“Everybody’s Changing is a song about something I think a lot of people will experience, which is when people’s lives start going different ways and you’re sitting there, thinking my friends are doing this, what am I doing? What do I do with my life? The song is about trying to work out where you are in the world, while some of the people around you are going and doing different things.
Tim wrote it while we were quite low and really struggling to get anywhere as a band, and we were watching all our friends move away, making their way in the world and get on with their lives, while we’d given up our London dream and were stuck in Battle getting nowhere, and wondering if we were doing the right thing.” — Keane
Summer has just arrived in London but I was blue.
Blue with fear.
In London, I shared a bunk bed with my little cousin, I took the bottom. I was sitting on my bed listening to Everybody’s Changing, and tearing up.
In 2007, Keane’s music was playing everywhere in London in true British-pride fashion. I knew little about them but my ears have always taken to British music from The Beatles, U2, James Blunt, to Coldplay.
Music, or rather musos and their stories, have always been a kind of divine intervention in my early days starting out as a writer slash journalist. And Keane’s story would resonate with my soul even more as it didn’t take long to realise what I am seemingly trading off for the pursuit of my dreams.
And the big break, they say. Who was to know how long that would take or will it ever be part of my story. So I scribbled these in my diary: ‘Is it going to be worth it? I think it scared me a bit to think about how if I don’t make it and then arrive at the realisation that in the end I’d find myself being walked away and left behind. And even if I do make it, will anyone still be there?’
It was wishy-washy faith. Not surprising, I was less than three years in as a born again Christian. I made the decision to follow Jesus on 1 August 2004.
When I was 7, mom, who was a teacher at a Chinese Church kindergarten took me to Sunday School. In the rebellion of my teenage years, I decided that Christianity was not for me. I left church at 14 and the next five years was a testimony of Christ’s pursuit for me. Like a wayward prodigal child, after a series of being broken and running away, I was led back to faith.
I was baptised just before I turned twenty; a fresh start I needed.
Heading out to London at twenty-two, solo, it was to begin a whole new level of my faith journey. (And with crazy adventure not sold separately.)
My family in London was strong believers. Aunty Cheng and her husband are first generation migrants. They attended a Chinese church; I however eventually hunted down Hillsong Church’s London campus, though it was two hours from where I lived with family. Nothing like being at an all time low to get me to make the trip.
As it turned out, senior pastor Bobbie Houston happened to be visiting that weekend. And guess what she spoke on?
– If you are going to achieve anything substantial and influential in life, your conviction factor has to be stronger than your fear factor.
– Dealing with fear is the learnt art of [spiritual] maturity. Understand your heart and manage it. Be very certain how your hearts are to lead you and the key is to guard your hearts with wisdom, maturity and integrity that defines a pure heart and then we will find that His dream and ours are aligned as one.
– Be grounded in the love of God, it has the capacity to expel every ounce of fear and terror sown by the enemy. 1 John 4:18. Your heart needs to get a full revelation of God’s love for you.
I knew I was right where I was meant to be. I later wrote this in my reflection: ‘All the pessimism I had was all about and because of the fear factor and the paralysis it brought unto me. That in my pursuit of the God-sown passion towards the unknown destiny, it is not unusual to be gripped by fear (which is of the enemy) and what is most important is to deal with it maturely.’
It wasn’t just the risks in any creative endeavour, like Keane, I was working on creating my own niche — it was all trial-and-error — of which it eventually made all the difference. It was birthed out of the pioneering spirit in me: At that point, I’ve registered a domain, designed my website to house my sports writing portfolio, and also printed some business cards.
Just days following the blues episode, I was off to my first gig in Glasgow.
With absolutely no idea something deep within me was about to take off.
This story is part of the #livebig series here.