God’s Shift from Winter to Spring
Seeing Yourself as the Gift
Rebecca St. James left a phenomenal career to be with her family. Some may find it surprising that the Grammy Award winner, actress, author always had a dream to marry and have a family.
Shortly after her wedding in 2011, Rebecca wanted a quieter season. She felt herself slowing down. Her husband Jacob was traveling all around the world with his band, and Rebecca felt a call to move from running on three or four tracks to just one. She wanted to focus on just one track – her own family.
When asked about transitioning from her successful career as a celebrated singer and song writer, Rebecca said, “It wasn’t a hard thing to do. It’s been ten years now. I can’t believe it. It’s my dream! I’ve always wanted to be a great wife, a great mama and to give my all to that.”
People had always asked about Rebecca’s “update.” Her reply always included her newest album, a book she was working on or an upcoming tour. “I could go down the list of what I was doing at any point,” Rebecca shared.
Then suddenly, she found herself at home or travelling a little bit with her husband, but the list no longer existed.
“I’m somewhat of a type A – the oldest child of seven – kind of person. Slowing down made me see how normal being productive had become in my adult life.”
This quieter season caused Rebecca to ask herself questions like –
- What is my value?
- What am I bringing to the table in relationships?
- Where am I finding fulfillment?
“It was actually really healthy to find my identity,” Rebecca admitted. She worked with a counselor and although found it painful at times, she described it as very freeing. “[My counselor] said, ‘Rebecca, you can sit in a room with someone, not say anything, and your presence – just who God made you to be –is the gift.”
Rebecca took his words all in. She said, “I’m the gift. I’m who He made me to be … not performing, not saying anything.”
Sometimes it can be difficult to discover your worth and understand who you are outside of what you do. It’s important to see yourself as who God created you to be. It’s not what you do every day, but who you are in Him. You are created to be the gift by Him and for Him.
God’s Shift – from Winter to Spring
Joel and Luke Smallbone from for King and Country are two of Rebecca’s siblings. Four years ago, during an event she did with her brothers in Alaska, God made a major shift in Rebecca’s heart.
“While I’m on stage in worship, which feels significant, a lot of the burnout pain fell away. So much of the music is fulfilling, beautiful and such a gift to be able to do it, but there was also a cost to it in my personal life.”
Prior to the event, Rebecca and her husband had been trying to get pregnant. “I’d miscarried a couple of times right before that. We were in a winter season.”
But in that moment on stage, the pain from the miscarriages fell away too, and Rebecca felt hope arise.
“I realized on stage God was doing this massive work. I realized I missed the connection that I have with Jesus when I sing. I’ve missed dependence [on Him]. And in this profound moment as I walked off stage, I said to Joel, my brother, ‘God’s just called me back to music. He’s just done this massive work in my heart. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I know a major shift has happened.”
Rebecca said, “I fell pregnant right after that trip … literally within weeks!”
Rebecca felt like she had survived a long winter in her heart. In that moment on stage, she described it as “an internal spring, a sunrise or renewal.” Rebecca was pregnant with her son and with hope of something new. [link to blog about Rebecca’s song]
“We’re all so desperate for hope and encouragement,” Rebecca said with a smile. “I think of what God has brought me through. It was a winter season for quite a few years. It was the sense of – What’s going on in my life, Lord? I’m trying to get pregnant and there’s a miscarriage happening. It’s hard to hope when the heart is sick. And then seeing God bring spring and change our lives internally and externally. Wow!”
Even now Rebecca says, “I was single a lot longer than what I hoped I would be. I thought, Oh, late twenties, I’ll probably get married.” Rebecca married at 33, a lot later than she expected. But God redeemed all that time,” she shared. “I will always pinch myself at the fact that I’m married and have children. I just feel so grateful.”
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