The Christian worship artist, who was given a terminal cancer diagnosis 14 years ago, just released his latest album and it's his most joyful yet.
Posted in , Oct 5, 2015
The first time I heard Tim Timmons’ name was at a Crowder concert at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square earlier this year. He was an opening act that night and brought with him a fun onstage personality and some upbeat worship music. But what really stood out was his testimony.
Timmons was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer and given just five years to live.
That was 14 years ago.
“I remember walking in the door with my wife, sitting on the couch and just being dumbfounded,” Timmons tells Guideposts.org of the day he found out about his illness.
On the heels of the diagnosis came a year’s worth of surgeries and some tough decisions at home.
“We’ve had plenty of tears,” Timmons says. “I remember telling my wife ‘Hey honey, I get it if you don’t want to have kids.’”
His wife’s response is what turned the tide in terms of how they viewed Timmons’ cancer battle.
“She said ‘Tim, we’re going to live as though you’re going to be healed.’ That was a little bit of a game changer for us,” Timmons admits. “We’re either going to believe that Jesus is either good or He’s not, that He’s actually God or He’s not. How are we going to live our lives?”
The artist decided shedding his own worries and living for his faith was the way to go.
“They still say I have four tumors on my liver and that’s wearing out my heart, but Jesus keeps waking me up every single day and I’m still blown away by that,” Timmons says. “I have this fruit of the spirit. In the past I was told, ‘Try not to worry, you’re a Christian,’ or ‘You should have more peace because you’re a Christian,’ or ‘You should be joyful in this situation.’ No, that’s exhausting, thinking like that and trying to be that really good Christian.”
“The point of Jesus is you don’t have to carry all of these awesome Christian burdens anymore. For the first time in my life I have fruit of the spirit. I’m not addicted to worry like I have been my whole life. It’s not because I’m great and I’m doing my quiet time and I’m just so good at being a Christian, it’s just because I’m saying every morning, ‘Jesus, where is Your work today? I want to join You in what You’re doing.’ It’s changed everything. I have joy that has nothing to do with circumstance. He’s always available.”
Timmons’ hopeful outlook on life comes thanks to his newly revived relationship with God.
“About 6 years ago, Jesus apprehended my heart,” Timmons says. “The problem is, I’ve known all about Jesus my whole life. I could quote any scripture to you, but I actually didn’t know Jesus.”
The singer’s first album, Cast My Cares, was his way of reconnecting with God. His second, Awake My Soul, which was released early this month, is a celebration of the love and life he’s discovered in his walk with the Lord.
“There’s a lot more joy in this record to be honest because the more I hang out with Jesus, he’s making me joyful.”
Lyrically, the album is a testament to Timmons’ passion to live out his faith. His favorite song on the record, “Finally Breathing,” details the artist’s own relief at shaking off the expectations of religion for a meaningful relationship with God.
“It’s this idea that I’ve been taking shallow breaths my whole life, spiritually,” Timmons says of the track. “For the first time in my life I finally feel like I’m taking deep breaths. My days are not filled with whether I’m happy or sad. Jesus is starting to become enough. He’s becoming a bigger deal than the religion I’ve been a part of my whole life.”
In the end, Timmons hopes he can be known for more than just his music or his battle with cancer.
“Cancer is not my story,” the artist affirms. “What a terrible story. If you have something bad happening -- divorce or whatever is happening in your story -- if that defines us, then we’re in trouble. For me, cancer is not my name, nor does it have a hold of me. God is at work in all things. It’s the perspective through cancer, or whatever these things are in our lives, that’s where we find our identity.”
“ I want people down the road to say ‘Because of the God of Tim …’ I want people to look at my life and say, ‘Not because of cancer, but because that man lives as though he has the fullness of God in him. I want that.’ That’s my new aim in life as I’m following Jesus.”