What does it mean to use your gifts for God’s glory? How do you rediscover your talent in a Christian light? How does life change when you move from “Is this it?” to “Is this God?”
On Page 123 of The Unfolding podcast, Meridith talked about this journey with Olivia Lane. This young artist with 400,000 followers on TikTok met Christ four years ago when she experienced something supernatural that changed her way of thinking.
Olivia grew up in Houston, Texas, in a small community. She attended church once or twice a week but felt no genuine connection to Christ. Instead, she turned to those times as an opportunity to hang out with friends or play games in youth group.
After begging her parents for years, she moved with them to Los Angeles to pursue her acting dreams. She lived with her mother, and her father flew back and forth for his job. She was exposed to a messy world and a belief system that was based on working your way toward salvation. She wrestled with feelings of failure when she experienced burnout and saw the sacrifice that her family had made to help her pursue her dream.
After years of pursuing acting and experiencing minimal success, Olivia chose to move forward with another dream: songwriting. While acting required a false personality, songwriting gave her an outlet for self-expression.
In 2013, she moved to Nashville and worked toward a career in “kinda Christian” country music. After a few years in the industry, she started to experience burnout again, losing her voice and struggling once again with a feeling of failure.
Olivia chose to start therapy and seek a deeper form of rehabilitation. She began to experience physical and mental healing but still felt as though something was missing. She talked to her counselor and therapist about this feeling, and both asked her to consider spiritual health.
Olivia recalled, “I just got to this bitter place of just like, ‘Well, if there is a God, why would He let this happen to me?’”
Despite her hesitation, she walked away from some of her former beliefs. It felt scary to reach out to God, so Olivia started calling this all-knowing power “G-Man.” She finally started to surrender these feelings of failure. But because of her constant drive and passion, she still struggled with the belief that faith was based on how well you performed.
One Sunday afternoon as she was sitting in her living room, she looked up to see a silhouette of Jesus with His arms stretched out. In a moment that felt like an eternity, she felt the presence of the Holy Spirit for the first time.
“I see these little moments that were God knocking on the door and pursuing me, and I just wanted nothing to do with it,” Olivia recalled. “It’s just mind-blowing every time I really sit and think about it … how good and how abundant and how amazing our God is.”
While this vision upended her life and changed her way of thinking, it was still a lonely time. Olivia’s parents were loving and supportive, but they weren’t believers. Olivia continued to ask, “Who am I?” but felt God reassuring her, “Why not you?”
“I was finally a vessel,” Olivia said. “I was a vessel for someone else. I was not the person that I felt like I had to be for so long.”
To find out more about Olivia’s ministry, visit her site.
To hear other impactful stories like Olivia’s, listen to more episodes of The Unfolding.