AlongTheWay

“I See God In You” - Lara Landon AlongTheWay 92

May 17, 2021 John Matarazzo / Lara Landon Season 1 Episode 92
AlongTheWay
“I See God In You” - Lara Landon AlongTheWay 92
Show Notes Transcript

Lara Landon is a singer/songwriter that loves reaching people in the highways and byways. Lara sings a few of her songs in this episode and we discuss life, apologetics, and the questions that lead us closer to God.

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Lara Landon:

I see God in you. And no, that's not something you go around saying. It's true. I see God. Want to say, I found that found my faith and Shams in you. That's why I say

John Matarazzo:

welcome to along the way. I'm John Matarazzo, your host and fellow traveler. Thank you for joining me along my way as I try to become more like Jesus every day. In this episode, I'm joined by singer songwriter and my friend, Laura Landon. Our conversation has really deep moments and I'm so blessed that Laura was able to play some of her music in this episode. I always have appreciated this sincerity and artistry in her music. And I'm glad that I get to share that with you now. I'll get to our conversation in just a moment. But as always, I want to thank you for listening to along the way. I hope that you like what you hear and you subscribe. Please rate and review along the way on Apple podcast or wherever you're listening. All of my socials and contact links are in the show notes. And you can check out all of my episodes and join my email list from my website along the way dot media, I would love to hear from you. I also have a Patreon page if you want to help me to continue to put out these along the way episodes if you'd like to become a Patreon supporter, simply go to patreon.com slash along the way. And so like the level the link to become a Patreon supporter is also in my show notes. And now here's my along the way conversation with Laura Landon. Well, Laura Landon, it is good to have you on along the way. Finally, we've been talking about this for quite a while actually you first people that I told about this podcast because I had in my mind that I wanted to have you do some music on the podcast, and maybe even for a theme music and stuff like that. But it's great to actually be able to talk with you. You're out in California. And I'm on the east coast in Pittsburgh, and it's good to see you again.

Lara Landon:

Yes, it's good to be here. I've been kind of following your progress. And it's amazing. And I'm excited to do it. So thanks for having me.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, this is gonna be a lot of fun. Laura, you've, you've been on the cornerstone network for a couple different things you've done, uh, you've been on real life and more than a song and living in concert, and just various different times you've been through. And I've always appreciated your music and just the professional way that you write your songs and you perform and how you tell the stories behind that. And so it's a privilege and an honor to be able to have you on along the way.

Lara Landon:

Oh, thank you, that makes me feel good. I love cornerstone. And I remember like it the way that you guys handle the show and just the prayers before it and just the attitude of everyone really impressed me. So that's why I kept wanting to come back. And we became friends there. And so I just love that in the spirit of really just it's all about the truth. It's all about the message and what you're bringing that to your podcast. It's, it's really my honor to do it.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. So we're actually going to have some music in this episode. And I'm excited to to have you do some of that stuff. But I really wanted to hear your story, Laura, of how God has led you. He's led you along the way you've got a bit of a journey where you travel all over the place. And I know you've got some great stories, but I want to hear how God led you into music. And yeah, you've got a great story of how God has developed your family as well. That's the most recent development. So

Lara Landon:

that's part of the journey. Yeah, well, I was brought up I think the Lord in a very stable godly home, my dad who is now in heaven, and that's part of my journey. But he was just a picture of the Father's love to me ever since I was little. He just was that man of integrity. And he was from the Middle East. He came here and became a surgeon and he just was a very integris man, kind of old fashion. So I always grew up luckily with that kind of foundation. But when I was a teenager, as all teenagers will some teenagers do. I just got really overwhelmed with the questions, the emotions, just, you know, trying to figure out who I was and my identity and where I fit in. And that's where I really met God, personally, and I still remember it, sitting on my bed in my room just having these dark, depressed thoughts, suicidal thoughts, even sometimes, really just the devil trying to attack me the way that I think the devil attacks everyone. And when you're a teenager, you're susceptible to it and you're prone to believe his lies because you just you don't have Have your defenses up. Yeah, you're so you're so trusting and vulnerable. And so the devil was really trying to come in and attack my identity. And get me to even, like, consider suicide. And I remember sitting on my bed and just feeling God's presence, and his arms wrapped around me and just saying, you know, follow me, be mine, I am setting before you life and death, choose life. And I have a beautiful future for you. And I remember I was 15. And just thinking, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stop listening to those negative voices. And those voices that I know are from the devil, and I'm going to listen to my father. And from that time, I started walking with God in a real way. And it started affecting my songwriting and my journaling every night to try to process my feelings. And that led to songs and songs led to Nashville. And so from that point, it really kind of shifted and shaped my future. But the choice was mine, you know, life and death. And I remember even at 15 years old, being able to choose life and to follow God and to not follow, you know, the darkness and the depression.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. So you were already writing music and and very interested in performing at that point, is that correct?

