News Articles

Rebecca St. James shares secret to personal peace

GRACEVILLE, Fla. (BP)–At a time in the nation’s history when many are fearful, contemporary Christian artist Rebecca St. James points to the cross for peace.

“I think the biggest thing to remember is that whether we’re here with God on earth, or whether we’re in heaven with God-the point is that we’re with him,” said St. James just minutes before performing at a concert at The Baptist College of Florida.

“Really, whether it even breaks out into a long war, we know that no matter what happens to us that we’re taken care of . . .God’s on our side,” St. James said. “So we can rest in that.”

Her current “Wait For Me” tour, featuring songs from her latest album, “Transform,” began only three days after tragedy hit the nation on Sept. 11. St. James, 24, said the tour began as scheduled, but that is not to say that concerts have not been affected.

According to her official web site, seven out of nine concerts have been sold out with standing room only since the tour began September 14 with artists Rachael Lampa and Tree63.

“I think it’s actually brought more people,” St. James says. “People are just so hungry. They are willing to admit they’re hurting and that they need something more than themselves.”

St. James said the focus of the tour is now twofold. First, what she describes as “the number one thing” is the hope humanity has in Jesus.

She says it is the same hope that people have always had in God and His word. “That means we don’t have to fear, really,” she explains. “Nothing can change our status with God. Nothing can separate us from him.”

Second, she says she will continue to encourage youth “to make decisions based on godly choices and not self made choices.” The abstinence message has long been a staple of St. James’ concerts. Those who have followed her career will remember the personable, yet very candid conversations about abstinence she has had with thousands of concert-goers over the years. “I think a lot of young people just feel like ‘everyone’s doing it’ . . . or ‘I want to, so I will,'” St. James explains.

Her effort to encourage youth to strive for purity is heightened this year with the “Wait For Me” tour. The title is taken from the popular “Wait For Me” track off St. James’ “Transform” album. A favorite among teens and young adults, the single recently reached the number one slot on the CCM Christian hit radio chart. St. James says she wrote the song to her future husband, but also to encourage a generation of youth to maintain sexual purity. “God calls us to a higher standard, to a biblical standard of purity,” she explains. “I think also, not only is it best for us…but we’re standing for God and people are seeing a difference in our lives.”

Pointing to the promise ring she wears as a symbol of her decision to wait for her future husband, St. James emphasizes the necessity to not compromise or “go with the flow.” However adamant she is about the issue, she is quick to note that there is always forgiveness in the cross. “People who have made the mistake of having sex outside of marriage can start over and be completely forgiven and wait from now on,” St. James explains.

Some critics say St. James has reached a new maturity with this project, but she is quick to point the praise to her source of inspiration.

“Songwriting is without question the hardest thing I do,” she said. “In some ways it can be very frustrating when you have deadlines and all these pressures looming because it just puts more pressure on you to create and if you’re not feeling it there’s just almost nothing you can do.”

There’s just this very strong sense of abandonment to God saying, ‘God, I can’t force this. I can’t do it on my own. Inspire me.'”

St. James said writing for an album is always a “major trust experience” and she’s back at it again with work on a worship album to be released in March of 2002.

So what’s next for the Grammy award-winning artist? Will she stay in music forever? She says she’s not sure, but it is in God’s hands. “I really do feel like I have my palms open and just saying, ‘God, this is something you gave to me,” she said. “Take it away when you want to lead me to the next thing.'” “I really want to be in His will. That’s a big passion in my life.”

Above all, she said she must keep her focus on God.

“I know that if I don’t fill up on him, if I don’t maintain that relationship with him, then I have nothing to give,” she noted. “There is no reason for me to be doing what I’m doing unless I have him overflowing in my life.”

    About the Author

  • Heather Stewart