Find­ing her voice

The Oklahoman - - FRONT PAGE - Carla Hin­ton chin­ton@ok­la­homan.com

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”

[PHOTO BY DOUG HOKE, THE OK­LA­HOMAN AR­CHIVES]

Gospel record­ing artist Sandi Patty per­forms at the 2005 Ok­la­homa City Na­tional Me­mo­rial Com­mu­nity Can­dle­light Cer­e­mony in Ok­la­homa City.

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