Lara Landon:

Yeah, well, I found out that I can sing when i, this is a funny story. I always tell when I tagged along with my older sister to the production of Annie, and they weren't even gonna, like, let me audition. I was nine years old. But then I did just, you know, because I was there. And that I was really shy when I was little. And then this big voice can thus come out. And I got the role of Annie.

John Matarazzo:

You weren't even gonna do it. I

Lara Landon:

wasn't even gonna edition. And then I became Annie.

John Matarazzo:

Oh, my gosh, like that. Where was this? Where was

Lara Landon:

that definitely put me on a path that was just a local college production of Annie, and in California. And so my mom was like, Oh, my gosh, you have to get you in singing lessons. And I was in girl groups. And you know, we would go to Disneyland and perform or, you know, different theme parks or different models, and always, like, perform with girl groups. And so I was, I was singing, and I loved singing, and I love performing and even singing in church and stuff like special music at church. But then, when I, when I was a teenager and started journaling, that's when I went to my upright piano in my room and started writing songs on my own and being influenced by some of the music My mom had from her days in the 70s. Heard cassette tapes like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, I still remember listening to those on repeat, and oh, yeah, and loving those sounds and wanting to hear some of that.

John Matarazzo:

Music. Yeah,

Lara Landon:

really? Okay. big compliment. But yeah, that's what started it just just having so much to process through when when I was a teenager, and having a piano and, and that's where it all began.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, music and journaling definitely go hand in hand. I know, there's some times where I play the guitar. And there's sometimes a little bit of the piano too. But there's some times where I don't even know what it is that I'm feeling. And I can't put those thoughts into words, even in my own brain. And so journaling at that point doesn't even help I try, but it doesn't help at that point. But sometimes picking up the guitar or sitting at the piano. And you can just kind of emote with that and it does help the process. And then those words kind of come. And so that's really cool that you were able to identify that. As a teenager. I know. For me, I was spending private whenever I first learned guitar, I was probably spending about four hours a day playing the guitar. Wow. But that was my time with Jesus. And that time with Jesus was so precious to me. I kind of long for those days again, yeah, where I could dedicate that much time and I allow myself in the room. So tell me about some of those times where you just felt the Lord was so close as you as moments of processing on the piano.

Unknown:

Yeah. Well, that's

Lara Landon:

actually a good segue into this first song I wanted to share. It's called I believe, and I remember even after I moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting, and I already had this relationship with God, I was still having those, you know, when you're in college, and you're questioning everything, and, you know, you're like, what do I really believe about all these different things? And I remember sitting in the practice rooms, like you were saying, every night I would spend hours just alone with the piano. And that was my time with God and I was questioning because I think new ideas were being brought to me about different beliefs and and the question of how could a god you've never seen come to earth, first of all through a virgin and then live a sinless Life and then somehow pay for your sins by dying on a cross. Like, that doesn't really make any sense. If you're just looking at it, from a skeptical point of view, sure. And so I was thinking, yeah, that's right. How does that make sense? How could some man's blood pay for my son's. And that is a miracle. That's, that's a miracle of salvation. And I believe it to be true. But I remember sitting at the piano, and the song kind of just came out in in like, a couple minutes. And it was just God saying, open your mouth and open your mind and declare that you believe and I will fill you with the faith to back that up. And I will fill you with the knowledge to back that up. And so I wrote the song. And I still love it to this day. And I'd like to share it now. It's called I believe, all right. Sometimes I must have made I think I'm currency for following man I've never seen and shaped my whole life around some more. Even so, I believe, I believe I'll be first in line with all my questions. Though, once upon me as well, well, well, why is even so I believe, I believe. I believe that I'm questioning, seeking and believe better, I believe you can hear me now. I believe you should lusting and I don't see how God and flesh should be very good, save a lot of mankind from me, even so, I believe I believe I believe you. I believe you are with me now. That I'm questioning, seeking, and I believe you can hear me now. I believe that I'm trusting in both.

John Matarazzo:

I love that song. If you've done it a few times with us for different concerts. And it really does do a good job of taking us to that place where you're really declaring that belief. And sometimes we do need to just take that step of faith and say, I don't know why I believe but I'm going to believe anyway.

Lara Landon:

Yeah. And it goes hand in hand because I don't want to be somebody who is all about just blind face. Because there is evidence. There's evidence of Jesus, there's apologetics, which I really got into later. I mean, even science and creation declares, oh, yeah, that there is a designer there is a creator, there is a God and my personal experiences back that up. So there's lots of evidence, hand in hand with the evidence there has to be that step of faith. Yeah. And so it's both and which I've come to. Yeah,

John Matarazzo:

that's good. So how has that song ministered to people? Like, what feedback have you gotten from that?

