Truth Cries Out
Meet Mary James If there's one thing that Mary understands, it's the transforming work of Christ. One to whom grace abounds, she is a testimony of the new life that is given to the sinner who repents and to the prodigal who returns. 'I was a dead man walking,' she says of her life before Christ. Now Mary is a new creation, empowered to bring a message of hope, renewal, and faith through the songs God has given her to share with the world. Unwanted From the very beginning, Mary James' life has not been ordinary. Born to a teenager who was not ready to be a parent, she was given up for adoption and taken in by a pastor and his wife. Mary's adoption was never a secret and life at home was difficult. Mary's adoptive Mother suffered from alcoholism and died of cancer when Mary was only 13. Her Father spent his life dedicated to serving his congregation and was unable to spend much time with the family. These circumstances sparked in her a certain insecurity that remains to this day. 'I have always had a feeling of being unwanted, of not being loved and accepted. I came to the place where I really just gave up on myself.' This giving up was what led 16-year-old Mary to the streets and to drugs. 'As a child I had no concept of who God was because I could not see Him in my daily life,' she says. The Chance to Live Mary's first feeling of belonging came at 21 when she met her biological mother and finally understood how she had fought for her unborn baby's right to live. 'Since abortions were illegal in the United States at that time, my Grandmother wanted my Mother to travel to Europe to end her pregnancy. In spite of the pressure, my Mom was willing to go through the pregnancy and all of the social stigmas related to being a pregnant teenager in order to give me a chance to live.' Even though Mary did not know it yet, God had a plan for her. Music For as long as Mary can remember, music has been a part of her life. Raised in a musical family, her talents were recognized at an early age when she began to sing solos in church and in school. Her teachers encouraged the budding talent, and Mary was given opportunities to train her voice and perform publicly at a young age. Despite a strong start and her own desire to succeed, Mary was not able to advance in the music industry as she had planned. 'Every possible thing happened to deter me from pursuing music,' she remembers. Mary went on to perform in clubs and network with other Southern California artists and songwriters, but it was all very empty. Reason To Live Even though Mary grew up in church, she did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In spite of her separation from God, He was drawing her to Himself through the circumstances in her life. Strong Christian co-workers who were a witness to Mary invited her and her family to a play that shared the truth about sin and salvation. That night, Mary, her two children and fiance accepted Christ. Mary's daughter, Jessica, remembers it as the day that they were 'washed clean.' And with that new life, Mary began to experience the fullness of what God had planned for her. Music with Meaning After Mary gave her life to Christ, a passion was born in her for worship music and Christian songs. She began to serve in her local church as a worship leader and was given numerous opportunities to share her gifts at churches, women's retreats and other similar venues. But, it did not seem that God was through with Mary as an artist and songwriter, it was just the beginning. Mary received a phone call one day from a man named Steve Wetherbee, a friend who had known her before Mary's new life began. He approached her with an offer: he wanted to record a CD of her songs, but wanted them to be Christian. This was just the encouragement that Mary needed, and was the beginning of the journey that has led her to the production of 'Little Things' and now 'Truth Cries Out.' Truth Cries Out After long hours in the studio and even longer hours of faith lessons that inspired the songs on the album, Mary has released her first full-length CD. Does she feel adequate to be the one bringing such a message? 'I still feel like the trials are so intense that I can't keep going. But God keeps nudging me, so I keep moving forward and not giving up.' It is her obedience to God and encouragement from fellow believers that has given Mary the courage to take the stage and give the message that is on her heart. Mary's Heart And just what is that message? 'A life led by Christ is sweet success - a life lived without Him is emptiness. I want to reach people who are seeking answers or are discouraged and remind them that God loves them so incredibly much. Not only has He poured out His love on us through His Son Jesus, he has gifted each of us in our own unique way. I allowed lies to get in the way of truth for a long time, but not anymore. God's plan for each of us is one of a kind. He can use our past to impact the future...if we let Him.' By the grace of God, Mary stands as a testimony of Jesus Christ and the work He can accomplish in a life yielded to His wonderful plan.