At the age of 5, a young girl was recruited to sing in her first church
talent show. Though she spent many hours memorizing the words to her song, on the day of
her performance, she refused to get on stage. Her mom was left with little choice: She
made her daughter perform. By the end of the song, the girl was having so much fun, she
didnt want to leave the stage. In fact, her mom had to drag her away.
Though it has been nearly two dozen years since the performance, Crystal
Lewis is still enjoying her time on stage. With 15 albums to her credit (including
contemporary Christian musics No. 1 song of the year, "People Get Ready
Jesus Is Coming"), Lewis shares her love and passion for Christ with crowds attending
Franklin Graham crusades, Harvest crusades, an her own concerts.
"My mom was a huge musical influence as an accomplished
pianist," Lewis says. "She encouraged me and my sisters in music. She even made
me see a voice coach, but I only went about 10 times. I was pretty bratty."
Even without many vocal lessons, Crystal Lewis was developing her own
style. At 16, she recorded her first album with the band Wild Blue Yonder. A year later,
she recorded her first solo album. At 19, she married Brian Ray, and a few years later
they started their own independent record label Metro One. Today, Lewis is 28 years old
and has two children, Isabella and Solomon.
With so much experience under her belt, its no wonder Lewis says she
feels like a veteran. "Its been a long road, but I like being this young and
accomplishing so much. My husband and I keep thinking Oh, now we have more time in
life to develop other things. Wed really love to experiment and explore other
options, such as a childrens record."
Lewis admits that one of her biggest struggles is having a daily quiet
time with God. "I have great discipline in other areas, but Im really lacking
in that. I can refute any one of my own excuses for not making the time: My kids are
young; they get up so early; the only time I have to myself is at night, and then I want
to talk to my husband. Yet, I know God wants me to put Him first."
In fact, her latest album, Gold, was born out of personal quiet
times and studies. As she wrote for the album, several of the songs began to revolve
around certain themes unintentionally. "The title song is taken from the passage in
Job that says, When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" she
explains. "That theme of discovering Gods purposes in the midst of suffering
and trials is woven through several of the lyrics. Theres nothing wrong with
accentuating the positive, but sometimes we need to come back to reality."One of the cuts, "Remember Who You Are," is a
simple saying that accompanies Lewis wherever she goes. Her father began instilling it
within her when she was a young child. "Whenever I would go out as a teen, my dad
would say, Remember who you are. Over the years its meaning has changed to me,
but I find myself saying it to my kids. Its a reminder that you are not your own.
You were bought with a price. Youre committed to Christ, so live for Him."
That advice follows Lewis into all of her relationships, including her
marriage. "Marriage is work," she says. "Its really fun and great,
but its still work. As Christians, were supposed to let God be the head of our
marriage. While thats an incredible experience, its also very humbling.
"My advice as far as marriage goes is that it doesnt do any
good to develop an exact picture of what youre looking for because it probably
doesnt exist. I have friends who have lists of thing they want in a partner and
theyre not willing to compromise, but you have to be willing to compromise. Have two
or three priorities and let God handle the rest."
Used by permission Christian Single Magazine.