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Finding Quiet on God’s Journey for You: Jamie Grace

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2024 5:15 am

Finding Quiet on God’s Journey for You: Jamie Grace

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 21, 2024 5:15 am

Award-winning musician Jamie Grace has struggled with Tourette's, ADHD, and anxiety. Here's how she's leaning into God's journey for her—and found quiet.

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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

Hey, before we get started, we've got a question for you. How can we pray for you?

I love this question. Because we talk about a lot of serious things here on Family Life today, and those details about our families, ugh, they often need our prayers. So can we pray for you?

We're serious. Yeah, so here's how you can let us know. Text FLT plus your prayer request to 80542 to let us know, and it would be our privilege to pray for you. That's text FLT plus your prayer request to 80542. We want to pray for you. So I actually really want to know the answer to this question, because I think I know, but I don't think I know. What are the statements you hear most in your head?

Oh, like almost on repeat. My husband is so handsome. That's what I was thinking. That's what I figured you'd say.

I didn't think handsome, but I thought awesome. Hi. Wonderful.

I can't believe I got this guy. Okay. Now, seriously, I know I don't know. Did you think I would say that? No, I thought you've never even thought that one time.

Maybe in our first year of marriage, but after that. That is not true. I think that all the time. Okay.

But it's interesting. The thoughts that come through my head now are different than what used to come into my head. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson and I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at or on our Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. What are the statements you hear most in your head? The thoughts that come through my head now are different than what used to come into my head because I feel like my thoughts in the past have been super toxic. I'm ugly. I'm fat.

I need to lose weight. I need to be better. I'm failing. I'm not smart enough.

I'm not doing enough. It was just a constant barrage of that negative self-talk, and nobody would have known that. Do you think?

I mean, we've been married 41 years. Would you have thought those were my thoughts in my head? Not initially, but it didn't take long after we were married to realize you hear that a lot.

I don't anymore. Yeah, I think a lot of people hear a lot of negative self-talk. You know, working with pro athletes for 33 years, there was a lot of negative thoughts of guys. Super successful guys. That are at the highest level, and you think, wow, when they line up for a play, they are hearing, I'm not good enough.

I'm not going to be able to make this play. You're like, what in the world? How can that be true?

And that's a real thing. And I worked with their wives, and I mean, these women, some of these women were supermodels, or they had three degrees, and they were so talented, and yet the self-talk that they would share was so surprising because it was, I'm ugly, I'm stupid, and their lives showed everything but that. And the truth is, and we know this, how we think is how we live. Belief, you know me as a preacher, belief dictates behavior.

So whatever I'm believing about myself is going to dictate the way I live. And the reason we're bringing this up, we've got Jamie Grace back in the studio with us. Jamie, first of all, welcome back.

Hello, it's good to be back. What are you thinking as we're talking about this? Oh, this is so great. At the very, very beginning, I was like, guys, I'm right here. Stop flirting. This is really weird.

Super cute, but I shouldn't be here. But yeah, all of that resonates with me, even when you were asking that initial question. Ironically, I do oftentimes pre-flirt with my husband in my head, because when I try to flirt out loud, I'm not always very successful. So I'll practice my flirts in my head. Maybe I should try that.

It still doesn't work. Practice your flirts. But you're good in your head, aren't you? To me, I'm like, oh, that's going to do it. And then I'll say it out loud. And he's like, babe, I think he's used to it at this point, but I'm so awkward.

Like there's like families listening, so I won't give any examples, but I'm just awkward. Well, I'd love to know what goes on in your head, because you're very successful in terms of like being a pro athlete. You've reached that in the singer song world. Yeah, Jamie's a two-time Grammy-nominated singer. You had a Dove Award winner for New Artist in 2012, am I right? Yeah, that was spot on. And I went on and learned all your songs.

I'm going to sing them. You really are successful. I mean, as the world looks at you, they would think, oh, she's made it. And you've written a book called Finding Quiet, My Journey to Peace in an Anxious World. But in the book, you start talking about this self-talk. Those daily thoughts, and I still have them.