Unknown:

Yeah, I

Lara Landon:

mean, I think it's good to be able to air your questions. And besides just, you know, there's a whole worship genre, which I really love worship music, but I also really appreciate the singer songwriter, kind of songs that can question songs that can just talk about your pain, like in the Psalms, some of those songs don't have answers. Some of those songs are just why Lord, and you know, help me Lord. So I like being able to express just some of the questions, honestly. And I think that's resonated with people through my music.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, that is really cool. I love your stuff. I think that we're gonna be able to do more music in this episode. Tell me about some of the other journeys that you've had. You mean, yeah, moved to Nashville, you're pursuing music. And now you've got a little bit of a not a detour. But just, it's different. It's different. Yeah. Because you've got a family and everything but yeah, about like saying, Okay, I'm gonna leave my family and I'm going to get to Nashville, and I'm going to pursue this dream that God's put on my heart.

Lara Landon:

Yeah. Well, I had a lot of encouragement for my family, especially my mom who was like, Yes, you have to go to Nashville. That's where Chris music's made, and I learned a lot more about really myself and just growing up, like in my early 20s, just growing up, doing what I was trying to pursue is kind of hard. It's, it's kind of hard to be putting your heart out there and to be putting your ideas out there. And having people or industry people pick them apart or judge them. But I had a lot of, I'm not gonna say luck, I had just had a lot of open doors, when I first got to Nashville, and I was lucky enough to make my first album with, you know, Grammy Award winning producers and writers. And it was crazy just being able to meet and write with and work with these amazing people. And now looking back, I see how awesome that was. Maybe in the time. I didn't realize it, but now looking back and like oh my gosh, that was so cool. The way that God let me work with all these people and and learn from all these people. But I was still struggling. You know, even though I was walking with God, I was still struggling with you know who I was. And I'm glad that I didn't have the kind of success that I wanted in Christian music. You know, I wanted to be like Amy Grant status. But now I see that's a that's a high mark right there. I now. Now I see a lot of Christian artists actually deconstructing their face and saying, I'm sorry that I was so public about my face and my music because now I'm questioning things. I no longer call myself a Christian. I no longer believe in this or that I just this morning, I read from a popular Christian artists that she no longer considers herself Christian. I think it God's mercy, he held back some of that, you know, mega success so that I could process things privately, and so that I could process them as I grew up and matured in my 20s. And so now when I sing things, I've already processed it privately, and I'm ready to publicly declare it and I can't see myself having to go back and recant. You know, the things that I've sung about, because I've processed them with God. So I think in just in his wisdom and mercy, he held back some of that, you know, mega hit status, you know, even though the doors were open, it just it didn't click that way. It wasn't the right time, it wasn't the right thing. It just it didn't click, but now I'm grateful because I was able to mature in my own personal walk. And it also led me to going to the highways and byways, that's probably you know, some something that you might have heard me talk about before. But if I would have had the mega success, maybe I wouldn't have been forced to really look within myself and see that God wanted me to go to the highways and byways, the lowly places, the rehabs, the prisons, the places like that, the shelters, where I was able to share the gospel through music, and I was able to share the songs of hope. Maybe I would have been busy on mega tours or, you know, stuff like that. But I'm so glad. And I'm so appreciative of all the the places where I got to meet Jesus face to face in these lowly places where people were just so desperate to hear the truth and hear hope. And so I'm just so grateful for my journey, and how God preserved me the things that I thought I wanted.

John Matarazzo:

That's a good testimony right there, for sure. You just talked about the whole highways and byways things. And some of those people I know, there's got to be some along the way stories and that, I want to talk about that. But in a little bit later, I want to talk about something that you just alluded to. And that's the whole, just, I want to see your comments or hear your comments about the people that are deconstructing their faith. And you also talked earlier about some apologetics. And yeah, how that's been a big part of your life. I want to talk about that in just a moment. But before we leave the whole highways and byways thing, I want to hear some of those testimonies of some of those interactions that you've had there.

Lara Landon:

Oh, my gosh, there's so many 1000s of just memories that come to my mind. I mean, just thinking about, they're just the first thing that comes to my head is just rehab, a women's rehab in Georgia. I remember doing worship there and sharing some of my song stories. And afterward, I just was like, if anyone wants prayer to receive God, just come, come, I'll pray with you. And literally every woman in the place lined up. They wanted to pray with me. And they all like recommitted their lives to God or committed their lives to God for the first time. I just makes me tear up because that's so precious. And, you know, truth be told, I didn't get paid for that gig. I was in the middle of Georgia, thinking what am I doing here? You know, And by being able to just share my songs and my own testimony in this place, you know, I'm going to see those women in heaven. And, and we're going to have that moment together where they say, you know, thank you for coming. And I'll say, well, it was God because He, he led me there. And he meant us there, even though you know, it's something I couldn't have orchestrated myself. But that brings me to my, really my life song and the song that I share everywhere I go, and it's called closer. And so many people just resonate with it. Because it came from such a place of honesty and vulnerability in my own life. I was just thinking, you know, what am I doing? I feel so far for my goals. I feel so inadequate to be ministering to people. When I myself don't have it all figured out. And God was just telling me every day that you don't quit, you win. In every step that you take forward, you haven't gone backward. And you are getting closer so that's what I tell people when I sing the song and I want to share with you guys now it's called closer I spend so many years on the verge of giving up wondering if the steps would ever lead me Farben. Bertie, Sam, do further than was had just keep saying and I'm getting closer and closer to you, Lord, I haven't seen you but I know I keep Oh, okay, I still have to go back home my long and narrow you know, I need to be my kid. To see me face to see Oh. Closer. Okay, I still have to go back on my Oh.

