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MP3 David Graves - I Have A Voice

With a voice that produces power vocals, yet draws us in with his heart and conviction, David''s style is a combination of pop, rock, and r&b.

11 MP3 Songs
POP: Today''s Top 40, GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel

This has been an incredible journey. I remember in college, a mentor of mine reminded me that God''s calling and gifting in our lives is irrevocable.

I have fought, kicked, and screamed my way in the last few years with God angry that he didn''t see as clearly as I did that the plan I had for me was a good one. I couldn''t understand why he was allowing me to struggle everyday with life, who I was, and who I was becoming.

Through various desperate circumstances, my life came to a boiling point this past year. With the help of those who love me, support me, and pray for me, I came to realize that my life was unmanageable and that without God''s Divine intervention, I would be heading down a long dark path of destruction of both myself and others.

My friend and therapist, Mark Means, told me that I needed some serious emotional surgery to cut to the core of my issues and why I struggled with intimacy in relationships as well as why I was a raging workaholic. He suggested that I go to a place called OnSite. I didn''t know anything about it but I knew that I had to allow God to do something in my life because what I was doing and had done wasn''t working. I was a wreck and only hid my feelings of shame, guilt, and failure in my unquenchable desire to succeed and be validated in my job.

OnSite changed my life. I encountered a Living God who has been waiting on me to give up for the last 19 years since I confessed Him as my Saviour.

I remember the first day as I checked in and settled on the front porch of my cabin, it was quiet and there was no activity. I didn''t have my cell phone or my computer to check my email. The silence on that porch was deafening. I couldn''t stand it. Questions of Who am I? Who have I become? Who do I want to be? Who does God want me to be? Who has God called me to be?

I sat there with two guys named Scott and Leslie. Tears rolled down my face as I realize what a mess I had made of my life. As I told them my story of burying myself in work and the other issues of my struggle, the silence was driving me crazy. I couldn''t spend the next seven days like this. I will lose my mind in this silence. As we talked, Scott looked me in the eyes and said, "there is something beautiful in the wait." I recognized that if I would make myself open and available, God was going to do an incredible work in my life to reveal Himself in me.

That night after we finished our group meeting, I made my way into the main house to find the piano. When I sat down, it was like the feeling of walking in your grandparents house and being taken back to that feeling of warmth and security. I hadn''t been playing and writing for a long time because I was struggling to know who I was and I have to write from my situation. Until OnSite, I had forgotten how to be in touch with my feelings or my own heart. When I began to play, I can''t explain it but I heard God as clear as day tell me that he was going to work in my life this week at OnSite and that a lot of my healing and recovery would happen at that piano.

So each night I would return after our group meeting to that piano and wait on God to move in me. On Sunday night, I sat and just played and began to cry as I recognized that He was fulfilling his promise. I am not sure I can explain this next part with any justice but as I began to play and sing, it was as if I started to sing what God was speaking to my heart without even thinking about it and the lyric came out,

"Wait, Just Wait, I won''t move until you move in me."

I knew that God was beginning a new chapter of recovery in my life that I would not be able to explain and that I was content not to be in control and to allow Him to work. That night as I sat and cried once the song was written, I ask God to use me however He saw fit. I want to be a part of something bigger than me.

On Tuesday morning, we did an exercise in our large group. The leader ask us to clear our laps of anything and to close our eyes and begin to relax. She began to paint a relaxing picture of hills, meadows, and flowers. As she continued she ask us to top a hill in our mind and once over that hill we would see ourselves as a child playing. She ask us to invite our inner child to come and sit with us and for us to talk to them. I was blown away by this. As soon as the exercise was over. I sat at a table and wrote "Inner Child," about the things that I told to myself as a kid.

Inner Child, Simple One

Precious Gift, Cherished Love

Keep your laugh, Save your smile

Most of all, Be alive

You are loved, Inner Child.

As a child, I wanted to be validated and affirmed. As an adult, I have a choice. I can resent what I didn''t have as a child or I can make choices today that will affirm and validate who I am. My job is not my identity. It is what I do. What will define me is what God does in and through me. I am His child, a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with codependency which manifest itself in workaholism, false pride, and control issues.

Each of these events are building blocks to what God did that week. I am thankful that my life was in such shambles that I was finally willing to surrender and listen.

The end of the week was near. It was Thursday night and we would participate in one last large group meeting to wrap up the week. On this night, we were able to say thank you to our group leaders and then we received a coin as a rememberance of the work we had processed at OnSite. When we received our coin, we were ask to turn and tell one thing that the week taught us about ourselves. After I thanked my leaders, I turned and said "It is time for my heart to sing" knowing that God was working in my life to write and sing for a much bigger purpose than myself. Jodi was one of the last one''s to go and when she received her coin, she turned and said "I Have A Voice." As soon as she said those words, I turned to Kelly, who was seated next to me and said that what Jodi said was a song. This is when I wrote the chorus.

I Have A Voice, she whispered.

I Have A Choice, she prayed.

There is a God with mercy

I don''t have to stay.

After the meeting was over, I went to the piano to finish the rest of the song. I cannot explain it but it was as if the song was always there and the door had just been unlocked for me to find it. My friend Will was standing there as I wrote it. I ask him to find Jodi so I could give the song to her to encourage her in her road to recovery. After playing the song for her, I played the song for a few others who were close by. I gave the original copy of the song to Jodi and told her that this was a gift to encourage her.

On my way home from Nashville, I kept hearing the song in my head. I knew that I was supposed to give the song away and not keep it for myself. I wasn''t sure what to do or who to give it to. I promised Jodi that I would not let anyone hear it or give it away until we had recorded the song and Jodi was able to hear it and approve. I got the call from Jodi on a Sunday morning as I was leaving church. I still have that message saved on my phone. In the meantime, Kelly from Colorado had emailed me to tell me about a dove pendant she found while surfing the web that was designed for women who had survived domestice violence and she said it was located in Alabama. The web address was https://www.tradebit.com

So I decided to check out the site and realized that SafeHouse was less than ten minutes from my house. This was my county''s local battered women''s shelter. I knew that this was the place that I was to take the song to help encourage women in their journey of recovery.

After Jodi called me on that Sunday morning, I called SafeHouse on Tuesday morning. After telling them about how the song came about, I asked if I could meet with them so that I could give the song to them for them to use however they saw fit. I met with the staff of SafeHouse and wanted them to know that I was only a small small part of something much bigger that God was going to do. As a token of their thanks, they presented me with one of the breaking free dove pendants from their website. The dove pendant was attached to a piece of silk.

On Saturday, I decided to call The Bead Biz in Helena to see if Lora, the designer of the pendant would change the silk out for a piece of leather. I called Lora and she sounded so excited to talk to me. She said "It is an honor to talk to you and thank you for the song you wrote." In my mind I am thinking, are you kidding? You are honored to meet me? I can name a hundred people who would say otherwise. (Hint: can you tell that I struggle with shame and guilt?) I was so excited that I would have the opportunity to meet Lora that afternoon around 4 pm. Lora is one of the most humble and authentic people that you will ever meet. I also met Lea who was there taking pictures for an upcoming magazine article. The three of us talked for hours about SafeHouse, the crime of domestic violence, and what we could do to make a difference to help women.

I wake up each day and ask God to use me however He sees fit according to His purpose and plan.

The story of hope and recovery continues with every note and every breathe.

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