Really? What's it sound like? Very similar to yours.

I mean, I'm a first-time mom, and especially that postpartum season, that six to 12 months. Oh, you need to lose weight. You're not successful. You're not doing a good job. It's constant, and it's frustrating. I've done a lot of work, just personally, in therapy, church, small groups, me and my pastor, and stuff like that.

And so a lot of times, what now will start to happen is a lot of pep talk, you know what I mean? And I'm proud of that. So a lot of times, I'll have this in my head, like, you're so dumb. That song is terrible that you wrote. But I'll catch myself and immediately start to be like, but this song you wrote last week wasn't that bad. And you did a good job. And you know what else you did? You swept.

Maybe it was two weeks ago, but guess what? You did it. And you cooked dinner, and it was awesome. And your husband liked it.

You guys probably gonna kiss later. So I've definitely done a lot of conscious work to try to override a lot of those negative thoughts. And a lot of times, I'll do it out loud as well, even from a spiritual standpoint and stuff like that with scriptures and things like that. It's a journey, and it takes a lot of work.

Yes. When I catch myself doing that, mentally, like, oh, you're this, you're that. I'll start walking through the house like, you are a child of God.

You are a daughter of the Messiah King. Some people might think this is cheesy, but I mean this genuinely. Sometimes I'll quote my lyrics out loud. And not in a way of like, I wrote it.

Not like that. But because everything I've written is genuinely something that the Lord gave to me in a moment of desperation. Give us some lyrics like that you would say.

Yeah. So I have a song called Daughter of the King. And it says the maker of skies and the maker of seas, the maker of every beautiful thing he made you. And the first time I ever said something like that, it was during a show.

And there was a girl in the middle of the crowd that was later I processed but was kind of the outsider in like the young adult group that she was in. And I just like stopped in the middle of my set and the Lord just told me to tell her like, the maker of skies and the maker of seas, like he made your face. So my lyrics aren't necessarily something where it's like, oh, I get to write something catchy. You know, they really do come from moments of like the Lord really speaking to me. Scripture is obviously way more powerful than anything I could come up with. So I'll just start reading Proverbs out loud.

Right now I have a proverb up on my bathroom mirror and I'll, if something else, something from Psalms or Galatians or Habakkuk or whatever it is speaks to me in a couple weeks, I'll put that up there too and just try to speak out loud like the words of truth, speak out loud the words of wisdom because it can be so much more powerful than whatever is happening in my head and can kind of just help get me into a habit of hearing those things and saying those things instead. Yeah. And I think even the song, a very poppy song, and I'm guessing this one was one of your Grammy nominations, I Love the Way You Hold Me. As poppy as that is, that lyric is in some ways very profound.

I mean, it said over and over in the song and Toby Mac, the whole thing. But then when you think through what you're singing and you know that kids are singing this, you thought a lot of times I don't believe he's holding me right now. I'm saying it in a song, but I don't believe the thing I'm going through. He's got me. God is holding me.

I love the way you hold me. And so often we're like, I don't know if you are right now. Because the self-talk is I'm alone.

I'm struggling on my own. And that simple lyric is like, no, you're not. Anybody that knows me knows that I have, it's not an obsession because it's not a very healthy word, but my big sister is my literal hero. I love her so much. And we got for her senior year in college, I was at the same college and we got an off-campus apartment. So I know we're really cool. It was a Bible college.

So that kind of stuff. And you were young. How old were you? We were 16 when we started college. So she was 20 in her senior year and I was like 17, 18.

Why are you starting college at 16? She's smarter than I am. I don't like to take too much credit for my intelligence, even though I do think maybe I'm smart sometimes. But the thing is when you're the oldest one, I think you're the smartest. She started reading at three. My mom is just an amazing educator. And so she had Morgan reading at three and I just, I was younger, so I was just like doing whatever she was doing. So yes.