John Matarazzo:

Hey, man, I love that that line. As I look back on that long and narrow or Long and Winding Road. Yeah, getting closer. Yeah, that's something that we all are striving for. We're all trying to get closer to God. We're all trying to get closer to his purpose and destiny for us. And that really does fit with the with this whole thing of along the way. So that really ministers to my heart. Thank you. Before we we talked about this, the highways and the byways I made mention that I wanted to ask about just for your comments about apologetics and kind of what's going on with all these people saying I'm deconstructing my faith.

Lara Landon:

I know and

John Matarazzo:

it's kind of a strange right now.

Lara Landon:

I heard about it first with Rob bell. He was popular and then Ganga and I don't want to name names and I don't know exactly who's deconstructing their faith and I think it's good to look at your face like why not it can stand a face can be tested, yes, it can be tested, and it will be tested by the trials of life. But I almost feel like it's a spirit, a spiritual thing. That's not just questioning it. It's more. It almost feels more prideful. Or it's coming from a place of a sense. And

John Matarazzo:

oh, okay,

Lara Landon:

when we're offended by God, and we lash out in our questions from a place of pain, I feel like it's really easy for the devil to come in there because he knows scriptures better than we do that's been around for, you know, all the time. And he can, he can really twist us when we're in our pain. And maybe that's just the message. If there's something good to take away from this, it's, it's okay to question and your faith can be tested. But when you question and you come to New, you build your new life, and you build your new foundation, because that's what this deconstruction is thing is about, it's about deconstructing, and then rebuilding, but you can't rebuild on a place of pain. And you can't rebuild a whole new set of beliefs out of a place of hurt, you know, an artist that came out today and said that she's no longer a Christian, it seems from what she shared, that it's out of a place of pain, and out of trauma and fear, which a lot of Christians might might have felt maybe if they were being bashed with hell, over their head, you know, in their youth group or growing up or by their parents that if you do this, you're gonna go to hell, and Hell is a fiery place, and, you know, just maybe bashing them with how maybe that caused trauma, to where now later in life, you're like, Wait a second, do I really believe this, or was I just traumatized into accepting God because I was afraid of hell. And that's something I can't relate to. Because I wasn't really bashed with the fear of Hell, I was drawn to, to God's love when I was a teenager. So it was like a moth to a flame, I was I was drawn to his love, I wasn't running away from hell out of fear. So I don't know what that's exactly like to, to want to deconstruct your Christian faith and, and reject the notion of how even though it is scriptural, that there is hell. And, and reject all these things based on your emotions, and build a new life out of on based on those wounds, and build a whole new face system based on on some of those wounds, and almost like a, you know, I don't like that I, I felt this way, so I'm going to go this way. And that's not really out of a place of humility, and, and where we'll really be able to build our life on a rock, which is Jesus, we make him when we're, we're broken on the rock where we're humbled at the cross. That's where we can build a life that will stand not because we're building it out of our wounds. That's just my understanding. I really

John Matarazzo:

am not like an authority that was just interested in your comments about that, since it since it came up. And that's something that, you know, it will it'll lead us into this apologetics part, because I think that is such an important thing. Because, you know, for me when I was 15, is when I had my crisis of faith for for myself. And so my thought process was okay, sin is fun. If God's not real, then there's no consequence for sin. But if God is real, then there's a consequence for sin. And he probably has a better plan for my life than I do. And so that kind of set me on a search. And I'm so grateful for the men and women that God has put in my life that provided books for me provided just a listening ear to field my questions and to point me in the right direction. And I thank God for people like Josh McDowell, that are authors that that book more than a carpenter is such a small little book that only takes maybe an hour or so to read. But that was a life changing thing for me that really helped build that foundation, where I could say, Okay, I know that this is true. I accept that I believe that I know that, that Jesus is God, and that he died on the cross for me, and I can build my foundation I can build on that foundation, about how apologetics has has affected your life. Well,

Lara Landon:

