The songs on ‘Dust in the Sky’ are inspired by my story...
(scroll down for my story)
Ten years ago Jakki arrived at the Annual Tamworth Country Music Festival and fell madly in love with Country.
Jakki started singing at the age of 11 years old when she auditioned for the Green Valley Young People’s Choir and had the opportunity to travel NSW singing. Since then Jakki has become familiar with taking the stage and singing to large audiences.
From her introduction to Country Music Jakki became an instant fan of the Chambers family, attending many Kasey and Bill Chambers shows in Tamworth. She has been very influenced by their music and the artists they are inspired by and support.
In 2007 Jakki first started song writing, and penned the title track of her début album, Dust In The Sky. After recording a demo at the end of 2009 with friend and musician, Glenn Whitehall, Jakki took off on her annual trip to Tamworth in January 2010.
While attending her regular gig in Tamworth, the Bill Chambers sessions at ‘The Pub’, Jakki approached Nash Chambers to discuss her first project Dust in the Sky. Her courage paid off with an exchange of contacts and a suggestion for Bill to take on the project. Jakki’s dream was on the way to becoming reality.
In August 2010, Jakki headed to Foggy Mountain Studios and commenced her recording journey in country music. It was more than what she could imagine. Not only was her album recorded, but Jakki also co-wrote with Bill on the project… a dream come true.
Jakki’s album will be released on October 6, 2011; she is passionate about country music and is excited to be taking her first steps onto the Australian Country Music scene.
In 2006 I lost two babies through miscarriage; two years later I lost my husband of 14 years to divorce. I never thought at such a young age I would be faced with so much grief and change.
How do you keep on walking through life when you have been served a massive blow? Where do you go to heal? What do you hang onto for strength? And how do you get through those months where you feel like you are drowning in the pain?
My world collapsed the day my husband asked for a divorce. I had an idea it was coming but it was near impossible to believe. How could I accept that the man I had deeply loved for 16 years no longer loved me or wanted me as his wife?
My world went from a beautiful home, country music, dreams of a family, working as a graphic designer and serving God, to living out of a bedroom at my parents home and taking on a part-time job washing dishes, sweeping floors and taking pizza orders to support myself. Every moment reminded me of all that I had lost, and emotionally I lived as though I was hanging over the edge of a very steep drop.
Some months later I was served a blow that was greater than the first. The day I took my belongings from my home I was confronted with her clothes on my clothes line, her shoes at my door. That day I saw the truth and the betrayal was like a knife that split me in two.
The first nine months of grief were like a blur. It was a struggle to get through each day and not completely unravel. I remember one day walking out of Burwood train station to work and feeling as though I was going to fall. The pain in my life was so intense that it was hard to walk. Then I heard a whisper saying, “Don’t let go of me Jakki”. That day I made a choice that I was going to hang on to God no matter how hard and painful the journey would be.
Over time I can say the greatest lesson I learnt was forgiveness; it truly does set you free. There were months where I was bound by the pain of another woman treating my home as though it was hers, I was bound by rejection from my husband, bound by betrayal of friends, bound by loss of dreams and, bound by deep disappointment. God brought each of these things to my attention one by one and at just the right time. Then it was my choice to forgive or not.
I remember sitting in a park reading the judgement chapter of ‘The Shack”*. In my mind I was thinking “I don’t have a problem with judgement” (yeah right!) and then I heard the whisper again “let them off the hook Jakki”. I thought to myself “I have every right to feel the way that I do”, but the problem was I was the one who was bitter, not those that had hurt me! I was the one emotionally bound, not them! I saw that I also needed to take responsibility for my past actions.
Feelings of forgiveness nearly never exist when it is time to forgive. Very rarely do we feel like forgiving someone who has wronged us. I had to forgive more than once as the pain continued to appear, but each time I chose to forgive it was worth it. Today I can confidently say I am free.
You don’t have to live long, before you suffer some kind of loss. That is life. Every single person, some much worse than others, will suffer hurt that can take years to get over. The most important things are the choices we make to get through the pain.
I chose to run to God who said He loved me; who said He had a good future for my life. Most people blame God for the pain in their life and for a while I was one of them. I blamed God more than my ex-husband for what had happened to me. I was angry with God to my core. I had loved God since I was a child, and I had served him in our local church with my whole heart since I was 16 years old. How could this loving God, who I worked hard to be faithful to, take away everything that I loved - my husband, my babies, my home and, my life as I knew it?
Even though I blamed God, it wasn’t His fault or His doing. He only wanted the best for my life, and was working in my situation to see it work out for good. Even though it took time, in my heart I chose to let go and trust God again… a very good choice.
Through my pain and deep disappointment I discovered a hidden treasure, a treasure worth more than anything this world can offer. I discovered a faithful God. A God who is loving, caring and forgiving. A good God. Jesus picked me up, in all my mess and all my brokenness and over these three years has restored every part of my life. Today I live on the water in the great Inner West of Sydney, Australia. In the past two years I have travelled to 8 different countries, I have studied music, I have recorded my first country music album (big dream come true), and in December 2011 married the man of my dreams...my Marco!
In our loss and pain, if we choose God, and place our heart and life in His hand, I can say with no doubt, He will not let you down. He will make a way for you. He did it for me and He will do it for you. He loves you.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV Bible)
* ‘The Shack’ by William P. Young, 2007