Kristene DiMarco is a worship leader with a rich history of personally experiencing the kindness of God— a reality that has always shaped the songs that she has led, first with International House of Prayer (IHOP) and now for years with Bethel.
The Field is the latest outcome of that history, an album Kristene wrote during a season of personal shaping and softening. Here on Trevor Talks, she shares about the process of writing that album, taking a deep dive into songs like “Wherever You Lead.” Beyond the music, Kristene dives deep into her personal story of finding her voice in music and in ministry, a story marked by this encouragement: “don’t lose hope, and He’ll meet you with His faith.”
Get The Field by Kristene DiMarco: https://KristeneDiMarco.lnk.to/TheFieldFA.
Kristene's Short Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4OAsxUJx2M&t=969s
Facebook: Kristene DiMarco
YouTube: Kristene DiMarco Music
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Kristene DiMarco 0:00
The thing that broke fear off my life as a worship leader was just that it was getting up on stage and loving the people that I was leading. And wanting to see them get their breakthrough, wanting to see God move on their behalf, wanting to to reach into heaven as a worship leader and pull down. Oh, just what was needed in that room, you know, and obviously, worship is unto the Lord. But when He comes, like, like, we I think Brian Kagetora have this incredible song, when you walk into the room, sickness starts to vanish, every hopeless situation ceases to exist. I say that that would be what? Like, I'm like to be completely captivated by God's heart in such a way where you, you love the people that he loves, because he He is love.
Trevor Tyson 0:53
What's up, everybody, and welcome to this week's episode of Trevor talks. I'm your host, Trevor Tyson. And as per usual, I'm just excited to be here. It's one of those things where I'm like, do we actually get to record a show and people listen to it. And for some amazing reason. We're all here. And we made it and I'm super excited for today's episode, in particular, because today's guest is an amazing worship leader, songwriter, and most notably a part of the BethEl music collective. And honestly, I feel obligated to create a new title for her because after listening to this record, the field I'm like, she's a conversationalist. And so we're gonna throw conversationalist, and they're in her latest album, the field, she invited us all on a sweet, intimate journey with her and a trusting God, despite our views or distractions that we may have within us, around us or within our own hearts. And I'm beyond thrilled to have her on the show today. Please help me welcome Miss Christine DeMarco. Christine, thank you so much for being here.
Kristene DiMarco 1:55
Thanks for having me, Trevor.
Trevor Tyson 1:57
Dude, of course, it's like, you know what, we're gonna do an intro and I'm not gonna butcher it. So I might have but I don't feel like I did. What do you say? That
Kristene DiMarco 2:05
was great. That was an awesome intro. I love that conversationalist. I'm gonna add that to my,
Trevor Tyson 2:11
well, I'm dead serious, like after listening to this, and I've listened to it probably about three times today. It's unique. It's conversational. And it's inviting people to a piece of you that is very vulnerable. So I guess we could just start off with talking about how did this album come to fruition? When did you start concepting this thing? And it's almost like it came out of left field, because this is almost a folk Rakesh type sound, which isn't the normal for you. And I was excited to hear it. I was like, yeah, come on. But where did this all start?
Kristene DiMarco 2:50
I'd say that it started, like, a lot of things started for us and 2020. You know, I was actually I had been writing for an album. In 2019. They had said, like, oh, we have you, like on the docket for 2021. You know, it's just so I was like, Okay, I'm just gonna start writing. So I just started reading and feeling a little less inspired. But then 2020 2020 hit. And it was a very interesting year for me, because I think, I don't know if anybody out there really follows Enneagram at all. But for me, whatever your views are on personality tests for me, I'm a one. And so I can be really highly perfectionistic and I'm Harley I can be hard on myself. I can be hard on a lot of other people. And I'm, I call myself I'm like, God is sanctifying that part of me for sure. And so when 2020 hit I my opinion started just raging, just like I think most people would say, with I didn't have opinions before and now I have opinions, you know, and I it just felt pretty loud, and all quietness that maybe started with the pandemic just went out the window in the summertime and everybody is very loud. And as we know, like, some people are right, some people are wrong. And I think that, of course, I was right all the time. Just yeah, as I'm sure many of you were,
Trevor Tyson 4:25
as we all are.
