When I was a pre-teen I was introduced to a singer/songwriter named Britt Nicole. She came to my church one weekend to sing her latest album. The only thing I knew about her was that her musician was the drummer I went to church with since I was a baby. Even though I knew basically nothing about her, what pre-teen is going to turn down a free concert? I started doing everything that most people do before going to a concert…you listen and learn all of the song that are going to be sung! I went straight to LimeWire, yes LimeWire was a free music download tool to get music, to listen to her music. Once I started listening to her work I began to fall in love with her gift of songwriting.
To this day I have still never heard an artist write songs that connect with me on such a deep level. I have been following Britt Nicole ever since that very first concert. I have pre-ordered every album she has released, and her music is my go-to when I am having a bad day. I could easily be one of her biggest fans! But what I like most about Britt Nicole is how God used one of her songs to be my anthem into adulthood before I even know what was happening.
Britt has a song called ‘Set the World on Fire’ that I would sing and cry out as a pre-teen and teenager for God to use me to make a difference for His Kingdom. I connected to the song because I wanted to see the world and make an impact that pointed people to Christ. My heart was so connected to this song that I would sing it every day, I would whisper prayers to God that asked Him to ‘use me to set the world on fire’, I would even us it to sign off in my daily journals. This was my song.
Little did I know how real this song would become in my life! No, I did not go straight to a third world country to share the message of Jesus or become a preacher. To me, it was even better. While I was praying for God to show me what my next step was after high school, He pretty much opened one door for me to go to Valdosta State University (VSU). This may sound normal to anyone transitioning from high school to college but let’s get this clear, I NEVER wanted to go to college. But here I was, God made it clear that this was my door, college at VSU was my path. When got my acceptance letter to VSU I had no idea of the school’s mascot or even the school colors.
It wasn’t until my third year in college that I noticed that me being on VSU’s campus, me doing the student leadership and involvement was exactly what I cried out for through Britt Nicole’s song. Valdosta State University’s mascot name is Blaze and he is just that, he is a flame. I had cried out so many times for God to use me to set the world on fire and here I was in this season of life at the only school in the state that had a fire flame as a mascot. God had put me in a season where I would be able to love on students and share the message of Jesus Christ through promoting school spirit, through promoting the ‘Blazer Spirit.’ God put me at VSU so that I would have the opportunity to serve at WinShape Camps and lead teams to travel to over 10 states sharing the love of God. He made every single cry out for me to ‘set the world on fire’ so real and so true.
What I have learned from this discovery is that God will bless you tenfold for what you cry out for. Write your prayers, sing your prayers, say them under your breath, cry them with your tears but let God know! He hears each one of them. God answers prayers and puts you exactly where you are supposed to be. Going to college at VSU even when I never imagined going to college set me up to learn so many amazing lessons, meet incredible people, start organization and create jobs for college students, travel the country, lead kids to Christ, and even meet the most amazing man I get to call my best friend and husband.
Let your prayers out to the Lord and one day after taking the right step at a time you will wake up and see that you are exactly where you asked to be. I am beyond thankful for the way Britt Nicole’s music has impacted my life! From jamming out to ‘Holiday’ with friends on vacation to dancing with hundreds of kids to ‘Gold’ even blasting ‘Read or Not’ to hype me up before a project or presentation to making ‘Set the World on Fire’ the song cry of my prayers for so many years. It never amazes me how God uses so many people’s talents to point others to God’s goodness. God takes the favorite things of your heart and will make them dreams come true!
Keep your head up high and your words filled with love!
Your friend, Colleen Howard