: What is your favorite song to perform?
RT: I LOVE performing “What A Time” because I get the audience involved, every time. I love when it’s a group effort and everyone is included and just in the moment together. It’s really special.
MW: Inspiring biblical passage of the moment:
RT: Isaiah 58: 10-12 — “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
MW: What is your spiritual growth focus at the moment?
RT: REST! I am really bad at it. And I think that rest is ultimately rooted in trusting the Lord. In His plans, in His timing. That He is working behind the scenes. So, I guess actually trust, but true rest coming out of that place of more full trust.
“I think that rest is ultimately rooted in trusting the Lord.”
MW: If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?
RT: Rachel Troublefield: The Story of Girl Who Lives Her Best Life on A Wedding Reception Dance Floor.
MW: When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him?
RT: I encountered God at a young age. As a little girl in church. I went both to Catholic and Baptist churches, which had the potential of being really confusing, but for me, I saw the through line of Jesus, even when I didn’t understand the theology of either denomination, I heard Jesus and I was like YES!
I just had this unexplainable understanding that I wasn’t alone. I was loved. And this Jesus was very for me. I remember asking Him to live in my heart, laying in my bed, after I asked him to bless every single one of my stuffed animals, and I don’t know, I remember feeling like, when I asked him to live inside me, He really did make a home there.
Wow, though, my faith was questioned so much as a young girl—growing up Catholic, I was definitely a minority, where I’m from. And then again in a college ministry that shall not be named because it honestly did more harm to me than good. And while that was really hard, it made me really dive deep as a young kid, and ask myself what I believed. And it was always, always Jesus.
“I just had this unexplainable understanding that I wasn’t alone. I was loved. And this Jesus was very for me.”
MW: How has your relationship with Him changed you?
RT: Freedom. Ability to love without conditions. I haven’t always been good at that. As a teenager, I was very legalistic. Often, my home life felt very chaotic, and I attached myself to rules and regulations that just were not God. I had the best intentions, but in my immaturity, I don’t think they were always carried out very well. My relationship with Jesus has been a constant unraveling into freedom. The peeling back of lies about Him AND about me. The realizing who He is, what He actually cares about has changed who I am and what I actually care about.
MW: What has helped you grow spiritually in this season?
RT: So much! I’ve honestly dealt with a lot of grief this past year and allowing myself to sit in that grief, to an extent, has been healing. But along with that, serving has given me perspective that has sort of blown up my world in the best way. The Enneagram has actually really helped me. It’s helped me see patterns and helped me have grace for myself but also has helped keep me accountable when I’m acting FOR love instead of FROM love.
MW: Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?):
RT: I am currently reading a book called Do It Scared. It’s rocking my world, a little bit. It goes through seven fear archetypes, and then, how to break out of them. It’s quite confronting, but in that good, come-to-Jesus type of way. Also, my roommate and I are starting The Artist’s Way. I started it years ago, but I’m excited to have the accountability. I really want to read a novel! I’m doing a little tour in the UK in February, and I’m going to stop in Paris, and I want to spend two days like pouring over a novel. I’m thinking The Paris Wife it’s about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife and their time in Paris.
MW: Top three essentials:
RT: Cold brew, music, friends; not in any particular order—except definitely cold brew first. *grin*
MW: How did God speak to you recently?
RT: He’s been reminding me that time isn’t wasted. That my hidden/winter season wasn’t a wasted season. That He exists outside of time. The song, Way Maker has been my anthem for this past year, for some many different areas of my life. But it’s the song that He’s been speaking to me the most in—He’s been reminding me that He is “Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness”– that even when I can’t see it He’s working; even when I can’t feel He’s working because He never stops working on our behalf. How crazy? The God of the universe. He’s so cool!
MW: A place you dream to perform:
RT: Can I say 3? Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and in Nashville, Ascend Amphitheater.
MW: Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
RT: Community, vulnerability, serving, time with the Lord.
MW: Favorite person in scripture?
RT: I LOVE Peter! Honestly, because he was all over the place, and I can relate to that sometimes, you know? I also super relate to Mary being totally sold out and worshipping at Jesus’s feet, and then, at a different time, being like so immoveable in her stubbornness and disappointment because she felt like God didn’t come through for her (story of Lazarus dying) only to find out that Jesus is going to come through for her in a MUCH bigger way. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been there before.
MW: What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you?
RT: THAT HE IS FUN! That he INVENTED laughter and playfulness because He IS those things. That He is creative and loves us so creatively.
MW: How do you engage with your community?
RT: I have the best friends! I have been really really blessed with my friendships every place I’ve ever lived. I am involved in a connect group through my church, and I have an AMAZING community with nonprofit ministry I serve with, People Loving Nashville. Serving the homeless community and in turn developing close friendships with folks who live without a home has given me perspective I don’t think I would ever have had the wisdom to ask for.
“I am involved in a connect group through my church, and I have an AMAZING community with nonprofit ministry I serve with, People Loving Nashville.”
MW: Favorite holiday?
MW: A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep:
RT: To be honest, my family isn’t very traditional!
MW: Question you will ask when you get to heaven?
RT: How many stars are there actually? How many hairs do I have on my head? haha! It’s just so crazy to me that He knows! I want to know some of His names for the stars. He calls them each by name! I want to know them! I bet they are epic!
MW: Thing you want to raise awareness about?
RT: I desire to see an end of homelessness and sex trafficking. I believe there is a way! I believe reminding people that they are loved and not alone is a way to start that. Lonely people are vulnerable people. I remember my friend saying that the way to end trafficking is for the perpetrators to be changed, and it blew my mind. I can have a hard time with that. Loving the victim AND the “villain”. But hurt people hurt people. So how do we love ALL the hurting?
MW: What does your morning routine consist of?
RT: I usually work out, I read two devotionals: First 5 and Jesus Calling, COFFEE!
MW: What is on your nightstand?
RT: A lamp, a Bible, a book on grief/loss that is taking me forever to get through because it’s a process, a devotional, some organic version of Vick’s Vapor Rub, and, this might sound creepy, but wooden box holding my dog’s ashes.
MW: Define Christianity in a sentence:
RT: Love God, love people.
For more Rachel:
Facebook: Rachel Troublefield
Love146 / End It Movement
Until next time, keep witnessing!