I am a very visual person – some people ‘hear’ God when they pray, some people dream dreams, others read His words each are important and valuable in the life of every believer, but I have found that people will have a strength in one of these areas. For me, I dream a lot, and see a lot of pictures. This is how the song ‘Footsteps of my Father’ came to be. For me to explain the story, I have to backtrack a few years…..
I had an encounter with a visiting ministry in our church that would change the way I expressed worship forever. I had recently become the worship pastor at my local church and also had a new-born baby. I actually accepted the role a few weeks before a major conference and for all you peeps out there in leadership positions you know the pressure that comes with that! I was feeling quite inadequate and really not sure what I was doing. And of course, not much time to think about it because I had a new baby to care for as well! To say I was completely out of my comfort zone was an understatement. I have a memory of going into the church offices my first week into the role, and staring at my computer completely freaking out at what I was doing!
During this conference I was able to spend time with our guest speaker. His words of encouragement were unexpected and grew a giant within me. I was in my late 30’s, ready to lay down any type of itinerant ministry thinking I was too old, not talented enough – there were people with a greater anointing and greater talent than me. I was happy to serve in an amazing and vibrant church. It certainly was not second option for me (felt like a promotion really) – I felt it was time for a shift and that I was possibly no longer ‘needed’ in the other avenues I had pursued as an itinerant Christian Artist (for lack of a better word).
As this wonderful prophetic voice spoke into my life, I was quite surprised to hear that God was calling me to much higher things than I had anticipated. And if I be honest, so much more than I expected or thought I could achieve. It was like a healing balm to me. I realised God doesn’t have a use by date – He will use you as long as you want to be used by Him. It might look different from we expect, and there will be twists and turns along the way, but He always has a mission, an agenda for your life. I found this to be true during this season of working at the church.
That man was Graham Cooke. During our time together, he encouraged me to begin to write songs out of spontaneous moments in worship. For those of you who write songs, that’s a scary place to write. In the past, I would sit in my studio and come up with a hook, spend a lot of time crafting a song from beginning to end. Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with this – structure is important. But if structure get’s in the way of The Holy Spirit moving, then we have a problem. Structure is meant to facilitate the Holy Spirit. When it doesn’t, we have legalism, and the Holy Spirit goes on vacation!
Graham asked me to begin just singing out phrases to him. He told me to record everything – whether it was in a corporate worship time, or a personal worship time at home. I started to do this. He then said to craft a song out of those moments of spontaneity. The opposite way of writing for me.
At first, it was a few lines here and there. It was a picture, an idea, a melody line with no words. Words clunked in and out of a melody. But after a while, things really began to flow. Now when I write, whole chunks of songs come out – even I am surprised sometimes at what is hiding just beneath the surface.
Fast track a few years later, and one night at a soaking prayer meeting, I saw a picture of Jesus walking into the room, walking amongst the people. I could hear his footsteps. I began to play a melody that reflected those footsteps. Hence, the hook for the verses of ‘Footsteps of my Father’ was born. I played this for a while, then began to hear the melody and words:
“I could hear the footsteps of my father, I can hear the footsteps of my God….walking through the hallways of my heart”. I sang it over and over.
This is all I had for a few months. To be honest I was a little frightened to touch it. I felt it was God breathed and I was scared to mess with it. But as I began to grow in my understanding of how God speaks to me, I realised that not doing anything with it was like the parable of the 5 talents: Was the Lord going to come back and see that I had done something with what He had given me? Or would he be displeased because all I did was bury in the ground what I had received?
And that is how the rest of the song came to be. It’s a very personal song for me about my relationship with Jesus. Every time I sing it, I go back to that place where it was formed. I see the picture of Daddy Jesus walking amongst His beloved and reaching into their hearts with Love. Moving across the room and engaging with his children.
Here are some of my favourite lines in the song:
‘There’s no place I would rather be – than in the arms of my Saviour God, My Daddy King’
‘Your voice sings cobwebs from my corridors, your footsteps echo in my soul to make me whole’
”Revelation penetrates my skin’
I am so grateful that He is not just walking amongst us, but walking inside us – knowing every room, even the ones we keep hidden. He unlocks and releases us. Thank you Lord.