Okay. I think I'm a little bit smart, but I credit a lot to my mom and my sister because I just showed up and they were already doing the work. I was like, I might as well help them read stuff. My sister actually graduated high school at 14 or 13, but my mom wasn't ready for her to go to college. So she just made up a bunch of extra work for her to do for a couple of years until she was ready to go to college. But we were like living in this off-campus apartment and we were supposed to do that until I was done with college. That was going to be our thing.

So I was going to live in this cool apartment for three years. And let me add, let's go back a little bit for the people, for our listeners that maybe missed our first episode, which go back and listen. You were given a diagnosis at age 11 and share a little bit just as a reminder. Yeah. So I had already been given this diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, which is a movement disorder, a tic disorder, as well as anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, which is just a quick synopsis. Imagine everyday worry times 20, but basically because of neurological stuff.

And then obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is OCD and ADHD. And so I had all of that that I was dealing with on a daily basis. So that's why I wanted our listeners to know, like, so now you're in college.

Yeah. The main stipulation for college was that I went where my sister went. I wasn't as far along mental health wise as I maybe thought I was going to be to go out of state, which was what I wanted to do. But it's OK because we both graduated from a school called Point University in the southeast and we really loved it. And I loved getting to be near her.

So that was a huge blessing. But then my sister went off and did the very stereotypical pastor's daughter Bible college thing and got herself a suitor. She gets so mad when I say that word, but she started dating someone who's now her husband, super cute, whatever.

I know. So here I am in this apartment that I'm supposed to be watching Cheetah Girls with my sister every night eating pizza. And they're sitting on the couch like she started watching like superhero movies all of a sudden.

And she's like, you know, I guess they're like Christian dating. So like, I'm still in the house. I'm like, this is just dumb.

Be your own accountability. I need to go. I was miserable. Anyways, that's how I wrote Hold Me because I was just like, this is stupid. That's when you wrote Hold Me. All of my songs that sound like I'm in a good mood. I was crying.

All of them. I was crying my eyes out when I wrote Hold Me. I was sitting in my room all by myself, just like, I'm going to be single forever. Like, no one's holding me.

I didn't know that about that song because it's so filled with joy. And yet you were saying no. Yeah. Well, here's the other thing that I find interesting.

What you just said is you do a I think it's your second chapters. You call it the noise of feelings. Yeah. And it's almost how you stifle and hold feelings in.

And when I read that, I'm like, oh, boy, I do the same thing. Yeah. I don't like them. And I sort of I cry at movies. I don't cry in life. Yeah. So but you just shared how you express your feelings.

Talk about that. Well, I really do have a love hate relationship with feelings. I do love to feel feels, you know, I love especially when it comes to music. It's such a safe space for me to feel whether I'm listening to a heavily emotive song or I'm playing a very emotional song, writing something, you know, very personal. I really do enjoy that.

But it can oftentimes be difficult around other humans for me to go there emotionally with my family. Sometimes my mom is so sweet and she'll she's like, oh, you know, when I'm with your daughter, it reminds me of when you and I'm like, no, mom, nachos, you know, like I just can't do it. You say nachos?

Yeah. I just talk about food. Just change subject. Our wedding. I laughed through the entire ceremony.

I mean, not like dissing or what it was. I just thought it was funny that I was like, this is hilarious that I tricked this really hot guy into marrying me. So I just laughing the whole time. But then I cried later. I just I was like, I don't want all these people to see me cry.

Like it's just it's so weird. I've always had a really just challenging back and forth relationship with feelings. But as I get older, I've just tried to become more and more intentional with choosing to feel and choosing to be OK with feeling. The Lord is not mad at me because of my feelings.

The Lord is not upset with me for having feelings, you know. And I think for so long, I just wanted her. Well, I still feel this way sometimes, but I just want everybody to be happy. I just want everybody to be OK. And so I never wanted my feelings to interrupt that. I just I'm always just trying to be conscious of just like, OK, like I'm dealing with this medical diagnosis.

