Twila Paris: Her Heart's Desire
By Mimi Elliott
The 700 Club
Twila and her husband, Jack, waited about 15 years to have their first child, J.P. In this interview with Lisa Ryan, Twila looks back and sees how following God's timetable can be a joyous endeavor.
LISA RYAN: A lot has changed since the last time you were with us.
Tell us about the new addition to your family.
TWILA PARIS: The big change is Jack Paris Wright, whom we call J.P.
for short because his dad is named Jack. Hes almost 2 now. The short
version of the story is that we found ourselves married for almost 15 years,
and due to a combination of circumstances, still did not have children. At
that point in our lives, I was not praying, 'O Lord, please give us a baby.'
I was just saying, 'Lord, You know what? You know whats best, and please
do what You know is best.' It just so happened that around that same time
we were working on a childrens album that had been planned for a long
time, and as far as I knew, I was writing lullabies for other peoples
children. From my point of view, it looked like I would never have children
of my own. But God gave me such a joy and a passion, and I think I enjoyed
writing those songs more than Ive ever enjoyed any project. I literally
finished writing those songs and sent the tape off to the producer, and four
or five weeks later, I found out I was expecting this child at the age of
RYAN: Oh my goodness!
PARIS: It felt like a miracle to me, and it was so bathed in prayer.
We have just seen Gods hand at work every step of the way.
RYAN (reporting): And every step of the way, Twila had faith. But
she was candid with me about the disappointment that comes with facing infertility.
PARIS: It had been probably six or seven years before, I guess around
that magical age of 35, that it just kind of hit me. I thought, This might
not just be a matter of timing. Maybe this in never going to happen, and,
girl, you need to confront that and deal with it. I had friends who had
gone down that road of bitterness with this same issue.
RYAN: For women, a lot of our identity is wrapped up in motherhood
and bringing life into the world.
PARIS: Yes, it is what is expected, and you grow up your whole life,
and you get married, and you and your husband look forward to that phase of
your lives. When it doesnt happen, it can be very devastating. And I
remember God spoke to me at one point and really encouraged me with the fact
that in my particular case, Hed blessed me with an awful lot of spiritual
children over the years. Thats not just some sort of compensation; thats
a wonderful blessing, and Im so grateful for that. The whole thing of
Gods calendar, sometimes Im chasing J.P. around at the end of
the day and thinking, This would have been easier 10 years ago, but
in some ways my schedule in my life was different, and God knows the perfect
Years later, when I was expecting this child, I felt like the Lord spoke
to me and said, 'Do you remember that calendar that you thought was getting
behind? Well, I have a calendar, too, and I havent ever forgotten you.
But My calendar is a lot bigger than yours, and it never gets behind.' Thats
something that Ive told a lot of people who dont have children
or who arent married yet, whose careers arent taking off the way
they thought they would be. God doesnt waste time. He always uses those
interim years in beautiful ways to do His work and prepare us for whats
RYAN: You come from such a great family legacy of ministry. Your grandparents
were in ministry; your parents were in ministry, evangelists; you have a cousin
who started YWAM. Did you feel a responsibility to go into ministry?
PARIS: I knew even then I never had a dream to be in mainstream music,
and with all this family heritage and all these ministers, that I needed to
do Christian music. The music was to make me happy; the Christian music was
to make them happy. And God, I thought if He could be kept happy along the
way, that would probably be good as well.
RYAN (reporting): Favor she has had. Her latest CD, House of Worship,
is her 18th recording. Twila wrote half of the new worship songs
since the birth of her son.
PARIS: Ive always sprinkled worship songs along here and there
on other projects. About 10 years ago, we did an album that was entirely devoted
to worship. And at that time I remember thinking I want to do this again.
It took 10 years before we were ready to do an album that was completely new
worship songs, although we did add a couple of the older ones on as well.
But there are 10 new songs.
RYAN (reporting): While it seems as though everyone in the Christian
music industry is into worship, Twila definitely sees the latest movement
as a 'God thing.'
PARIS: I think that was a very God-driven thing because suddenly it
was the young people that seemed to be the catalyst for what God was doing.
It seemed to me this isnt just something the industry is trying to cook
up, or something that the pastors have finally talked people into, but its
just a movement thats driven by the Holy Spirit.
And it seems to me that one of the many productive ways that God uses worship
in our lives is that when we offer it to Him, He comes and inhabits us and
the places in which we worship and does His work.
One of the other ways that He uses worship is that powerful victories are
won in the spiritual realm that we cant see through our worship. I recently
finished a tour called 'I Worship,' and I think we started the tour literally
the night after the war in Iraq started. So I thought, Here we are. Its
very interesting that night after night the body is just coming together and
were just worshipping. I wonder whats happening in the spiritual
realm in our world just through this worship.
RYAN: While physical battle is taking place in our world, there is
spiritual battle taking place through worship.
PARIS: Yes, and you wonder about so many of these young men and women
who have been in harms way. They are brothers and sisters. They are
Christians. What protection might be coming to them because the body of Christ
is together worshipping because we spent some time specifically praying for
them tonight in the midst of our worship? Its always so incredible in
all the ways that God allows it to get to feel like were a small part
somehow of what Hes doing in such a large scale, to have that sense
that Hes using us in those ways. Its just incredible.
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