Pastor Lori-Anne Boutin-Crawford
I was 20 years old when I went to Nashville, in search of a career as a singer/songwriter. One of my cousins saw an ad in a local newspaper and suggested that I audition for a talent agency. After talking about it with my mom, to my amazement, she agreed to take me for a chance to ‘make it’ and fulfill my dream to record and perform my songs.
The night before my audition, I was a ball of nerves, completely and utterly anxious about performing. I felt sick to my stomach, and wondered if I would fail and freeze when it was time to sing. Before I fell asleep, I surrendered my dream to God, and began to understand the immensity of what was before me.
Miraculously, I awoke the next morning in incredible peace, and delivered my audition extremely well and I was invited out with a manager to sing at a local club afterwards. All auditions that day were aired locally, and viewers were asked to vote on their favourite performer. I happened to win the contest, and received an invitation to sing at the Grand Ole Opry for another contest of successful auditions only months later.
I declined the invitation. I came to realize that singing country music wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Although I had written love ballads, the kind of music that really poured out of my heart was about my faith and my relationship with God. I felt a bit embarrassed of the fact that this was my passion. I didn’t feel like I lived up to an acceptable social standard, because I thought “faith really isn’t all that cool.” I didn’t think anyone would really like my music and so I kept most of this music hidden and unheard.
After my trip to Nashville, I finished my studies, trying to find myself, heal, and aching to hear God’s call for my life. I had felt an earlier call when I was 18 to become a pastor, but had dismissed the reality of that being possible and true since the church of my youth did not ordain women to become priests. It took me until I was almost 28 years old to begin seminary and to start training to become a pastor, a decision that only came after sensing the constant nagging of God in my being and life experiences. God is really difficult to ignore and avoid. It took me quite a while to find my voice, and want to share it.
With the encouragement of my husband James and my family and friends, the members of First Lutheran who heard this music in a Psalm Study and producer Derek MacNeill, I have embarked on the journey to record this music.
I pray that this music will be an instrument of healing for those who are suffering, and for those who are in need of solace that God is with us in our times of greatest disappointment and despair. I pray that these songs be a light for those living in darkness, as they are waiting for God's light to shine. May this music bring comfort to the lonely, trust to the despairing, and solace that we are all unforgotten and held by the God who is with us always.