Beneath her youthful exterior and fresh-faced exuberance, Meredith Andrews is a focused artist who knows exactly what she wants to say. She creates music that serves as a personal conduit for those seeking to worship God, and she also wants to remind others of God’s desire to reach them.
We recently sat down with Meredith.
What’s new? What’s going on?
Well, what’s new is that I have a little baby.
What does he play?
Let’s see, he plays his diaper real well. [laughs] We’ve been taking him out on the road and he’s a trooper. I think he was born to travel like his mom. We take him on stage every now and then and we’ll put him up to the microphone and I’ll say, Maverick, are you ready to sing yet? And he’ll just kind of look at everybody. I’m interested to see when he will actually start talking in the microphone. He has to be used to it by now because I was singing all throughout my pregnancy.
What’s happening musically? My second record with Word came out almost a year ago. The songs that I wrote for that album were more personal than the ones from The Invitation because I had to dig a lot deeper.
There are some special songs on that album . . .
Yes. There is a song — “What It Means To Love” — I wrote for a little orphan boy from Haiti — he’s HIV positive. Also, there is a song I wrote for my brother, Derrick, called “Come Home.” It’s about pleading for the prodigal. There are other songs like, “Can Anybody Hear Me?” which raises the question: Lord, where are you ’cause I feel like you’re so far away. But it’s in those moments where we cling to the truth. God’s Word says, “There’s nothing that can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ.” It’s wrestling and knowing God wants us to be honest with Him and pour out our hearts to Him. When we lay out our struggles and burdens and we focus our eyes on Him, He reminds us of the promise that He hasn’t left us, no matter what we feel like.
Those are things God was teaching me, as I was writing. I learned not to strive so hard to write a hit song but to rest in the Lord and listen for His voice. I feel like the songs were a lot more personal because they were straight from my heart.
These last few years have been pretty crazy for you. You moved to Chicago, a year later you get married, and as of just a few months ago — you have a family.
Yeah, it’s true.
How has Maverick’s arrival affected your life?
It’s so funny how God works because this wasn’t our time but it was His time. It was two days before Christmas last year that we found out we were pregnant. I just remember sitting on the floor in shock going, This wasn’t my plan.
God really had to do a work in my heart. And He did. He gave me nine months to prepare for a baby and I needed every bit of that time. I’ve always wanted kids but, But I have so many more things to do, Lord.
Now that Maverick is with us, I can honestly say my life is richer than it’s ever been and I think I have a whole new perspective, even in my relationship with God. It’s the most natural love I’ve ever experienced. When I look at him and he’s screaming his head off or he’s leaking out of his diaper or he’s smiling up at me, my love for him doesn’t change.
It occurred to me that that’s the same thing with God — obviously exponentially, more perfect and greater — but the fact that God looks at us and no matter what we do or where we are, His love doesn’t change for us. If we have a good day, it doesn’t mean He loves us more. If we have a bad day, He doesn’t love us less. He loves us because we’re His. We belong to Him. How great is the love the Father lavishes on us that we would be called children of God. That’s our identity. Having Maverick has completely deepened my understanding of God’s love for me and it’s so humbling.
I can honestly say that I love Jacob more today than I ever have and I know my love is only going to grow. We’re new at this thing. To see him as the father of my child is amazing. My life is all the richer and I’m growing even more.
Obviously, it is not without challenges and it has been an adjustment. We’re learning how to be parents and to juggle the whole thing of keeping our marriage intact and healthy. There were a couple weeks where we were in survival mode. But God has been gracious to us and we’ve plugged into a newly married small group and we have people around us helping and pouring into us.
Tell me about your couples group. What I love about our group is we’re able to have open and honest conversations with each other, and that is so refreshing. We know the good stuff and the bad stuff in each other’s lives, but we’re choosing to come alongside and love one another through it and pray that God will give us wisdom in speaking to each other.
There are all different personalities and people in different walks of life. One couple is really struggling in their marriage and they’re open. There’s myself and another girl who are new moms. Her daughter was born the day before Maverick, so we’re walking through similar things. We’ve cried together feeling like we’re having to let our dreams die in some ways but then realizing the call of a wife and a mother and how precious it is. Also, how weighty these roles are because we were both pretty ambitious before we got married. But God has humbled us and quieted our hearts and made us realize what really matters.
What have you and Jacob learned about marriage?
For Jacob and I, whenever we’re having an argument we each feel we need to win. We’re both first-borns so we’re Type A to the max, really stubborn.
We were talking in our small group that when there’s a mindset about wanting to win and come out on top, we’ve both lost. You need to go at it from a perspective of we’re going to have this discussion and we both need to come out feeling like we’ve been heard and settle in a good place. That revolutionized us. We’ve got to kill our pride and choose to love each other so that we can both win.
Lately, what do you hear God saying to you?
A lot of it has to do with having a child and realizing the depth of God’s love for me. I feel as though I am really hardheaded and stubborn and God has to tell me stuff over and over again.
I remember right before I found out I was pregnant I had this revelation. Jacob and I were home for Thanksgiving with my family and I stumbled across this newspaper article written about me while I was at Liberty. I read a quote I had said. It was something like, “I write songs and it’s the overflow of my relationship with the Lord. And it tells the story of my pursuit of God.” After I read this quote it didn’t sit well with me.
Later that night Jacob and I were in bed and I sat straight up and said, Jacob, I was wrong. It’s not my pursuit of God. That’s not the story. It’s God’s pursuit of me. He said, What are you talking about? I said, That’s not it at all. It was the Lord slapping me over the head with it.
I am not always faithful in pursuing God and I’m not always in God’s Word every day. But He’s always pursuing me. He’s not distracted. He doesn’t give up on me. This revolutionized my life and it has taken on a whole new face, ever since I’ve been a mom.
God is always pursuing and His love for me doesn’t change. When I believe the love God has for me and I truly choose to trust in it, I don’t take situations into my own hands as much. I believe God is good. I believe He is love. I believe I can trust Him. And so why would I try and mess that up? But the days I don’t believe in God’s love for me is when I try and manipulate circumstances and take control of my own life.
This is what He has been teaching me lately. Every day I feel like He patiently and tenderly whispers again and again. I’m pursuing you with an everlasting love. It’s not based on your performance or your position. It’s based on My love for you and the fact you are Mine.
Have you written a song about that?
Not yet. I feel like I am still processing it. I know there’s a song in there somewhere.
Copyright © 2010 by Jim Mueller, President and co-founder of Growthtrac Ministries.[schemaapprating]