… My move from California to Georgia …
There is such a beauty in unpredictability. When I decided to pursue a career in music (almost two years ago now), I had no idea where it would take me–all I knew was, I was in for a lot of hard work and inevitably, a wild ride.
My husband and I initially moved to the San Francisco Bay area because I had some concrete recording and songwriting opportunities. My days were spent in the studio with my mentor, Michael Capella, both recording and learning how to song write. I am so grateful for this time I spent in what I call, “artist incubation”–an extraordinary period of my life where I began the process of learning who I want to be as an artist and a musician. It has prepared me for the next phase in my career.
Where I lived in Sonoma County is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And as an artist, it seemed as though there were endless amounts of inspiration. But as far as music opportunities are concerned, Sonoma County is limited. I would have to leave the safety of “artist incubation” and fly away from my comfortable little creative nest if I wanted to grow.
And I wanted to grow. I needed to grow.
I still want to grow. Always. And sometimes growth is scary and it may require growing pains, but I would rather endure the discomfort and run toward my dreams than sit in wonder never knowing what could have been.
Which brings me to my next point.
God works in mysterious ways. And if you allow him to REIGN over your dreams, things will happen that you never dreamt of. Human tendency is to try and control, but when we do so too tightly, we are unable to participate in the supernatural ways God works. When our grip is too firm, it leaves no room for the miraculous. What I learned was that:
When I stopped trying to plan my next career moves, and surrendered them to God, amazing opportunities arose.
… Opportunities only God could have orchestrated. My nightly practice for the last year or so has been to pray on my knees and tell God that, “I surrender all.” For me, that means surrendering everything–My career, my family, my life, and all the details in between. Since doing so, several remarkable things have occurred. The story I am going to share is an example of that and is also the reason for our move from CA to GA.
But before I share the story, you need a little background information. My husband, Sam, is from Georgia and the connections he has here are never ending. Along with my husband, his family (my family now!) is also very well connected. My in-laws used to book talent from across the country at their bar and restaurant, Timothy Johns, in the 70’s and 80’s. My brother-in-law, John Robert (JR), is a hair stylist to the Who’s Who of Atlanta (private message me if you need a great cut and color…), and fortunately for me, he has been promoting my music amongst some very important people within the music industry.
They have been conspiring for years to get my husband and me back to Georgia, but I have always been the hiccup in their plan. Even as recently as February, I told my husband that I would NEVER move to Georgia. EVER! (I was quite dramatic about it) Because I loved California so much.
(Be careful what you say… Never is a strong word. LOL.)
Now, on to the remarkable story…
In April of this year, my husband and I traveled to Atlanta for the wedding of some close friends. I had been praying for some time that God would put me in touch with the people He wants me to know and keep me from the people He does not. A few days before leaving for our trip, I got a text message from my brother-in-law saying that a very influential music manager based in Atlanta wanted me to call him immediately to schedule a meeting while I was Atlanta. (John Robert had given him a copy of my CD). I gave him a call and we ended up meeting in person four days later. FOUR DAYS! He gave me invaluable career advice, that included a suggestion to move to Atlanta–where the music scene is shifting and growing. Then he asked if I would be willing to meet with Jan Smith, vocal coach to the stars (Usher, Justin Bieber, Sugarland, to name a few), so she could hear my voice.
Would I be willing? Um, YES.
I met with Jan Smith FOUR days after that for TWO hours. She gave me a complete vocal analysis and she also suggested (unbeknownst to what the manager told me) that I move to Atlanta. She said that Atlanta is on the verge of really blowing up in the entertainment world, and that if I got here before it did, I would be putting myself in a position to win. (She also told me to stay in contact with her…)
Oh, and the icing on the cake was randomly meeting (but was in random? *HINT *HINT) an Atlanta radio DJ in Piedmont Park. I was practicing a song softly aloud and this DJ turned around and asked if I was a professional vocalist. We exchanged information and have been in contact ever since about how to get plugged into the music community in Atlanta. (I contacted and re-contacted DJ after DJ in Sonoma County to little avail so meeting a DJ in Atlanta is a HUGE deal).
Boom. Connection, connection, connection.
I didn’t do anything other than pray and show up.
God did the rest. Don’t get me wrong, I work really hard to prepare myself for opportunity–but I have learned to let God create the opportunity. He does a much better job than I do.
After regurgitating all of this industry advice to my husband, we both agreed the road God set us on was pointing to Atlanta. Sam quit his job and less than three months later, we are now residents of the great state of Georgia. (I’m pretty blessed to have a husband like him).
I am excited about this next chapter in my music career, and I am looking so forward to seeing what God does next!
Take-Away: Surrendering and being open to whatever God has in store leaves room for all kinds of miraculous-ness, not just for me, but for you, too.
Go and love one another,