it's almost a touchy subject right now, because we all know about, unfortunately, is and I don't want to get all into it. But he really, his teachings really, really helped me whenever I was facing, you know, hard questions say about homosexuality or about, you know, just the legitimacy of the Bible itself. I would like Google and listen to his teachings and they would really strengthen my And they still do. And it's still, you know, the truth is truth. And I posted this the other day, the truth is truth whether Satan says it, or whether God says it What? It's still true. Satan, of course, will twist it. But, you know, the truth is truth. And so Ravi Zacharias had a huge influence on that, but others too, like Lee Strobel, and the case for Christ, and my dad would always say, and he was brilliant surgeon, he would just say, I mean, you just look at it, I, an eyeball, and just the intelligent design, that would have to all come together for you to be able to see, and for it to register in your brain. And for you know, it's just, it's mind boggling. It takes way more faith, to believe that that random explosion created such intricate detail, it takes way more faith to believe that than to believe that there was a creator. And then once you believe that there's a creator, then you say, well, who is the creator, and, and the Bible, and the Christian Bible offers such a strong case for who the Creator is and what he's like. So that all helped me, you know, build, build my faith, it's it's a building, you know, line upon line, truth upon truth. And I used to when I was searching would just say I don't, I don't have two truths to rub together, I don't have two building blocks to even put together. And so when I started to listen to people, like Ravi Zacharias, I said, Okay, fine, I can acknowledge that this block is true, and I'm going to put it down, and nothing's gonna move it. And then I'm going to put the next block, and then I'm going to put the next block. And that's why I think it's so dangerous that some Christian leaders now are saying, you know, I'm tearing down everything, and my first block is going to be how I feel. My second block is going to be how I was traumatized by hell growing up, and my third blocks, and it's just like, your building blocks are not substantial. You're not universally true. They're just true to you. And so it's not, it's not really gonna hold. So

John Matarazzo:

a worldview, that you're relying on things that are true to you, is not going to stand outside of your own brain outside of your own perspective. Yeah, you're building that crooked house, you mean, you're not only is your foundation, not solid, you know, your foundation is on the sand, you're also building with sand, you know, so that's not going to, if you don't have a good foundation, you're not gonna be able to go anywhere from there. And especially if Yeah, so that's really

Lara Landon:

not to judge anyone just more out of like, compassion, like, yeah, yeah, I know, you're hurt. But this is not going to help anything or anyone by this kind of thinking. And I think it needs to be called out that this thinking there is right and wrong. And this thing is wrong. It's honestly, wrong. You can be sincere and be sincerely wrong. And I'm sorry to say it, but this is wrong. And we have to reason together until we can both come to a truth that will stand that is a rock.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. And as we were just talking about Ravi Zacharias, I just want to say that what those things that he did, that it has come out, you know, we can't we can't say that those were acceptable or good. No. And you know what, what our aim is doing to try to repair that I appreciate the steps that they're taking. But I don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Yeah, the things that Ravi has taught the books that he has written, they still come from a place where he did have a good understanding of who God is, and how to explain things. And so I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And yes, he did things. He is a sinner that is saved by grace. And as Emma like everyone, and unfortunately, his public platform made him a bigger target. And now that he's passed, you know, we're finding out some that are disturbing.

Lara Landon:

It's really hard. I mean, I just look at the figures of the Bible, though. And not to justify anything that I would never justify that David stole the man's wife and then murdered him. I've never justify that. But do I still read the Psalms? Yeah. And know that God poured through this imperfect vessel? He definitely did. So the Bible is full of great men of faith and great men who love God and even had it says that David had a heart after God's own heart. who failed incredibly, and for us to cancel them like this canceled culture. Yeah, just to totally cancel them. Off the faces of race, their memory erase everything they ever did. I feel like that's not wise. I think that we are wise enough to discern what is wrong and what's right and what, what will hold and, and what will reject.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate taking a little bunny bunny out there and talking about that, because that is something that's been on my brain recently. And this, this whole concept of people deconstructing their faith. I've I've had friends that have publicly said that they are deconstructing their faith and they don't know what they believe anymore. And I want to say that it is okay to question and to have those thoughts into kind of go through that process. But make sure you're doing it in a safe place. In a safe Yeah, you're surrounded by people that love you that love the Lord, that don't want to see you throw everything away because you're feeling you're feeling strange. You know, first

Lara Landon:

time that's really good advice. Yeah, thank you in a safe place. Safe Place. Yeah. Don't like test your, your sexual temptation at a strip club.

John Matarazzo:

That's awesome,

Lara Landon:

though. I mean, like, Don't question the the dearest truths to you, amongst people that might make it even harder for you to believe, you know, rather than help you through it. Yeah.

John Matarazzo:

My pastor always says that. When you get alone by yourself, you get weird. So surround yourself with people that are going to care for you. And I love it. So

Lara Landon:

yeah, that's true. And you know, it's it's nice to have this conversation because like you were saying, in my journey, I am a mom now. So I can these conversations with my almost two year old.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. Yeah. So speaking of your almost two year old Yeah, before that came a husband, how did God, how did God lead you and Isaac to come together?

