From the outside, my life looked great. I was living in a trendy area in Santa Monica, California, and enjoying a fantastic job as one of the top vocal coaches in Los Angeles. With almost a decade of experience at the highest levels of the music industry, I had worked with major-label and top-40 artists, as well as hit TV shows like The Voice and Glee. Clients regularly flew in from around the world.
Though I had moved to LA to pursue a career creating my own music, somewhere along the way that dream got lost. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, but my music always had a strong spiritual bent—and that simply wasn’t popular in LA. I made music and showed it to people throughout the city, but the response always left me cold. I faced so many disappointments trying to find a place for my music that eventually I stopped singing and writing altogether. The death of this dream was the greatest heartbreak of my life, and the five years that followed were the most creatively barren that I had ever experienced.
Praying to see truth
Throughout this dry time, I focused on my soaring coaching career, and I managed to find temporary peace and joy through an LA megachurch for “spiritual but not religious” seekers. The church was transdenominational, which appealed to me. Raised Roman Catholic, I later adopted Eastern beliefs about God and practices like meditation.
After almost 20 years of spiritual seeking, I truly believed I had attained higher levels of consciousness than most people. I believed there were many roads to God, and my thoughts were awash with “love and light” and other positive-thinking mantras. However, when I really looked at my life, I knew something was missing. Despite all my “spiritual knowledge,” I repeatedly ended up in failed relationships and struggled to find true purpose.
Around this time, several members of my family became born-again Christians and started talking about Jesus. I remember one of my brothers calling my spiritual center “satanic.” At the time, I thought he was crazy! The word satanic conjured up images of evil people doing rituals in a basement. What could be so horrible about channeling love and light, attaining higher consciousness, and finding inner healing?
When my brother asked me, “Who do you think Jesus is?” I remember answering, “He was a great spiritual teacher, and one of the most enlightened people who ever lived.” This is what all the “advanced” spiritual books had taught me. My philosophy was all about trying to “live like Jesus lived.” When I explained this to my brother, he said, “How can you live like Jesus when you have no idea who he really is? You’ve never read the one book that would tell you who he is.”
Though I couldn’t refute that point, I remember recoiling at what he was saying, and the conversation did not end well. For a time, we stopped speaking, and spiritual division began tearing my family apart. Upset by the turmoil, my mom suggested I “pray to see truth.”
So I did. I wasn’t sure whom to pray to, since I believed in a universal force of light and love, not a personal God. Even so, I spent a solid year praying and seeking truth, and I began reading the Bible as well.
Scripture confronted me with many ideas my new-age mindset simply couldn’t process, much less accept. I prayed about each challenge, asking God to reveal any beliefs that were leading me to reject what I read. As I did this, God began revealing his truth in ways that radically transformed my mind.
In time, I came to see that my most cherished beliefs had all been focused on myself. Even though they were framed in spiritual ways, they were oriented, ultimately, toward self-realization and self-help. I had been consumed with fulfilling my dreams, attaining my career goals, and creating a life that made me happy. I believed I was a good person, and I surrounded myself with friends who agreed.
But discovering the Bible’s definition of good shattered this confidence. Despite all my years of spiritual seeking, I finally saw that I wasn’t capable of being a good person on my own. And I sensed my need for a Savior.
Meanwhile, God gradually opened my eyes to the reality of evil in the world. For most of my adult life, I had dismissed this reality, preferring the ideas of positive, love-and-light spirituality. I certainly didn’t believe in the Devil, which sounded as ridiculous as believing in the Tooth Fairy! But day by day, God revealed to me the real state of the world—pulling back a veil and showing me depths of darkness I had never fathomed.
I had been seeking God, but the Enemy had diverted my attention to a counterfeit spirituality—one that simply couldn’t comprehend the reality of a fallen world. Even at this point, however, I didn’t trust the God of the Bible. If I had been so deceived for so many years, how could I trust anything now? I was wandering in the wilderness like a sheep without a shepherd.
I began attending a local church in Santa Monica, asking God to reveal himself and praying he would bring me out of the darkness. I attended a course called Alpha for nonbelievers who were curious about Christianity. I asked a ton of questions, and I read multiple books on apologetics. Eventually, I was ready to finally surrender my life to Christ.
Made for Worship
As a new Christian, I prayed that God would show me how to use my musical gifts for the sake of his kingdom. I soon realized I no longer belonged in the secular music industry. The messaging in the lyrics of most pop songs disturbed me, and I was concerned about the destructive impact these songs were having on young people. I wanted out, but I didn’t know what was next.
After only a couple of weeks of praying, I felt God clearly call me to leave LA and move two hours south, to San Diego County. I saw a vision for a Christian music company called Kingdom Sound and began pursuing it, even though I wasn’t sure where it would lead. Leaving everything I knew was incredibly scary, and I hoped God wouldn’t forsake me.
Alone one night in my new home, I felt I had truly reached the end of myself. I cried out to God with a desperation and sadness I had never felt before, asking, “Why did you even make me?” I felt I had completely failed in so many areas of life, including my own music.
That very night, I woke up from a dream at 3 a.m. In the dream I heard an amazing song, and I knew it was for me. I got up, rushed down to the piano, and recorded the chorus for “Refuge.” It was my first worship song. From that day forward, God began to pour out worship songs, and I experienced a complete revival of musical creativity. God had answered my prayer in a radical way—and I knew he was saying, “I made you to worship me.”
Since I put my faith in Christ, God has redeemed everything that was lost in my life. He has freed me from the prison of my selfishness, rescued me from darkness, and brought me into his glorious light. He has given my life new purpose, equipping me to serve his kingdom and glorify his name with music. There is no greater joy.
Kira Fontana is a singer-songwriter and record producer and the founder of Kingdom Sound.
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