Having a Hard Time Keeping Up!
So, if you haven’t noticed, Rising Life, has had a lot going on the past 6 months. Whew! We can’t keep up! This is a very good thing. However, just as recently as January of this year, we wondered if Rising Life had reached its end? I know we have discussed this issue many times. However I want to tell you how God used Twitter to connect us to a person who would single-handedly change the course of not only Rising Life’s future, but our lives as well.
After releasing ‘The Lion’ in December of 2016 to little fanfare, we settled in for the rest of the winter. I was extremely happy with the record, and Kristy and I both knew it was special. However, we had been almost dormant for two years. Trust me, Rising Life never stopped. However we had Lexy, we moved, I built the studio, tore it down, relocated it, and produced several large projects for other artists. However, Kristy and I never stopped writing, recording, and creating.
Is this the End?…Again?
When we released the album, it was a strange time for us. 2016 had been the best year of our lives, but we had been met with tons of adversity. The devil really was trying to stop Rising Life, and just my tenure in ministry period. However, other than a festival slot at Paducah, KY’s BBQ on the River, we hadn’t played live in 2016 and really had no reason to. Nearly 5 years after creating Rising Life, and having an amazing yet hard half a decade, we had no direction. The issue was, we weren’t letting God lead. We would see that very shortly.
That sets the stage for January of 2017. I, Heath, was coming up on three years as a worship pastor for Twin Lakes Worship Center, I was about to cross over my 1 year anniversary of leaving my job to be a fulltime musician, and the studio was doing fairly well. Yet once again, the nagging question of Rising Life. What was the purpose. I immediately saw that if not for Rising Life, I would never have connected with Twin Lakes Worship Center. I saw that the studio and all my success as a producer would never have happened. I saw that without Rising Life, I would have never been able to leave my job. However, none of that addressed the future of Rising Life, if there even was one.
As I sat in the studio, I had the greatest and most calming epiphany. I simply said, “Ok God, I get it, I see it, thank you. If this is as far as it goes, then thank You for the ride of a lifetime. I am a fulltime musician, worship leader, and award winning producer. I officially have ‘made’ it. I am finally ‘happy’ with me and with where You have lead me.”
It was the most calming feeling ever. To let go of something, an issue, or anything that is causing you great anxiety. To just say, you know what, it’s fine, I am happy and You got this, and I am just going to let go and just follow You. It was amazing. I meant it too. I was happy. Following God with Rising Life has lead to everything I have in my life. So I settled in to my new reality that I am where I am.
Get Up, Get Dressed, Do the Work
HOWEVER, God wants us to do the work as well. So I thought, well why can’t I just build our fan base through the internet and just have Rising Life live on the internet? I have a lot more ministry in me and a lot more to say for the Lord. I had started a Twitter account when I started Rising Life, @risinglifeband, I had about 100 followers for a long time. Never worked it. Really didn’t understand it or care. Around the end of January, my good friend Lew Jetton gave me some tricks and I thought, what the heck, let’s give it a shot. I quickly got up to 1000 followers. I set it up to simply send an automatic message when someone followed us, telling them, God Bless and thanks for the follow.
Well, unbeknownst to me, this decision was going to lead to the biggest moment thus far in Rising Life’s tenure. A man named Duane Lawder followed me. He owned and operated ‘Sober for Life Radio.’ A very popular internet radio station that was based around recovery from substance addiction and Christ centered. He wrote back, “God bless you too. I am going to listen to your album right now.”
A day or so later he wrote back that he loved the album and wanted to use music from the album on his radio station. I made the joke, ‘Why don’t you play the whole album?’ Against all odds he said, yes! Not only that, he wanted to bring me on the show and do an interview with me and have me talk about Rising Life and also the meaning behind all the songs.
So we did it. It was about a 3 hour show. The rest is history. That was the exact moment the proverbial ball started rolling and in a big way. That has lead to SO many things. The #2 single, video shoots, concert bookings, and many more things. There will be more on Duane and his story soon, but here is the whole point of this.
Just Let Go, and Let God…
I floundered for a year with trying to figure out the future of Rising Life on my own. Then when I finally let go of it all, it was literally the next day Duane came into our lives.
Yes, use your wisdom, do the work, however, stop trying to figure it out on your own. Truly let go. Don’t do like I did. I was using worldly thinking and reasoning to make a ministry work. It was in HIS time, not mine or Kristy’s. I was impatient. However, there is also the possibility that He just wanted me to finally get to the point where I was ok with whatever happened. To truly be there. I might have wanted it too much. Patience definitely paid off.
Either way, we are now dressed and ready to go!
Heath and Kristy