Lara Landon:

That's a really cool story. And it'll probably give a lot of people hope, because I was actually like, 32, I'm not afraid to say my age. I was 32. And he was 37. And we were both just desperately seeking God for a mate. It just seems so impossible in this culture, to find somebody who would be on the same wavelength. And to be able to make it work. I had tried everything from kissing, dating Goodbye, totally to dating but trying to have, you know, just healthy boundaries to being engaged and having that fall through because I didn't feel peace about it. So I was really just like, God, I am totally at the end. I am in my 30s. Now, like, you know, I had dreams of finding a husband and having a family. So I am, I'm giving up, you know, my dad went to heaven, I don't have a father to give me away. I need you to be my father, I want to go back to the traditional way. And you be my Matchmaker, you find me a husband, that's right for me, and I trust you. And when I finally got to that point, and I was praying and fasting about it, I was listening to this lady on line, which shows you podcasts do make a difference. So thank you, john. Somebody can be listening to a podcast and it can change their life. But she was talking about the Ishmael comes before the Isaac and you'll have counterfeits before the promise. And don't get distracted by the Ishmael. You have to wait for God's promise and God's way. And that will be the Isaac. And then Isaac, my husband's name is Isaac. He messaged me on Facebook, and he actually worked for a ministry that I really admire. And that really like shaped my life. And he was just like, Hey, I don't know what you're doing in this area. But I see that you're in town. And you know, we have mutual friends, but we'd never met Do you want to meet and I was like, Well, if you work for this ministry, I definitely would like to meet you because I love the ministry. So even if you know we're just friends getting coffee, I I still want to I think he'd be a good person to know. And so we got coffee, and little did I know like God was talking to him at the same time about reaching out to me so eight months later, we were married.

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. Wow.

John Matarazzo:

Did he randomly send you a message on face? Yeah, how did how do you

Lara Landon:

rant like we I guess we're friends on Facebook because we had made mutual friends. Like you know, Christian circles are kind of small, like, we just had mutual friends and

John Matarazzo:

they're like, Oh, this person has enough mutual friends is probably a safe bet I can just

Lara Landon:

be their friend and you probably thought I was cute. And so my advice to people is like, you know, it's okay to to go for some of the desires of your heart like if you if you feel somebody cute that's that's better than feeling they're not attractive.

John Matarazzo:

That's very, very smart.

Lara Landon:

That's a free nugget right there. So he just yeah, reached out because God was actually this is he was having coffee. He was in town for a few days, because he traveled a lot. And God was just telling him like, just impressing on him like, she's here. She's here. And then he was like, Who's here? And he just felt like God was saying, your wife, she's here. And then he was online. And he saw that I was right in the area. And we both were in the same area. And so he felt like that was kind of encouragement to ask me to get coffee, that we were both in the same area. So it just started out as friends. And I was just like, God, I'm not even gonna like, date or whatever, until I feel like you're telling me this is my husband because I, I rebuke the boyfriend thing. I'm not gonna have another boyfriend. I'm gonna have a husband. So, when he met my family, I met his family. You know, we both were like, yes, we could definitely see marrying each other. And God, like confirmed it multiple times. And then I was like, yeah, you can be my future husband, not my boyfriend. You're my future husband.

John Matarazzo:

So you kind of you we pretty much skipped a step.

Unknown:

Yeah. And I'm not doing boyfriend. That's the What is that? That's like a modern invention boyfriend. That's like, I almost feel like it's like, it's kind of a counterfeit husband, or it's like, it's a make believe role in your life. Boy can be

John Matarazzo:

for sure. Yeah, if you if you idolize it that way,

Unknown:

I believe in dating, because I don't think it's wrong to like, get to know people. And of course, healthy dating, not not weird dating where you're going to? Yeah, but like, the boyfriend thing to me. It just was like, I don't see that in the Bible. I see. You're either botros or married, or nothing, but are friends. For me. It's just, it creates an intimacy that's hurt me before, to go down another rabbit trail, you just have an intimacy, emotionally, and just, you know, considering them at that, that kind of space filler in your life, like the husband role in your life, and they're not your husband yet. And so for me, as a woman, I just feel like, I was not gonna do that again, I was gonna either have a friend or have like a botros. And it worked for me. So

John Matarazzo:

So eight months later. Where did you get married in

Lara Landon:

Hawaii,

John Matarazzo:

you got married in Hawaii, on the beach, right?

Lara Landon:

On the beach, just a small ceremony. And so we go back every year, and get to see where we got married. And now your

John Matarazzo:

little one goes with you too.

Lara Landon:

Yeah, it's just it's a really sweet answer to a lot of years of prayer and wondering how on earth to get to get married in our culture in our day and age. So finally,

John Matarazzo:

praise the Lord for that. Yeah. So how has being a wife and now a mother affected your music?

Lara Landon:

Well, I'll tell you the truth. It's a lot harder now to get anything done. Because I love being with her. And I'm with her 24 hours a day. And she's like, very high demand. And so I try to get things done when she's napping or when I put her to bed for the night. But it's it's really hard. That's been my biggest struggle is just like, how do I reconcile where I used to go to the highways and byways and, you know, go here and there and, and be able to minister anytime, anyplace and travel anywhere, and now it's like, so hard to try to coordinate. Even like this podcast, you know, I have to like, make plans ahead of time, but I love it. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. But it is like, my newest challenge is just like figuring out how to keep a creative flame alive, figuring out how to even keep a relationship with God going yeah, when I have this full time human life that I'm responsible for keeping alive It's inspiring some songs because I read something the other day that really touched me it's a god meets women where they are you know, men might be able to do their like spirit journeys and go up to a mountain or the fast for 40 days to see God. But women are like tied to the child and they're tied to the to the homemaking and and all that and so God's always come down to meet them where they are, whether it's at the well doing her chores, or at the tomb, ready to do her work of, of embalming Jesus. God seems to always meet women right where they are. And so that's inspiring a new song even right now that I'm working on about God just meeting you. right where you are in the mass in the chaos. He'll still speak to you he'll still pour into you when you feel just totally tired and, and not very cool or creative or on fire at the moment.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. Yeah. So you're working on a song with that, right? You don't have it? Yeah, it's not ready to share yet.

