I Needed to Be Perfect
Giving Up a Dream: For as long as she can remember, Katie Giguere wanted to be a singer. But she didn't tell anyone her dream—not even her parents—because she figured it would never come true.
"I've always been overweight," Katie says. "But 99 percent of the people you see in music are perfect by the world's standards. I thought, I might as well give up that dream."
Katie's weight didn't only affect her dream to sing. Her low self–esteem and insecurity made her avoid drawing attention to herself or even talking to people.
Singing for a Stranger: One night, a family friend came over to visit Katie's parents and brought over two friends who'd worked in the music industry. Katie was intrigued to learn they'd worked with singer Stevie Wonder. She wanted to hear their stories but was too shy to start a conversation, so she slipped away to her room.
An hour or so later, Katie tried to sneak down to the kitchen to get dinner. As she walked in, her dad spotted her and mentioned, "You know, Katie sings in church." One of the guests, Bonita, was very interested in this. Before Katie knew what was happening, she and Bonita were chatting about faith and singing. And then, Bonita asked: "Do you dream about singing professionally?"
For the first time, Katie told someone her dream—but quickly added that it would never happen. Bonita ignored Katie's doubts and asked her to sing.
"You Can't Be Shy": After Katie sang, Bonita explained she was starting a program to work with high school students who were dealing with various tough life issues. She'd been praying to find a young artist to start the program with, and she believed Katie was that artist.
Just months later, Katie was in L.A. recording some sample songs for a CD. After completing one song, Bonita invited Katie to a birthday party for Stevie Wonder's son and played Katie's song for everyone—including Stevie. When the song ended, Stevie said, "You have a beautiful song, and a beautiful voice. You can't be shy with a voice like that."
More than Appearance: As Katie began to realize how many people supported her singing, her thinking slowly changed. "Seeing that everyone believed in me made me realize that they must see me the way God sees me," she says. "I couldn't see my potential because I was caught up only on what was on the outside. I was denying my gift because of things I didn't like about myself."
Last year, as Katie recorded and released her inspirational pop album, Bringin' Me Hope, she says God helped her realize she has nothing to fear. She felt him saying, "If you're walking in my will, you should be confident."
Now that she feels like she's serving God with her album and with her new book, Being the Fat Girl, she isn't so shy anymore. "I still sometimes have this tendency to want to hide from any attention," she says. "But I know God doesn't want me to be so insecure about how I look that I shy away from doing his will. It's in obedience to God that I say, 'I will be confident in the way you made me.'"
Copyright © 2005 by the author or Christianity Today/Campus Life magazine.
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