Growing up in a small town in central California, my dad wore two hats: he was a pastor, and he ran a recording studio. Looking back, it’s clear to see how this shaped me into the man that I am today.
I always wanted to sing; I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t love singing. I had my first solo when I was six, singing, ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’ in the children’s choir. It was adorable—or at least that’s what my grandparents have told me my whole life.
As I got older, church became an outlet for me to express my love for God and my love for music. I began to write my own music to connect with Him, and to share His love with others. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I found that much of my life seemed to be lived on a pedestal. I’ve never considered myself to be shy, but I always kept my personal life very close to my chest. Songwriting became a way for me to talk about personal things that I would have had a hard time sharing in conversation. When my experiences translated into music, and that music began to help people through their own experiences, I started to see my ministry take shape.
Around the age of fifteen I joined the Western All-State Youth Choir. Touring with the choir for many years pushed me out of my comfort zone and developed me in areas that I had been completely closed off to before. For the first time in my life I was not the ‘pastor’s son’—I couldn’t just beg my dad to let me off the hook if something in ministry felt uncomfortable. For the first time, I began leading worship with the choir, speaking publicly, sharing devotionals, and most importantly I started developing a prayer life alongside my fellow choir mates. It was during this time that I really learned what intercessory prayer was all about. Something truly powerful can happen when a bunch of like-minded young people gather together for one purpose! I credit of lot of who I am today to the choir tours I was a part of in my teens. I mean, I literally met my wife on one of those tours and, if that’s not life-changing, I don’t know what is.
If I was going to preach about faith I was going to have to learn to live by it.
I began to work for my dad in the recording studio, and over time he handed me the reins, allowing me to take over the business. Running the studio, working at the church, and doing my own music on the side kept me busy, but I still wasn’t satisfied; I wanted more! My heart was completely wrapped up in creating and writing my own music but for some reason nothing seemed to be taking off the way I had always dreamed it would.
I found myself in one of the darkest periods of my life. I was frustrated. A large part of my ministry was built around encouraging people to have faith in God and trust Him through every circumstance, and I found myself struggling to put it into practice. I wrestled with it week after week in prayer before God spoke to me a very profound thought. He said, ‘Have I not calmed the seas? Have I not raised the dead? Am I not strong enough to guide your every step?’ Instantly those words put me in my place. I was reminded that His promises would be fulfilled, but in His perfect time. If I was going to preach about faith I was going to have to learn to live by it. I was no longer anxious about reaching the finish line that I had set for myself, but I had peace knowing that through the journey I was learning to trust God’s process above my own.
If you are restless or anxious about your future, I just want to encourage you to trust God in the season that you are in! It is never easy because life always brings new challenges that test your faith, but if you can learn to genuinely trust in Him, He will provide for you in ways that you could never dream were possible. He’s done it for me and I know that He will do the same for you.
Want to know more?
Head to landrycantrell.com for information on Landry’s social networks and new songs.