Finding her voice
Sandi Patty writes in a new book about learning to share her faith.
Gospel recording artist Sandi Patty has a bevy of Grammy and Dove awards lining her shelves,each one a testament to her incredible vocal range (four octaves!) and stellar performances. She was given the nickname “The Voice” early on in her career, and the moniker fit. Yet, the iconic vocalist said there were often times throughout her life when she didn’t know how to share how she truly felt. Patty describes this period of feeling voiceless in her new book “The Voice: Listening For God’s Voice and Finding Your Own (Zondervan, $22.99).” She’ll sign copies of her book at a book signing set for Sunday at Crossings Community Church, where she attends with her family and also serves as artist-in-residence. In a recent telephone interview, Patty said being described as “The Voice” and feeling as if she didn’t have one seemed incongruous. “It was always ironic to me because I thought, if only you knew that I don’t even know how to speak up for myself,” she said. Patty, 62, said she decided to write her latest book as a way to encourage and inspire others who have felt voiceless in their lives. In the book, the singer opens up about things like sexual abuse, divorce, infidelity and her troubles with self image. She said she was a shy child and words didn’t come easily. Lacking self-confidence, she found it provident that she had a musical family. “Music and I just found each other at an early age. I would hear a song and I would think, that’s how I feel, so I would really learn a song to sort of communicate what was going on in my life,” Patty said. Experiencing sexual abuse as a child muted what little voice she had. Patty said she internalized negative messages left behind by the abuse and other experiences over a lifetime: “I’m not worth it. It was my fault. Nobody’s going to believe you or you’re going to be the one to get in trouble.” “So you just silence an already very quiet voice,” she said. Christian counseling helped her unload those messages. And ultimately, her faith in God and the belief that He truly loved her helped her find her voice. “It wasn’t until I really, really, really believed that God was so for me, He was with me, that He works through me and that He loves me. Those are easy phrases to say. I believed they were true but now, every time, I know they are true in my life and that has been the foundation,” she said. She wants to let others know that He’s there to help them find their voice, as well.
If we listen for God’s voice singing into our lives, we will discover the marvelous voice He has designed for each of us. — Sandi Patty in “The Voice”
Gospel recording artist Sandi Patty performs at the 2005 Oklahoma City National Memorial Community Candlelight Ceremony in Oklahoma City.