My Anything (2016)

Three Summers ago I participated in an online study called “Anything”…here’s what’s happened since, here is my Anything…

Following that Summer of surrender, longing for more, obedience, risk, and boldness for Jesus I began a journey, a journey full of joy, tears, humility, peace, mourning, and contentment…yes, all those things and more.

My Anything began with God calling me to step out with the gifts He has given me, to make music for Him, for His Glory. It started with a simple call to fill in as the interim worship leader at my church (which I always say I was not very good at) but God used it to reveal more gifts, more things He wanted me to do. A few short months following, our small 4 person Celebrate Recovery band led praise and worship in a prison gymnasium. Our now 5 person band travels to various prisons a few times each year. During the last two years my aunt and my mom have been diagnosed with breast cancer, I haven’t always had a close relationship with my mom but it has been during this time God led me to really be there for my mom. Dr appointments, hospital runs and stays, and loving her more have been God’s task for me during this time of her life. Along with that God has strengthened my music abilities, He showed me in late 2013 that I could play for myself and has grown and is still growing that gift exponentially. He has called me to be a worship leader, I enrolled in a certificate program in Worship Ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary last fall (2015) and should finish in Spring 2017. In November 2016, a dear friend and former inmate asked us to join him in a Friday night prison service. I led a worship service in a chapel of 100 incarcerated men and knew this was where I was supposed to lead worship. Unbeknownst to my husband upon going in this first time, it was at this service in November that God called him to prison ministry. He has struggled over the last few years wondering if God would ever call him to be a pastor at a church, he has had a couple opportunities to take churches and lead them but didn’t do it and wondered if he had blown it. And now we know why…he was called to preach in prisons. I had believed I would be called to a church somewhere and maybe someday I will be but here, now…this is where I am supposed to lead people in the worship and praise of our Savior. In December my husband and I filled out our applications to become Volunteers in Corrections (VICs), the process was a little grueling with recommendation letters, interviews, training…etc but in early February we were official and since then we have been in prison practically every Friday night leading people in praise and worship and my husband preaching the Word, and our friend testifying of Jesus’ life-giving and life-changing gift of salvation. We go into prison every Friday and other prisons throughout the month and have seen hundreds of broken men give their lives to Christ…what a privilege. In March 2016, I wrote down a few song lyrics, not many but it was a start of something I could only imagine. In April, James and I went on a little vacation and I had the intention of trying to write one song, I wrote three and led them in prison for worship the following Friday and several times since. I met a new friend that is a song writer, I met missionaries from Alaska, and made another new friend while on vacation and she has become a great source of encouragement and promotion for a new ministry that was born through all of this. We (my husband, our friend, Johnny, and myself) have seen miraculous and powerful things through this team of three and have started a ministry doing “prison services” everywhere. It was named after the second song I wrote called “Sing for the King”, whatever you do, do all for the Glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31…I sing for my King, He gave me this gift and I am going to use it to Glorify and Honor Him and Him alone. So, Sing for the King Ministries was born, there have been difficulties but more so amazing blessings and incredible connections. Inmates that we have ministered to have begun telling people they know about this ministry, I have received two calls from sisters of inmates that would like us to come to their church or event, one in Seattle, Washington and one in North Carolina. The sweet sister in North Carolina is working on flights and hotel reservations right now to bring us there in October. Maybe we will book a service in Seattle on our way to Alaska. Who knows where God is going to take us but it is a pretty incredible journey to be on. We have also had some battles which is to be expected, the enemy is going to attack us. One of the more difficult things for me was giving up my job, I was trying to work full time, schedule events, go to multiple prisons each month along with our Friday nights, but I wasn’t writing songs, I hadn’t since our vacation and I knew this was the next step, saying goodbye to a job I loved, goodbye to the people closest to me, I am thankful I go to church with them but it has still been hard and I did a lot of selfish crying over it and I’m sure a lot of people think I am crazy for giving up half my family’s income by quitting but I know God will provide. Since then, which was just last month, God has flung open so many doors, I have been in several churches telling them about prison ministry, about my story, about surrendering everything they are to do what God has called them to do. I wrote a song last week called “Anything” and have led it in worship several times already. I have been given the opportunity to go to a recording studio and record my songs, hopefully that will be by the end of this year or beginning of next. We did a service at a rescue mission last week, I led worship at a men’s conference on Saturday, I am singing for Relay for Life next month and more…how marvelous is our God? I just want to be obedient…yet sometimes my flesh doesn’t…and I try to stay eternal minded and not focus too much on my comfort, my loneliness (because sometimes I am lonely) and remember this is what God has called me to, what God has called us to do so I will not be afraid, I will carry on because I was bought with a price and I want to continue to live anything every day. Anything You call me to, Lord…Anything.

Here’s a partial video of “Anything”

Sing for the King,
Christy Hoagland