It’s easy to believe that certain people have it all together — especially those who are seen on stages, heard through podcasts or met by way of books. However, Christy Nockels, mother of three, worship leader, author and podcaster, admits that at times it’s just the opposite.
“[During early motherhood] I couldn’t do it all anymore, and I had to lay some things down. What He taught me — how to really trust Him with my career and trust Him with the dreams and plans — is He’s better than all of that. Honestly, [it was a time of] learning to be seen and loved by Him in my kitchen when I’m not being productive other than doing dishes,” she revealed.
She was taught in church that everyone should steward their gifts well, so Nockels felt an expectation to keep serving at the same level through her music and encouragement ministry after having children as before.
During that time, though, the Lord showed her she needed to rest, trust Him and stop striving, or she would miss the “ministry of motherhood.”
“The Lord asked me to lay down my career for about five years. Looking back on it, He allowed me to hit a wall and realize that I couldn’t do it all,” she explained.
Rest, trust, surrender
What she learned during this time — to rest, trust and surrender — resulted in the 2021 book “The Life You Long For: Learning to Live from a Heart of Rest.”
These concepts have become the overriding theme of all the aspects of her ministry.
In February, Nockels released her first full-length album in five years — “This Is the Hour.” The album continues with the idea of surrender, trust and rest, but it emphasizes communicating with God.
“Home” is the central song of the album, and it came out of another season of struggle.
During 2021, Nockels battled major physical issues while supporting her mother who had cancer. She finally told her husband, Nathan, she was exhausted and wanted to quit. Even though they had already committed to the album, there were many days she couldn’t even get up and do the basics.
One night she found herself alone on the porch with only her two dogs. Her husband and children were away for the evening. Though she hadn’t stopped consistently reading her Bible and praying, she realized it had been a few months since she had fully expressed her heart to God.
She remembered, “I realized that I had been self-protecting … from total surrender [to God] in that season. I just started talking to Him on the porch, and it felt like David and the Psalms – the lowest of lows, highest of highs.”
“I was kind of like laying it all out there for the Lord — my frustrations, my lament, my sadness, my fear, my anxiety,” Nockels continued. “It really was this homecoming moment that needed to happen, honestly, to rescue me as His daughter.”
She even told God she was glad they were “having this talk” because she thought she was dying and would see Him soon. She cried out to Him, asking what He wanted her to do.
And in that moment, He answered.
She elaborated, “In my spirit I heard Him say this, ‘This right here is what I want you to do. I want you to talk to Me and communicate with Me. Be My kid. Be My daughter. Come home to Me. Cry out to Me. Tell Me all about it. The singing and the podcast — all that stuff’s great, but if we don’t have this right here, if you can’t open up to Me and trust Me and talk to Me, then you don’t have anything.’”
“I came home to Him on the porch that night,” she continued. “The only way I know how to describe it is that I saw Him see me. The ‘God who sees’ saw me in that moment … I really do think it rescued me.”
She then told God that even if He didn’t heal the physical issues she was dealing with, she chose to love Him anyway and again surrendered to His will.
A few nights later, she woke up in the middle of the night singing the first line of “Home.” She wrote almost the entire song that night, saying, “This melody is making me want to sing again.”
Nockels summed up what she’s learned so far through this difficult season of life — “It’s more important that I’m doing what I’m doing from Him, rather than for Him.”
For more information about Nockels’ book, podcast, tour, and music, go to christynockels.com.