There are many times in life where it seems that you are going backwards or even standing still, instead of going forward. There is an uncertainty to your own abilities and whether you will be a success or a failure. In spite of those realities, there are also the things that make you happy and excited once they have happened or have been achieved. Stephanie Smith is familiar with all of these things.
Stephanie and her brother were raised in Pennsylvania by her mother. Her father was in the Midwest, keeping his distance from the family. Regardless, Stephanie and her family were active in their community and their church family. She attended a non-denominational church growing up. She was shy, but there was someone who noticed that she had an impeccable gift. It was her youth leader, Jonathan. He became a father figure to her and was able to help her realize her gifting and helped her to break out of her shell.
But it hasn’t always been easy.
“It’s weird on your psyche,” she says as she describes what it feels like to go from singing in a packed-out auditorium at night, to waking up at the crack of dawn to serve coffee.
Switching gears like that would definitely be hard to do. And even though there may be a struggle, Stephanie focuses on the big picture.
“God has been specific in making my dreams come true,” she explains.
As a little girl, she dreamt of singing in front of crowds. She also wanted to perform with Tobymac and be with Gotee Records. And so far, all those dreams have been checked off the list. She performed at Creation Festival in Pennsylvania and has done many performances at churches in the aftermath of her successes.
But there is still a challenge.
“It is hard to keep dreaming when things are not going as planned,” she says.
What a true statement!
What Stephanie means by this is that there is always that smidge of uncertainty that can prevent you from dreaming big because there is always a chance that what you dream for will not play out as expected. Everyone has this feeling. However, she remembers that God has given her a gift and as long as she has a dream, He will make it happen for her.
“The burden is on the Promise-Maker,” she tells me convincingly.
God has always reminded her of that. He is the Promise-Maker. That keeps Stephanie going. And that also forces her to extend and challenge her dreams while taking a humongous leap of faith. God is always there for her.
Another one who is always there for her is her road manager Emily. She is Stephanie’s best friend/roomie/travelling companion. She helps Stephanie with whatever she needs and is always supportive of what Stephanie does. Stephanie is really grateful to have a friend like Emily because being an artist in the music industry sometimes can be grueling and unsettling.
Even though her main ministry is her music, Stephanie is also active in three other ministries, Soles4Souls, Compassion International, and Pure Freedom. Soles4Souls is an organization that gets donations of shoes and in turn, donates them to people who are in need of shoes worldwide. Compassion International helps in sponsoring children who live in poverty-stricken environments. Stephanie was given the opportunity to meet her child, which is something that cannot be done on a regular basis. The other ministry that she is a part of is Pure Freedom. Pure Freedom is an organization that teaches about purity and modesty and what the Bible says about it.
It is apparent that Stephanie has a heart for helping people.
“I love my girlies,” she says excitedly.
Although it is her goal to touch all lives, Stephanie has a heart to reach young girls and teenagers. It is apparent in her music, especially in her song Superstar. Her lyrics are full of emotion and honesty. They are also filled with words that encourage you to keep on fighting through what may be trying to hold you back.
She will also have more opportunities to spread her message this fall because she will be a featured artist in the Winter Wonder Slam Tour. She will be accompanied by part of her Gotee family, Tobymac and B. Reith, as well as Relient K. She also plans on releasing an EP prior to the tour.
I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed when I was listening to Stephanie speak. She spoke with honesty as she described what she goes through in the pursuit of carrying out her dream. Some people think that by doing so it would make you vulnerable. But in my opinion, I see her as a fighter and a heroine. Even in the face of uncertainty, she plows through with formidable, God-given strength and ability. She is trailblazing as a solo, female, Christian rock artist.
You can learn more about Stephanie by going to her website http://www.stephanieisagirl.com. And of course she has a Facebook, MySpace, and a Twitter account. Go there to learn more about Stephanie and to keep up with tour dates and album info, etc.