Today, Carolann speaks to us about her music, praying scripture and how God showed her joy.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a Christian home, homeschooled, in a little town in Michigan that no one has ever really heard of! I was an only child for 5 years until the Lord saw fit to bless our family with twins! My childhood consisted of playing with Barbie’s and American Girl Dolls, loving on my little brother and sister, and playing outside in the dirt (A LOT)! I also became involved with music early on–starting violin lessons at the age of 3.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Philippians 4:4-8 is one that I have been coming back to lately! I posted on my social media, in May, more extensively on what I had learned through this passage! I really also love the focus of verse 8 and how it always draws me back down to earth when my mind starts to wander!
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I want to start memorizing more Scripture. I haven’t been intentional about that! I also want to get back into journaling a lot more than I have been. Journaling my prayers, and my findings from my Bible reading, is a huge way that I grow in the Lord — I am an external processor, so it is vital that I get things out so I can see them, hear them, or share them!
You are a musician! How did you get started in music? I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have music in my life. I danced growing up, I started violin at age 3, and started singing at a very young age, as well. I have always loved music, and have picked up other instruments on my journey through life. I got more serious about songwriting my sophomore year of college when I transferred to university to pursue worship ministry.
Do you have a favorite song to jam out to? I have a lot of them! I love lots of different artists and bands, and I simply cannot choose just one! I cannot even pick my favorite artists or bands!
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? The first encounter with God that I remember, was when I was five years old. I was sitting on our multicolored, woven rug in front of our kitchen sink at our old house; I remember feeling the burning sensation of conviction, and I looked up at my mom and asked her if she would help me invite Jesus into my heart. The second encounter that I remember very vividly was at a youth conference. I had never been brought to my knees, in tears, through worship before. The weight of worship came over me, and I couldn’t help but posture myself in a kneeling position and cry because of the glory of God that I truly encountered that day.
How would you describe Jesus? Jesus is perfect Savior and Friend. He is perfectly balanced, gracious, kind, holy, righteous, loving, defending, etc. I could go on and on. The Gospel–pure and unadulterated–is the most beautiful and life-changing reality ever. It is possible because of Jesus.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? Well, where to begin. Relationship with Jesus has changed me in more ways than I can count. He has brought me confidence, because it has been through and from Him. He has taught me, through His Word, what grace truly is, and how it is a gift. He has brought light and conviction to sins and darkness that held me captive–which I didn’t even know were. He has shown me what kindness is–and how to give it to others. He has shown me humility and weakness, but also strength, and what they look like in their truest forms.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? Well, high school was really rough. I actually went through an extremely dark time of suicidal thoughts and depression, and struggled gravely with body insecurity–to the point that I would obsessively calorie count. God brought me out of that season when He showed me what JOY means. I had to choose to see Him in the everyday, knowing that He is the One whom I could rely on to get me through whatever I was facing. He really showed me what it was like to live with a positive and joyful perspective–truly what Paul was talking about when he said “I have learned the secret of being content…”
The other, and actually, the most difficult season I’ve ever walked through, was when I broke up with a boyfriend. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but I literally thought I was going to die of heartbreak. For three weeks, I barely ate, I cried pretty much constantly, and I couldn’t find any joy. I would physically feel heartbroken, like a part of me had died. The Lord taught me trust–and continues to, everyday–through that season. I didn’t know if I had done the right thing at first, but the Lord gave His peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). I learned that I needed to trust that God wasn’t going to sell me short. I learned that I needed to truly seek Him first, and trust that He would lead a man, after His heart, to chase my heart, to–in His timing. I learned that what God thinks of me is truly the only thing that I should be living for, and that I shouldn’t let other fleshly opinions sway me from what I truly believe the Lord has called me to do through His Word and His Working in my life.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? READING THE WORD. It’s VITAL. Also, learning how to pray; there are times to sit and pray very fervently. There are also times to take the pressure off of myself, and to simply talk to the Lord as a Friend throughout my day. And joining those two things together: praying Scripture.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It is a VERY GOOD READ and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It gives incredible perspective as to what our Adversary is looking to do in our lives; and Lewis does a great job in the prologue communicating that he is not trying to put words in anyone’s mouths, and that everything should be taken as a perspective. I believe this is really important, because the minute that we start acting like anything that is not directly from God’s Word should be taken as though it is, we have a problem on our hands!