Lara Landon:

It's not ready to share you Okay.

John Matarazzo:

Bye. Do you have another song that you could share with us though?

Lara Landon:

Yeah, I do. I would love to. I want to share a song that is called I see God in you. Now it's about my daughter but it's been about so many people and so many people have been able to dedicate it to somebody in their life who they've seen gotten so cool it's called icy garden you

Unknown:

something different any your eyes something honest in the way speak for Tommy come around me. We'll look at and then jails can't be very No. See in your I see God in you. And no, that's not something you go around saying. It's true. I see God. On a say, I found it found my faith and Shams in you. That's what I see. I see.

Lara Landon:

Oh, God must have no, just what I need. To show me has to know better now. who he really? I've seen a glimpse in you guys see God in new? No, that's not something new go around saving money to believe it's true. And I see God. Hard to say I finally found my faith in the lab Changzhou. That's what I see. in you See

John Matarazzo:

Wow, Lara, you said that before you play this song that you now see God and your daughter? Yeah, you see, you see God and that how has God revealed himself in that way for you?

Lara Landon:

Well, I've gotten a glimpse of his patience, and his love. You know, I spend so many hours of my life, just patiently dealing with her emotions and dealing with her, you know, where she's at, with her understanding, and dealing with her right where she is. And just loving her so much. So completely, just because she's mine, just because she's a part of me. And it's not based on, you know, if she's having a little temper tantrum, or if she's being sweet, you know, of course, I enjoy the sweet moments. But when she's having a temper tantrum, I'm not, you know, wanting to condemn her, I'm wanting to reason with her and calm her down, and get her to be sweet again, really want. And so I just get a glimpse of more of just how patient God is with me, and just how much he loves me, just because I'm part of him. And just because I'm his daughter. So I've always known that but there's like a new level of mellowness and patients that you have to come to when you're dealing with baby. And so I'm learning a lot about that.

John Matarazzo:

That's cool. That's cool. That's, that's interesting. As you're playing that song, I was just thinking that you wrote that a while before your daughter came along. But I'm sure that as you know more things unfold. And there's another level of revelation of who God is that song that you wrote, with your limited knowledge and understanding has come to mean a lot more. And that's really cool because I think that's how God works. God speaks so many times. To me, God speaks in layers, where he can say one word, but it means like five different things on different levels and speaks to the core of my being that's so good. But Laura, as we're as we're coming to a close in this episode, I don't want to forget to ask you, I'm just enjoying some of these, some of your songs and the stories behind that, and I'm enjoying our conversation greatly. But I don't want to miss the opportunity to ask you about some along the way moments in your, you know, that as the disciples were walking with Jesus on the road to him as they just had no clue that it was him until they sat down at the table, Jesus blesses the food, breaks the bread, they realize that it's him, and then poof, he's gone. And in Luke 2432, they turned to each other and said, weren't our hearts burning within us along the way, as he was revealing the scriptures to us? You know, there's so many times, Laura, that we're so busy in life that we miss that Jesus is right there with us. But as we look back, we can recognize that and I want to learn from those moments, where where's the time in your life that you look back? And you say, Man, my heart was burning, but I didn't realize it there. But I see it now.

Lara Landon:

That's a good question. And the first thing, the first thing that comes to my mind is just when my dad unexpectedly passed in asleep, and he was just, I was so close to him, like a daddy's girl. And I got the call that he passed away in asleep, and I just couldn't believe it. And I was just screaming in just disbelief. And I remember just being, you know, going through the motions, getting through the funeral, and the memorial and putting all that together. And when it was done, and everything was settled, you know, I felt that there's no way that I would have gotten through it, if I didn't have just that love, and that, that burning of Jesus, and, you know, he, he was there grieving with me, he was there in the pain, God is there in the pain, and never leaves us or forsakes us whether we're experiencing beautiful things, like marriage, or we're experiencing really hard things like loss. But I feel like the veil between our reality and heaven was so thin at that time. And I think a lot of people who go through losing a loved one will tell you about how thin the veil between heaven and us is, when we lose somebody and how close God is just like a blanket, it's good when you've lost somebody, and you can feel him just burning in your heart, and that closest to heaven in our tie to eternity when somebody leaves this world. So I feel like he was really there, during that whole hard process. Wow.

