You cannot help but be challenged, even changed, by reading the following testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. Anne and I are blessed to know Yazz and her daughter Rio (works for Ravi Zacharias organization) as our personal friends.
“We had a hit record (`The Only Way is Up`- # 1 for six weeks). Life then changed. People saw the potential for me to become a recording artist of measure and then that’s it, you’re a commodity, the person has gone (look at poor Britney, Whitney, Mariah, Kylie, these were all my contemporaries). In the blink of an eye a product is born and MONEY is smelt. I remember sensing it and knowing my life was never going to be the same again. I remember fear entering my life and thinking this is it, ignore the worry and go for it.” “Success is measured in the world in such a sad way – what you’ve done, what you own, what you look like, how you speak, what you wear, all outward conditions and all temporary. I was completely and inextricably caught. I felt like a chased rabbit!..Inside I was running. I was struggling desperately with all the attention on and off stage, finding myself around lawyers and men in suits quite unable to understand their speak…I clung to my manager/husband and as we had no faith, no deep code of conduct to live by we made decisions purely motivated by self. I learnt to wear a smile as I realized people wanted me to be happy because I was famous and it helped me move around places without having to confess that I was dying inside, lonely and lost. My marriage was failing and I felt so very ashamed. I believed in marriage but had no concept of what it really meant to be married. I was gutted. And so began the search for deeper meaning. The music business leans towards the Eastern philosophies plus the esoteric. I went to every seminar going. I went with questions like ‘Why is this happening? Why am I here? Does anyone care?’ I saw that everyone was searching for answers and I learnt personally that behind fame’s game and success’s trophies, behind all the decadence, rich or poor there is the same cry going on inside everyone – ‘Is there anyone who really loves me, who will love me when I’m not in control, hold me and give me a sense of belonging and complete me?’ I read everything from Buddhism to gurus to the Koran and the New Age umbrella of Eastern ideologies. But I judged Christianity by those two visits as a child to that Baptist church. I chose to place my preconceived ideas upon it and said God isn’t there. How poor and weak I was.” The Scripture says, “If you seek me with all your heart you will find me” (Deut 4.29) became a reality for Yazz in 1996. She recounted, “After a breakdown and agoraphobia I found myself in bed at home and asked my mother for a Bible. She said we had one and that night I opened it and read. I don’t know what I read and certainly I didn’t understand it. But I remember peace falling over me like a river, a warmth flowed through me, a sense of belonging. I remember laying down and placing the book aside. I wanted nothing but the warmth of the sensation to stay forever! I knew I had experienced what I had been looking for, a divine experience had occurred and it was something to do with the author of that book.
“I made the decision to visit a local church, which I did. After the service, I remember putting my head down and thinking, ‘Mmm, no one spoke to me. It was cold and pretty sad there, perhaps God’s not there.’ Then I turned a corner and met Bonnie, an old friend who used to bleach my hair, a woman of the booze, drugs and men scene. I looked at her and saw another person, not physically so much as internally – her eyes held a glow that was compelling. Again I had that sense of safety and peace just standing in front of her. I had no idea who the Holy Spirit was at that time. During coffee together I asked Bonnie what had changed her life, for she was changed. She explained to me that she had placed her life by faith into the life of Jesus Christ and that she was a believer. I couldn’t believe it! Bonnie took me to her church that weekend and there I found my Lord and Savior.”
Over the next few years everything changed for Yazz. Today she lives in Spain and serves as Worship Leader @ CIBC where I had the privilege to serve as interim pastor. Yazz also continues to have opportunities in Christian Concerts, etc., throughout Europe to give personal testimony to her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he (she) is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Your friend and Pastor,