Like it's again, it's a journey. Like I still deal with really bad days of like Tourette's stuff or anxiety stuff. And so I'm just even when I'm having those days, I'm constantly thinking like, is my husband OK? Like if I feel too much, then I can't be conscious if he's OK. And if I feel too much, then I'm not looking out for my daughter. When reality is that the Lord has given me a spouse for like that's a part of marriage is me being able to be open about how I'm feeling and the challenges that I'm facing and vice versa. And the reality of parenthood and motherhood is that she needs to see me cry. Like she needs to know that mommy gets sad sometimes and like mommy's working through it and it's going to get better, you know. But just my own relationship with feelings kind of gets in the way of that sometimes and kind of just causes me to shut down a little bit and just only practice feelings when songs are on.

I think that that's pretty big. And Dave, I'm looking at you like you can relate to that because you have run from your feelings in the past a lot. Yeah, I think I didn't know it for decades, but it was a defense mechanism to protect myself. And I can remember, you know, being the father and the pastor doing my son's weddings. And I can remember standing in the chapel looking at my son and his new bride and feeling like I can't feel. I should feel this moment. And part of me is like, well, I have a job to do.

I have to officiate the wedding. But I think I was afraid. And I know this from Anne in our marriage. She wants.

Oh, yeah. I want you to feel. Because I think in some ways you're not fully present when we guard our feelings. So when I was reading your book, even about finding quiet and finding peace, sometimes we're afraid to step into those feelings and we never get to the other side, which is peace.

Yeah. If you're willing to go there, it may be scary, maybe uncomfortable. It's like anyway, for me, I feel like, man, I want to make the last 30 years of my life feeling years, you know, in a sense where I want to cry in life, not just in a movie theater.

And part of that's like I got to be willing to go go into it. One of the things you say in your book is I started to realize that it wasn't my purpose to bring people joy. A lot of us, I think, especially as a mom, I could feel that I do feel that for my kids, for my friends, like I want to bring them joy.

And you say instead, it was my purpose to live a life full of joy in hopes of directing people to see the source. Every few months I go through this, I mean, this is a little bit of my personality. This is a little bit of my, you know, anxiety as a human. This is a little bit of my anxiety disorder. But every few months I go through, like, I need to fix the world phase.

I've gotten to the point now I can talk myself out of it within a day now. So that's that's a huge step because the first time I tried to fix the world, I was about seven and it took me months to realize I'm doing too much. But I will literally like I'll see like brokenness in the world. And it starts from genuine pain that I feel, right? And what I don't do is feel the feelings and go to Jesus, which is what I should do. I mean, that's the first thing I should do. What I instead do, I'm like, oh, God, you feel sad about what's happening in the foster care system, what's happening with poverty, racism, injustice, like all these things. Okay, Lord, you know what we're going to do? We're going to fix this.

Okay, Jesus, you sit up on your throne. I'm going to get on my phone. I'm going to come up with a PDF. I'm going to file for a nonprofit, seven nonprofits, actually 15 nonprofits. I need 33 interns, actually 34 interns. They need to be paid. I need a grant.

Who can give me a grant? Like and then I'm just like I'm trying to fix it all. You know, I just have to say to restate this. You just sit on your throne while I get on my phone. I don't think I've ever said that out loud and I'm a little embarrassed. But it's so real. I have to remind myself that like I'm not called to be all things to all people.

You know, I think a lot of times, and this is not to be received as like a big theological unraveling or anything, but I think a lot of times as believers, we get caught up in words like purpose and calling, especially young adults that listen to my podcast. They ask like, what am I supposed to do? Like what college am I supposed to go to? I don't want to make the wrong choice. What career? I don't want to do the wrong job. I don't want to marry the wrong person.

How do you know the one? You know, this kind of grand scale of what is my purpose and what is my calling. And sometimes it's like, the Lord's like, I want you to wake up tomorrow and extend grace to everyone you see. That's your purpose for today, you know? And just choosing to be more present has allowed me to do that. Even, you know, like what you were saying a minute ago about, you know, your son's wedding and like I'm just trying to do the job and, you know, just not feel the feels.