John Matarazzo:

There's some really deep descriptive phrases that you put in there that I'm gonna have to process some of those things. And that, that was definitely stirring in my heart and causing my heart to burn as you're expressing about just how how thin that veil is between here on eternity.

Lara Landon:

Yeah. Sounds like the song

John Matarazzo:

should write that one. So my follow up question for that is, if you could go back in time and visit little Laura, somewhere along your timeline. And you know, it could be any, any time period of your life. What is it that you would tell yourself and what's going on in your life that you would want to tell yourself that?

Lara Landon:

Yeah, well, I guess like, looking at my daughter. And looking back on my own little self. I would just like to tell my old self and what I would tell my daughter is just, you know, like you're saying that fire in you that that burning that. It's almost like your conscience, your Holy Spirit, your guide. Listen to that. And don't be swayed by by what's current, buy what's trending, buy, what you see other people doing and I know that's hard, but just listen to that still small voice. Just listen to it, trust it, and learn it. Because it's going to guide you right every single time. And the times that I've listened to that, that fire in my heart, that little voice, I've never regretted it. So even when you're little little I think you can be sensitive to that and and choose that. It God gave us choice. And he always sets before us choice, even when we're little. And I would just tell myself, just follow that burning in your heart and you'll you'll do the right thing.

John Matarazzo:

Do you have an age that you would like to visit your younger self at?

Lara Landon:

Probably just during that like hard transition to being a teenager like 13 and 14? I think kids that age need it because they're just very swayed. So

John Matarazzo:

I agree. There's a there's definitely some some young adults I guess. You can see I guess you should say that now sometimes the or you know that preteen area. Yeah, that, you know, I have some some friends that they have kids in that age range. And I always try to make it a point to let them know that I really care for them. And that, because I remember that time period and it's a it's a little bit tricky to navigate. And so to know that you're not alone during that is very, very encouraging. So it could I ask you, do you have any more songs that you're prepared to share? Before we close out,

Lara Landon:

I could close up with one, one last one, and it kind of goes up everything. It's called, there's grace. I wrote it right before my dad went to heaven. And then I realized why I wrote it. You know, those layers, like I realized that I needed God's grace. And so it's called there's grace. Cut it barely be that simple. Well, you know how hard I try to measure up to it. I think you're wanting to be the apple vo. The truth is, there is nothing I could do to make you love me more. Then I could do to make you love me. It always has been and no ways about laughing How sweet to teach me how to rest your presence. More than just more meant to and let your grace become a revelation. So that is step I'd say. Isn't this true? That there is no thing I could do to make you love me more? nothing I could do to make you love me less. It always has been and no ways. About lavish. How sweet that is.

John Matarazzo:

Wow. There is grace. And we need God's grace. Laura, I love the pre chorus. I think it's the pre chorus where you said, were you saying there's nothing that I could do that would make you love me less? There's nothing that I could do that would make you love me more. Yeah, I that covers everything right there. That really, really does. And because I think if you think that I'm not, I'm not worthy of God's love, you address that. But then somebody like me, I'd normally kind of try to work my way into God's grace. And that doesn't work either. But God's grace covers at all. And that is so beautifully put. Could you just just for a moment? Would you just pray for somebody that is struggling with receiving God's grace?

Lara Landon:

Yeah, Jesus, me know you're so near us. And that when people are often at their lowest when they have no belief in themselves and no belief in you, God, that's where your heart is just moved with mercy. And God I I pray that they would feel your arms around them like I did when I was 15. And I pray that you would, they would feel that blanket of love like I did when my father died that that even in their lowest darkest moment when they're possibly hating themselves or just hating the world and feeling betrayed God that you suffer with them and you sit in their sorrow with them. And you're there just to put your arms around them right now God, I pray that they feel your arms around them. And they're just able to rest Finally, and take a breath. And breathe in your grace God. And I know that you're so willing to just meet them exactly where they are, and sit with them, and encourage them and love them, and hold them. And God, I pray that they feel that right now. And that they would just say, Father, I accept your love, I receive your love. I want to be with you. I want to be with you now. And I want to be with you forever. And God, I just pray that for my brothers and sisters listening right now that they would just receive your love, because that's all you ever wanted.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. Lara, thank you so much for spending some time with me. It's been great catching up with you and to hear your songs again, not just on a recording, but to hear it live. Even though it's your coast I'm on the other and for distill was really cool to be able to do this. And so I want to thank you so much for allowing me to join you along your way.

Lara Landon:

Thank you.

John Matarazzo:

I hope that you enjoyed my conversation with Laura Landon. If you want to know more about her, I'll be providing her links in the show notes. Thank you for listening to along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please share this with a friend who you think will be encouraged by this podcast. Also, please rate and review along the way on iTunes. That helps more people discover along the way. And subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and at my website along the way dot media. I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey. And may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way. Along the way is honored to be part of the charisma Podcast Network. You can find tons of spirit filled content from the vast catalogue of podcasts, including my Monday through Friday news stories on the charisma news podcast. Go to CPN shows.com to see the full list and latest episodes.