The Christian artist and author talks about her new book and how to find your own voice in the age of social media.
- Posted on Sep 19, 2016
Grammy-nominated Christian singer Natalie Grant has a surprising guilty pleasure–binge-watching British TV shows on Netflix.
That’s the first thing we bond over when I meet her for breakfast on a surprisingly brisk early fall morning in midtown Manhattan. Despite the early hour, Grant is smiling and energetic–I’m not her first interview of the day and I won’t be her last. But she is human, so when our waitress stops by, she quickly orders a cup of coffee and couple of hard boiled eggs. “The breakfast of champions,” we joke.
“I love books and Bible studies, things that help us understand, but there is no substitute for the Bible,” Grant says. “Seeing some of those stories I’ve known my whole life in a different way was encouraging. You go, ‘Okay, it’s kind of cliché but it’s true, they we’re not giants. They were misfits.' Time after time, that’s who God chose and that’s because he knew, human nature, we’re going to be sitting here talking about our own insecurities and looking at their stories. If he would’ve picked the giants, amazing people, we wouldn’t have identified with them.”
Grant had the idea for the book in part thanks to social media. The star–who is the sole person in charge of all of her own social channels–says she began seeing comments from female fans who were going through their own hardships and comparing their lives to hers.
“The majority of women look at my life on social media and they’re always asking ‘How do you do it?’ ‘I’m sidelined, I’m disqualified, I’m barely holding it together,’” Grant says. “It became this recurring theme from all different ages and types of women and I thought, ‘We’re all just the same. My platform might be different but when you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a supermodel or a super mom; nine out of ten of our insecurities are the same. They just manifest themselves in different ways.'”
Social media can be both a blessing and a curse.
Grant made a decision long ago to only share her most genuine self online–most of what occupies her Facebook feed are pictures of her three girls or videos of her family watching football games, not her music. She feels it helps her connect even more with her fans, but she’s also been the victim of harassment online.
“When your platform is your faith, it opens you up to that and people are so critical. It’s so hurtful because they're calling into question your commitment to your faith,” Grant says. “That’s why I want people to find the truth, find their truth and speak the truth. Speak kindness and love and value and worth instead of rule and sin and judgment and religion, which is never going to get anyone into Heaven.”
Grant hopes her stories in the book can give support to women facing similar battles. It's why the artist decided to share her about her struggle with infertility and her family’s decision to try IVF.
“I like talking about the struggle because I know I’m not the only one,” Grant says admitting it’s hard sometimes because she did receive her “little miracles.”
She encourages women still going through the process to remain positive but to look for their identity in the place it should be found.
“That’s when you have to realize the value of who you are,” Grant says. “Becoming a mother did not complete me. This whole idea that a man is going to complete us, or a baby is going to complete us, or this thing, this job; it doesn’t work like that. God in you, that’s who you are. I think God will make you a mother in ways you don’t expect. It won’t be your perfect plan, but when you can come to terms with that plan, you find incredible fulfillment in it."
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