• John Emmanuel

What Inspired me to Write and Sing by John Emmanuel

When I was a child all I wanted to do was sing, especially when I was alone and when no one could hear me. As much as I loved to hear the sound of my own voice and discover the notes I could reach I was very aware that my talking voice was very high pitched and girly unlike my singing voice. As a result I was made fun of for most of my young life.

I suppose back then I was not the norm. I was not a boisterous child but quiet and somewhat introverted. I didn’t play with the other boys from the street as I didn’t like fighting or getting into trouble. My best friend was Jesus and The Saints. I loved God and all things religious. I was raised as a Catholic but also as a Protestant as I lived most my childhood between my family and two elderly neighbours who somewhat adopted me as their child.

When I look back I can see that my childhood was lonely but it was in this loneliness that my love for God grew. I would read the stories of the bible and look at the bright vivid colours of the pictures and wonder, who is this man Jesus? And why do I feel so connected to Him? It was as if I knew Him and I wanted to know Him more.

During this time I was encouraged to play a musical instrument so I was bought a keyboard one Christmas and I remember playing well know festive songs, very badly I might add. I became frustrated with learning how to play and so I gave it up and instead started to write my own songs and lyrics as I found this easier to do.

It was only on very rare occasions I would sing for people. I was painfully shy and aware that I was different or I was made to feel different. I look back on that boy child and I feel hurt and sadness that he never got the confidence in his childhood to believe in himself or to see his gifts. Being mocked and laughed at took its toll and eventually I stopped singing. I did not believe in myself. That belief would only return many years later.

Even though I discovered and got involved in other forms of the creative arts I always felt a call to sing. Eventually I auditioned for a Musical and part of that process was to act, dance and sing. It was only after facing that challenge did I realise that singing was and is an integral part of who I am and that I cannot simply give it up. Here was the garden in which my confidence would grow along with other talented people who supported and encouraged each other.

It was at this time that I met a very special person in my life. Her name was Kate and she was involved in a prayer group in my hometown of Downpatrick. I had seen her many times at Mass on a Sunday but I started to go to weekday masses and she was always there.

One day I prayed that if it was Gods will, she would come over and speak to me. I sat at the back of the Church watching her as she got up to leave. I was shy and made no eye contact but I recognised something very Holy and special about her. I put my head down to pray still asking God to send her to me as I felt a deep connection. When I thought she had left the Church I lifted my head up and she stood right beside me. It was then she told me that God had asked her to come over to me. Well, my jaw dropped and I told her my prayer request, that she would come over and talk to me. We both knew from that day on God had a special plan for both of us and we became the best of friends.

Kate became my soul friend and the person in my life who made me realise that God has a plan for me and my music. I was to keep praying and trusting in Him. Her motto was “All in Gods time”.

0 views0 comments