At the Talleys concert a few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Lauren Talley Alvey's book Songs in the Night. I just started reading it this weekend, and so far I'm really enjoying it.
I've read a couple of other books by Southern Gospel artists and have found them all very interesting. The books give you insights into the lives of the artists. I think it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability for each of these artists to share such details about their lives. I really commend them for sharing their stories and putting themselves out there.
Several years ago I read Broken on the Back Row an autobiography of Sandi Patty. I was surprised by how open and honest she was about her life. She shared with readers where she had come from and how God had seen her through every aspect of her life. To me, the book showed so much courage on her part for her to tell about her life, her struggles and how she made changes to live and glorify Him.
More recently I have read Trusting God to Get You Through by Jason Crabb and Hear my Heart by Sheri Easter. They also have a great sense of transparency with their lives. Jason shares about his early beginnings in Kentucky and opens up about how hard his parents' divorce was as a young boy. He talks about the early start of the Crabb family and the joys of the first Grammy nomination. Jason also shares his struggles and his heartbreaks. The title speaks for itself in that Jason through it all trusted God to get him through all those times.
Sheri's book had me laughing and crying all within minutes. I loved hearing the fun stories such as how she and Jeff met and their family vacations. But it was also so heartfelt with her sharing about her battle with breast cancer and her taking care of her mother who is battling with Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia. She showed what strength God had given her as she faced cancer with her journal entries from this time period. Her honesty really allows the readers to have glimpses of her heart and exactly how she was feeling.
I really admire the artists who are willing to share their lives with their fans, the good and the bad, the proud moments, the struggles. I commend them on their honesty and transparency that it takes to write about their lives. We all have our struggles and our difficult times, and these books show that even if you have dedicated your life to serving Him, you are not immune.
Most importantly, for each of these artists, they show their fans how God was able to give them strength and see them through each situation. They are able point their fans in a different way to Christ than just standing on a stage singing and worshipping Him. They open up their lives to show the reality of their circumstances and how they have had to rely fully on God. These artists show that they live out what they sing about every weekend.
If you haven't read these, here's my plug for them! I look forward to reading more from Lauren Talley Alvey and learning her story.