(By Robyn Owen)
My friend texted, “Hope your week was a good one.” Have you ever found yourself wondering, in that split second following, whether you should say it was a good week or if you should tell your friend the truth? I’m a frequent flyer in the split second thoughts realm, and in this particular second I realized her timing was no coincidence. Just minutes before, my face was all twisted up and tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, organizing consultant and Netflix sensation. I don’t believe Netflix anticipated one of their viewers reacting so emotionally to watching Marie straighten up a single woman’s home. I needed to tell my friend the truth: my week was full to the brim, mentally and emotionally, and my brain needed a clean sweep, just like the show.
Our exchange of texts revealed the highs and lows of my week and we ended our chat by sharing hilarious gifs to lighten the mood. I felt altogether better, but why? The impression of the demands of the week hadn’t changed and my face was still blotchy from exhaustion and tears. So why did I feel lighter on my feet? Two things: one, I exercised courage, choosing vulnerability and two, my friend encouraged me.
Hello, my name is Robyn. It’s a pleasure to introduce myself and the topic of supporting one another. Let me preface this by sharing that I’m no expert, but God has a habit of using our experiences not only to qualify us, but to enlighten us all. Never shy away from sharing what God’s done in your life through your experiences. We need you! Colossians 3:12-14 says:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
By committing to these verses, we make ourselves available for God to use us in tremendous ways to influence the people around us, and maybe even the world.
In the summer of 2017 I was given the opportunity to write and record an album. This opportunity was a complete surprise, literally, a surprise birthday present. Before your thoughts jump ahead to images of elation, please picture the look of a child being told he’ll only eat Brussels sprouts for the rest of his life. My brain went into full-on panic mode.
Though singing has been a part of my life in various capacities since childhood, I was essentially gifted an opportunity that I felt was way beyond my abilities. Not only was I enthusiastically encouraged to embark on unknown territory-picture yourself being gifted life on another planet-but, an award winning producer was waiting in the wings, who’d yet to learn I’d forgotten how to read music since giving up piano lessons in 1993. How on earth was I supposed to write an album? I’d never stepped foot in a recording studio and Adele had just won five Grammy Awards only months before. I was a woman working a full-time job, raising two young children at home, navigating a blended family and life, one and a half years into my second marriage. I wrestled with self-confidence, fatigue, and anomalies too private to share, which clustered all at once. The list of epic proportion reasons why this gift was insane for me went on and on. Being the perfectionist that I am, I was a tad overwhelmed. (Picture that life sentence of Brussels sprouts.)
Fast forward to January 19, 2019; my album, You Make Me New, was released. When last I checked, the first single, “Flesh & Bones” has been played on 678 radio stations in 53 countries. If Rachel Joyce had given me permission to submit 798,629 words, only then would I be able to describe just how remarkable that gift was. I will never be the same and it’s changed the trajectory of my life. What I thought to be impossible, God made possible. He had a plan!
I've appreciated this quote from André Gide:
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
My ability to trust that God has life beyond the shore is a direct result of reflecting on how far He has brought me. Though I’ve battled anxiety and doubt, God has planted people in my life, those known to me and even strangers, who’ve exercised compassion, kindness, love, gentleness and patience. From small acts of love, to intentionally shouldering my burdens, to surprising me with the birthday present of all birthday presents, God has used people throughout my lifetime to nurture my gifts, whether they realized it or not. Their influence corroborated with God’s design to see me morph into the woman He’s always known me to be.
You Make Me New was written with you in mind. It’s an album inspired by experiences, written from a place of vulnerability, and intended to walk with you as you, too, take courage to lose sight of the shore. When you find yourself in the split second thoughts realm, harness the opportunity to be vulnerable, to grow, and to be an encouragement to others.
You Make Me New can be purchased anywhere you access music (AppleMusic, Spotify, GooglePlay) and RobynOwenMusic can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RobynOwenMusic.com and by email at RobynOwenMusic@gmail.com.
I’d love to hear from you! Contact me directly for bookings or a signed CD!