Top three essentials: I am going to assume that the Word of God is a given, because duh! So… (1) Hair product! This curly haired gal needs all the product! (2) A water bottle of some kind (preferably my hydroflask). Your girl drinks A LOT of water (like A LOT), so I always need my water bottle around. (3) A notebook. Again, verbal processor, so I need my notebook to journal and jot down songs and ideas as they come to mind! (4) BONUS: Because they are so close to my heart, my chacos. Can’t live without them in the warm seasons (& sometimes even in the colder seasons!).
How did God speak to you recently? I don’t know how to describe exactly how God speaks to me. A lot of times it is from my reading in His Word that He will correct me gently through it, or it may be through a song that I hear or that I write; other times, it is through prayer, and listening to hear Him; other times, it’s through my simple thoughts, that I am reminded of Scripture, or corrected on my behavior. He is always gentle and truthful in His communication! Lately, He has been hitting me randomly with my own thoughts, and showing me different things when I leave space for Him to speak to me.
Hobby: Anything outdoors? I’m so down! I love hiking, camping, kayaking, biking, running (but not very far hahaha); I also love reading, and anything to do with music! I also love going to the gym!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
(1.) READ THE BIBLE. And don’t just read… STUDY! It is so important to understand what you are reading, in the proper context, so that you can know what it meant to the people it was directed to, and so you can know how it is relevant for you in your life! The Word clearly communicates who God is; so, to get to know Him, spend more time in His Word. (2.) Cultivate a prayer life. I recommend reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. (3.) Get accountability. Have a community whom you read and pray with. No one is meant to walk this journey alone. Surround yourself with godly friends who can help you continue to grow and stay accountable, so that you can take Jesus to dark places!
Favorite person in scripture? Hmm… This is hard. I don’t want to be cliche, but Paul is one of my favorites. You can see his personality shine through his letters and there is so much truth through his story that reminds me that God can use me, too!
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That He is kind, and He really cares for them. I want them to see the grace and Truth of the Father through me.
How do you engage with your community? I really enjoy doing Bible studies with people I am in community with. I also love just gathering and eating meals together. There is something so special about gathering together and eating that feels so sacred. It could be the most simple meal; but shared together, it has a unique way of opening hearts to share sorrows and joys with one another.
“There is something so special about gathering together and eating that feels so sacred.”
Favorite holiday? Well, Christmas has always really been my favorite because I love the giving and receiving of gifts, but in the past few years, Easter has become my favorite because I have truly grasped what it means! It definitely is one of my favorite times of the year because we get to reflect on the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus!
A goal you have? To release an album that draws people closer to Jesus and helps them think of God and build a deeper relationship with Him through the lyrics, filled with Truth and good theology, and the experience of listening to the music.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We always get new pajamas on Christmas Eve so that we can wear them on Christmas morning! We also still get easter baskets every year!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why did You put certain things in the Bible, but left some up to interpretation that caused division in the church?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: WOW. This is a loaded question. There are a lot of things that I am passionate about making people aware of. I love to talk to people about worship and why it is vital to worship; specifically how worship is not just music; rather, it is a lifestyle–a way we choose to live. The way that we live affects our attitudes on Sunday morning, and I believe a lack of stewardship in our personal relationships with the Lord causes a lot of complacency in the church body.
“I love to talk to people about worship and why it is vital to worship; specifically how worship is not just music; rather, it is a lifestyle–a way we choose to live.”
What does your morning routine consist of? Well, it depends on the day, but generally, I wake up (I am a big alarm snoozer, though!), drink lots of water to get hydrated again (it is important for my voice!), take my vitamins (if I remember), spend my intentional time with the Lord, eat breakfast, wash my face, brush my teeth, listen to a podcast or some music, and get dressed (but only if I’m leaving the house!).
What is on your nightstand? Currently, a lamp, my essential oil diffuser, a candle, two succulents (who have yet to be named), a cute little picture that has plants on it & says “you grow girl,” and a copy of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. My Bible, notebook, and highlighters move from my nightstand to my backpack to my floor to my bed, etc; right now my highlighters are up there!
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity, by my definition, is the relationship between God and those of His people who have acknowledged their broken and sinful state, have repented and decided to continually turn from their old ways, and pursue a relationship with God, with the hope of looking more like Him every day.
For more Carolann:
Listen to Carolann’s newest single on all streaming platforms.
Until next time, keep witnessing!