Rachel Lampa: Making the God Connection
By Jennifer E. Jones
March 31, 2005
After entertaining 120,000 people, Rachel Lampa must be tired. The pint-sized pop queen recently came off of a whirlwind 21-city tour with Newsong, tobyMac, Tait, and Matthew West. It was a great time to meet fans and see the impact of her successful, highly personal self-titled album. When the Winter Jam tour stopped by Norfolk, Virginia, I had a chance to sit with Miss Lampa and talk about faith and the great God connection.
Jennifer E. Jones: When you’re on the road, when do you find time to be yourself and just relax?
Rachel Lampa: I have a lot of that time. Sometimes I do interviews and sound checks but I have a good amount of time to be by myself and hang out with God and just chill.
Jennifer: What is He teaching you now?
Rachel: I think the biggest thing is patience with the things that I desire, and what I think should happen next, career-wise and personally. Just being able to sit back and allow Him to do things, whether that’s according to how I planned it out or not. It’s been really exciting for me now because before it was a little bit scary just letting go of the reins and letting God figure out what happens next. It’s cool to watch God lead me in certain directions and to meet certain people.
Jennifer: He’s great at making all those connections.
Rachel: It’s really fun to watch.
Jennifer: Well, the Dove Award nominations came out not too long ago. So many artists -- yourself included -- who made the ‘Best of’ lists for 2004 weren’t nominated. How did you feel?
Rachel: I’m never going to make a record just to win a Dove award. That’s not my focus. It was a little disappointing because of just what you said – a lot of the magazines and Web sites really enjoyed [my album], and it seemed like it was well received. The Dove awards are just a sign of appreciation to a certain artist. Maybe someone should be appreciated more than I am (laughs). It’s not too big of a deal to me. It’s okay.
Jennifer: You put so much into this last record, and everyone is talking about how you’re writing and co-writing. This is the first time you’ve ever done this. Take me through the process. How does it come from a thought in your head to an actual song?
Rachel: It is always different. There’s one song on there that I started writing three years ago. Slowly, the best lines I could think of I’d write down. I taught myself how to play piano so I could write it all myself. It was a really personal song, and I was afraid to show people yet. When I would write with Tommy [Sims], my producer, I would go to his studio and hang out everyday whether something came to our minds or not. Sometimes it would take a couple hours; sometimes it would take a couple days or a week. You really just draw from your experiences, what you’re being taught, what you’re struggling with, what you don’t have answers to. I really like to write from an extremely real perspective.
Jennifer: What was your favorite one to write?
Rachel: One of my favorites is “Room”. It comes from a really personal place in my heart. There was a time in my life when I hesitated to pray and ask for things because I thought that God had better things to worry about. So I was in a place where I said, ‘God, take a break from me.’ That’s hard to admit as an artist. So many people are listening to you and looking at you and [you think], ‘I’m not even talking to God that much now.’ A lot of people think that you shouldn’t be on stage. I thought too, well, maybe I shouldn’t. But I know that I can’t be the only one who goes through that stuff.
Jennifer: There are so many people who may listen to that and think, ‘This person who I see on magazines is going through the same thing I am. It must be universal. So, it must be okay.’ And if that touches one person…
Rachel: Yeah, and we’re all in this together. Why not just be honest about it?
Jennifer: I know you’ve said before that you talk a lot about your faith on this album. How has that changed from Live for You to Kaleidoscope to now?
Rachel: It’s definitely become a lot more real. It’s more in front of my face than out there. I’ve learned to have God at my side. He knows the deepest parts of my heart. The fact that I can’t hide it from Him makes me want to say, 'Let’s talk about it and fix it.' It’s caused me to be honest with myself and God. That’s the quickest and best way to grow. Be real about yourself and your weakness and get God to fill that hole for you.
Jennifer: That must be touching people’s lives. I know you've gotten to see this first hand. Has anyone told you a story that really got to you?
Rachel: There was one time, and I don’t know if it had anything to do with my song, but there was some kind of connection on stage that allowed this one girl to trust me. It was after a show in a restaurant back when I was on the Plus One, Stacie [Orrico] tour four or five years ago. I went into the bathroom, and she followed me. At first I was like, ‘Okay,’ but she got my attention and started crying. She had been raped and was so lividly mad at God for it. She was just starting to come into a relationship with Him. She felt like she was doing everything right, and she was just mad that God would allow her to go through something like that. We prayed and talked. I just prayed that she would soften her heart one more time and allow God to make good of what happened. She was so resistant but I gave her my email address to keep in touch if she needed anything. It was a while, and I had forgotten, but a few months later, she emailed me. She said, 'I finally allowed God to come into my heart. I feel clean. I feel new.' She was so healed. That was God, and it had nothing to do with my voice but it was God allowing a connection to happen.
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