You’ve all heard me talk about how much I love Andrew Peterson’s music. (And if you’re getting tired of it, I’m sorry.) He has really impacted me and my faith over the years. His songs go directly to my heart and stay there as I lift my soul in worship.
One week into college, I received in the mail the deluxe edition copy of his new album.
A few days before it was set to release, by-the-way. Pre-ordering has its perks.
I instantly fell in love with the songs. Especially ones I had been skeptical of when I saw the list of the song titles a few months ago. (For example, The Ballad of Jody Baxter.) Lesson learned, never judge a song by it’s name.
And then, my mom and I took off for Nashville last Friday, to attend the release concert of this new record.
Thanks Dad and Mom for this special gift!
Mr. Peterson’s new set of songs deal with issues of growing up. That sadness of looking back, and remember that time in your life when everything seemed in life seemed perfect and unstained. And then the hard realization that everyone makes as they enter their adulthood, that all is not so. While he is in his mid-late thirties and well past the “coming of age” stage, his children are now reaching this age, thus the issue is close to his heart.
I started this “growing up” journey when I was about nine or ten. (Well, actually when i was born, but you know what I mean.) I became aware of my own sin, and my undying need of a Savior. I also began to see that bad things happen. Sometimes for no apparent reason.
As the years progressed, while I had any easy time of things by most standards, the change came. The storm clouds of life did not simply skip over me as though I had a halo around my head.
I had a wonderful childhood. Don’t get me wrong. But just like with every other person on this planet, it came to an end.
At the risk of sounding melancholy, this last year has really been the culmination of this journey. This exile from Eden if you will. The sins of others have effected me in ways I never imagined they would. And my eyes have been truly opened to the aching of this world.
So, when I sat on the front row at this concert and sang along with the songs already near and dear to me, I wept.
And as I mourned the death of my little girl heart, I healed. God reached down and reminded me of His goodness.
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.
It was such an amazing experience. Hands down, the best concert I’ve ever been too.
“We wake in the night in the womb of the world, we beat our fists on the door. We cannot breath in the sea that swirls, so we groan in this great darkness, for deliverance.” – Andrew Peterson
But AP does not end with despair. Instead, he focuses on the hope that comes with maturity.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Cor. 13:9-12
“Maybe it’s a better thing, to be more than merely innocent, but to be broken then redeemed by love. Maybe this old world is bent, but it’s waking up, and I’m waking up. Cause I can hear the voice of One, He’s crying in the wilderness, ‘make ready for the Kingdom Come.’ Don’t you wanna thank someone for this? Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” – Andrew Peterson
Now for the fun stuff: As the date of the concert approached, I began to realize that since it was in Nashville, and it was the release show, and it was during Hutchmoot, (an annual conference held by Andrew Peterson and friends) that some special people were likely to be in the crowd.
Did I mention that the band CALEB was opening? The possibilities of who could be in the crowd because of them was pretty exciting as well. But I was still a little surprised to see Steven Curtis Chapman and his lovely bride walk past me as I settled into the front row. (They let us non-Hutchmoot-ers and non-guest list people sit on the front row.)
I waited until they had figured out their seating arrangements before going up to them.
“Mrs. Chapman,” I said, “I read your book in less than 48 hours.”
“Wow, that’s like speed-reading.” She said as she stood up and shook my hand. She proceeded to give me a hug and ask my name. I told her that “Choosing to SEE” had made me laugh and cry, and I thanked her for being willing to be so honest.
Mom reminded SCC that my dad had sung a duet with him in Tupelo in February, and we shared a laugh.
Other members of their family trickled in, including their daughter Emily and future daughter in-law and singer Jillian Edwards. Lots of other people recognized them and took pictures as well. 🙂
I got to talk to Jillian in the bathroom line during the intermission. She was SO sweet. The picture turned out blurry, but I’m posting it for Rebekah’s sake. 😉
I was pretty sure that Jason Gray was around, and I was not wrong. I spotted him coming in and immediately went up to him and thanked him especially for his song “I Will Find A Way,” and told him I was counting down the days till his new Christmas CD releases. He was extremely kind, and when he asked me my name and I told him, he recognized it because I’ve commented on some of his Social Media stuff. When my mom talked to him and said “I’m Mamie’s mom” he said, “her name is Mamie Rose, right?”
That pretty much made my already full night.
There were others in the crowd, Josh Wilson for example, that I didn’t manage to track down.
Caleb Chapman has an excellent voice.
Will Franklin Chapman is very talented on the drums. Scottie Mills does great background stuff.
Click HERE to see a video I took of them playing their song “Kingdom of Me.”
Andrew Peterson and his band (Comprised of Andy Gullahorn and Ben Shive) were amazing. He played six or seven old songs, and all ten of the new album. I was sad when it was over.
This is a video of one of his more famous songs that I recorded on Friday.