Singer shares joys, trials of ministry on the road
For nearly three-fourths of the year, Joy Williams' home is a hotel room. Her real home is miles away in Santa Cruz, Calif., but she won't be there very often.
This crazy travel schedule - along with airports, highways and rental cars - sounds like excitement to some. But for Joy, a 19-year-old contemporary Christian singer and Reunion recording artist, the travel is a necessary evil if she desires to glorify God and minister through music around the country.
"I never thought I'd see so many Holiday Inns in my life," she said with a laugh. "I also really never knew what traveling would mean for me. It's really taught me how vulnerable I was."
An appearance in chapel at Wayland Baptist University brought Williams to Plainview on Nov. 6. Afterward, she and her road manager Debbie Tiner visited candidly with a ministerial student group about the rigors of ministry, especially when it involves so much time on the road.
"It's hard to do this day in and day out, and one of the pleasures I have is working with someone who is always who she is off and on the stage," Tiner said of Williams. "But the people you meet are really the highlight of this job."
A native of Santa Cruz, Calif., and the daughter of a pastor, Williams said she has experienced firsthand how tiresome and often thankless ministry can be. But she said she is encouraged by the thought that even when there is no pat on the back, God is doing a work among audiences.
"I think it's during those times that he does even greater things, because then you really have to realize it's not about you," she said. "It's not about being on stage, it's about being with people. What I do is not all I am. My foundation is not based on things that fade away."
Williams encouraged WBU students to hold fast to their calling, but to know that the road will not always be smooth. During those "dry times," she said asking God to continue to provide a kingdom vision helps.
"It takes being honest with God and just telling him, 'I feel dry' and waiting for him to refresh me," she said.
So what is the hectic road schedule teaching her these days?
"God is continuing to peel back the onion layers of my life, when I want to keep taking things back," she said. "I keep hearing God say, 'Lay it down; the best is yet to come.'"