I'm just trying to complete the task at hand, you know? I dealt with a lot of that, getting famous at 17, you know, with my music. My job was to make everybody happy. And if I stopped making people happy, I'm not relevant anymore. I'm not famous anymore. And then I'm seen as a failure.

If I stop playing 200, 300 shows a year, well, People's CU is not successful, you know? And so that was one of the main things in my life that really took a hit at my mental health and really took a hit at my feelings. I was so much better at feelings before I was famous.

I had such a healthier relationship with feelings before I realized that feelings could easily become a currency and that it was just my job to keep all the feelings as high and happy as possible at whatever expense to myself. And that's what happens whether you're a mom or an artist or a dad at a wedding, a pastor at a wedding, when you're so caught up with like, let me just monitor everybody else's feelings and create and serve joy on a platter as though it's mine to give, you know? When we're constantly doing that, then we're completely neglecting ourselves.

We've completely avoided every aspect of like who God calls us to be and what that purpose is like. I mean, that's really where the book started for me was realizing that by trying to make everybody so happy by literally being one of two of the main musical resources for most Christian families in America for like four years that had, you know, young girls by like kind of just stepping into that role of like being it, I was completely neglecting who God made me to be and I was completely neglecting any kind of feeling. I was just doing the job and there was no connection to my own feelings and my own needs and finding quiet became a literal thing. I walked away from all of it and just sat in a quiet house and healed for a long time.

But I think that that's important. Like what you just said, like I just sat in the house and healed. I think men are like this, but women, maybe it's a different way. We're fixing, we're helping, we're taking care of so many people that a lot of times it feels selfish to focus on our own mental health. And I talked to a lot of moms and women who are really struggling with that. And so Jamie, I think it's really wise to say it's not selfish. Like you need to plug into Jesus. I think that you're saying that therapy has really helped and that can be a great thing. And also to have some other people, your best friend, your sister, you have your mom. So you have some other women around you speaking life and really walking you through some of those things. Yeah, those things are good. But to go to Jesus to and he says, come to me, all you who are weary.

Yeah, I think that's the first place to go. And he'll give us wisdom. Are you someone who feels weary right now?

I know so many people who would probably shout yes in response to that question. So if that's you, Jesus is calling you to himself and saying, I get it. Bring it to me and let me carry it for you. You know, being needy isn't really something that we champion in our culture today as capable people who want to get everything done with excellence. But Jesus loves needy people.

He loves using the weak to shame the strong. So run to him in your need and watch him show up in better ways than you ever could have imagined or even tried to do on your own. I loved this conversation today with Jamie Grace. I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Jamie Grace on Family Life Today. Jamie's written a book called Finding Quiet My Journey to Peace in an Anxious World. You can find your copy right now by going online to or you can get it in the show notes or just give us a call at 800-358-6329. Again, that number is 800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today.

Just request Jamie Grace's book called Finding Quiet. Now, it's the month of May, which is an exciting month here at Family Life, because every gift that you give to the Ministry of Family Life is going to be doubled dollar for dollar up to five hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That's right. Thanks to some generous donors who have offered to match every gift that comes in this month. We are able to say that any donation you make will be doubled up to five hundred and fifty thousand dollars. So you can give online right now by going to And when you do give as our thank you to you, we're going to send you a copy of Neighborhoods Reimagined by Chris and Elizabeth McKinney. In addition to that, when you become a monthly partner, you get to participate in our new online community and be part of the conversation happening here at Family Life, including a live Facebook event with the Wilsons and myself on June the 5th at 7 p.m. Again, that's for all monthly partners who contribute and become part of the ministry here at Family Life Today. You can find out more by going to the show notes or heading over to and clicking on the donate now button at the top of the page. So what's the impact of the element of shame on relationships and self-worth?

Well, it's probably quite a bit more than you'd imagine. I'd love for you to join us tomorrow as Esther Liu talks with David Wilson about the topic of shame and how it deeply impacts almost every element of our lives. That's coming up tomorrow. We hope you'll join us on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-21 07:37:02 / 2024-05-21 07:48:31 / 11

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