Blog by Kristen Hicks
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Not long ago, my friend, Kamilah, and I went to a wine tasting. The tasting consisted of seven different types wines and paired them with 3 different kinds of cheeses. My most favorite thing about the whole experience was that before each wine was tasted, the lady would tell us about how it was made— what kind of grapes were used, how they were crushed, what was used in the process of crushing them, the age of the wine, what it paired best with—basically, just everything that made that wine unique. Each wine had its own story.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved music. I love singing— the passion behind it. I love that music produces something words alone simply can’t. However, I love when music collides with words. It creates something new— a way for people to express fears, explore passions, declare dreams. It creates space for something to be found—an encounter, maybe— an answer… I don’t know. But what I do know is, something happens.
Worship through music adds another level, I have found. It brings a person into agreement and aligns their body, soul, and spirit, with the person of Jesus. It ignites fire, inspires confidence, heals wounds, speaks truth, offers hope. I just feel like my truest self when I do this. I think it is an incredible example of the body of Christ operating as one—claiming the truth in unison. It’s proclaiming songs that someone else wrote out of their own encounter with the Holy Spirit and then allowing others to be able to own it for themselves.
I have literally asked the Lord countless times for the opportunity to do this– to record an album and share the songs He has given me with whoever I could convince to listen to them. I have wrestled with Him on it over the years, eventually, allowing Him to have His way, and wait for His timing. Even as this particular opportunity presented itself, I tried to run with it in my own way, until finally, He gave me the specs for it. He told me to only record seven songs. One is from Jesus, three are to Him, one is a lullaby, and two are love songs. You could say, these seven songs are like the seven wines I tasted. Each one unique, each one produced in a different way, each one having its own story. These songs shine light on different areas of my heart, but all are wrapped up and defined by the grace of Jesus. There is power in testimony—I know this from experience. So what I felt like the Lord told me to do in this project is not to just give you a song, but to give you a story with each song. That way it would produce His power for you to taste His goodness for yourself. (I will post a new story each week, so be on the lookout.)
The album is named “The Barn” because this is the story I’m in right now. I live in this barn, and I’m learning to embrace it and all the crazy good things the Lord is bringing out of it. It’s a hard season, which is why we intentionally took the picture of the cover on a rainy day. But it’s also a season that is pushing me to live differently, to see the world in a new light, and to wait in expectation for the Lord to simply come and sit with me. Hope. That’s the word of this process. Which is why the actual CD itself is such a bright color. It’s the closest thing I could find that reminded me of a sunset color.
I am terrified. I must confess that to you. As much as I have always wanted this, I am very much aware that I am putting myself in a vulnerable position for my heart to be torn to shreds. But, I also know that these stories, these encounters with Jesus, are meant to be shared. Even if, there is only one person pushed toward Jesus with these stories and songs, then it’s worth it. I sincerely mean that.
But my hope is that it’s more than one. I hope you find yourself in the middle of these stories, and that Jesus meets you there. I hope they bring out a new hope within you, not just in the things you’re waiting on, but in Jesus, claiming Him as your one, true hope. My prayer is that you realize that in the midst of whatever process He’s got you in, He is creating something within you. He is orchestrating your own song to sing—your own story to share. Finally, I hope these songs will simply encourage you to just keep going— ever believing, ever leaning, and ever singing to Jesus.
P.S. I would really like to give a really BIG, incredible shout out to Matthew Hicks and Jimmy Knott! You guys did an AMAZING job, playing on this album, mastering it, doing the artwork, just ALL the things!!! I could NOT have done it without you guys. I could not ask for better guys who care enough to get inside my heart and head and know where I’m at without me having to figure out how to say it. I love you guys and I am super thankful for yall!!! Also, shout out to Lydia Fuller for going out into the rain with Matthew and I, on one of the colder days, might I add, and taking the picture for the cover. Seriously Thank YOU!!!!