Kristene DiMarco 4:27
Yes, I remember. I had had a bunch of songs for the album at that point already. And I took them into the studio. And one of our drummers David Woodworth was like, Hey, I feel like there's more inside of you that needs to come out. Like this is nice, but there's more like why don't you start to be more honest. And final and be more honest, you know, and I think at first when I started writing for this project, I thought that I was going To write a project that would show everybody how wrong they were, and how right I was, at USC, me being completely vulnerable, was like, Okay, I'm going to be the person to show everybody the way. And I think it is some level it's like, I II want to dream big, right? You wanna you don't want to think that what you make can't actually change the world, you really should believe that you should believe deeply in yourself. But I think for me, my attitude wasn't super helpful or super great. But over the course of writing, so I obviously didn't release it in 2021. But over the course of the waiting from 2020 into 2022, the songs that started coming out of me were, it was as if the Lord was cutting away at my, at the rough edges of my heart. And I would describe it, like I grew up in Niagara Falls, New York, and I would always describe it as this rock that we would my family and I would go to this special place, down by the Niagara River. And I mean, you go out 20 feet, and there's rapids, you know, like, intense raging rapids. And I remember watching this one rock as a kid, and watching it gets smaller and smaller and smaller until it disappeared under the water altogether before I left or falls. And I felt like the Lord had was almost saying, You are this rock, and stay in the river. Let me run over you let me change you. Let me soften you. And so this whole this project, and what it became was the softening of me. And as it started being unpacked, I realized this isn't just this couldn't possibly just be for me, I feel like God really is going after his church. Because he's in constant pursuit of his church, no matter how embarrassing no matter how stinky and how many things we do in his name, that actually aren't about him at all. He is in constant pursuit of us. And so I went, I wrote, What if Jesus, that's probably one of my favorite songs I've ever written. It's heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, who is one of my favorite songwriters of all time, I've been listening to him since 2005, I'd say. And just for the most part, not really digging into his lyrics that much, you know, just really enjoying it. Like, what is this? Anyway, it was influenced by that in this the sound of the 60s in the civil rights movement, and the songs that were coming out of this really tumultuous time in our human American history. And so I'm thinking, This feels like a tumultuous time in our history, with the pandemic with a lot of like, civil unrest, stuff that was happening, especially in politics. And so I, I said, I remember sitting down, or making my coffee one morning, and I was asked, like, God, who's right and who's wrong, like, Jesus, can you just tell me right now? And I felt I felt this, this still small voice say, well, you're all a little bit wrong. And it was this beautiful moment, just have to humbling. And also almost like, it made me feel connected again, to the world connected again, to people who didn't agree with me. And I'm like, Oh, we're all a little bit wrong. Like we all see, in part, we really don't have it all figured out. And I sat down, I wrote, What if Jesus, and specifically the line in it where it says, What if his body bridges, the chasms, I've dug out my own self righteousness. That's my favorite line, I think in the entire album, because it hit me so hard. It was as if somebody punched me in the stomach, like realize, in the best way, kind of like, wake up, like snap out of it.
Kristene DiMarco 9:04
It was this beautiful moment where I realized that my, my goal to be right and to be correct was not his goal, that he cared much more about connection and relationship, then the correctness and just realizing how much weight I had put upon facts, and all of that stuff that he didn't actually have that same weight that he was he was, while I was separating myself from the people I was embarrassed by or the people that I was like, You are so wrong, and you're racist or you're this you know, I was putting this huge chasm between me and them. And I was standing on one side and pointing my finger at the other side, watching as in this visual watching it Jesus is laying his body across that divide. Because in Isaiah it says in his righteousness, He draws near. And I believe that the reason why he doesn't like our righteousness, He says it's like dirty rags. Because I believe in our righteousness, we pull away, we create distance, we create space. And it's, it's completely different than true righteousness, which is the righteousness of God. So that that's a good, I'd say, a good summary of the entire project. It's obviously called the field. And I named it that because it felt like, I found this incredible treasure of the kindness of God, that he is committed to me. And that it will keep on coming, keep digging up more and more of his kindness. And he, sometimes it cuts, but that's okay. So,
Trevor Tyson 10:53
and that's beautiful. Like, one thing that I had noted was when I saw the album cover for the first time, like and read the field, I was like, it reminds me of a sacred place someplace like we all have that one place where we want to go to where nobody is going to find us. It's just us and God. And you capture that and the emotion from the record, like, one of the lines, and one of the songs, which I'll butcher it, I don't know, like the specific lyric like, yeah, yeah, you can, I think you wrote it. So I think you're gonna help here. So when the people that are disagreeing with you are the ones that are watching Jesus's feet with perfume? Yes, that is so real. And especially like, you're being vulnerable. And you're admitting, like, Hey, I was distancing myself from people that I didn't agree with 100% politically, and I think we've all done that to our fault. In some way, shape, or form, especially during the pandemic, we were all locked in our homes. You've got all this political unrest, you've got race issues, you've got presidential campaign going berserk, like, you know, there was so much unrest, and it got to a point where I was like, I don't even want to watch the news. And then now, it's almost as if, unfortunately, we're getting to a point where we're so used to seeing like school shootings and such on the news that doesn't. Yeah. Did. And it's like, oh, that happened there that happened there. And it's like, I'm not here to talk about like gun reform or anything. But like, there's
Kristene DiMarco 12:24
a whole different podcast. Yeah. Like, it's,
Trevor Tyson 12:28
it's getting hard. And it's so hard. But you were able to navigate that and put it into songs, which was beyond encouraging for me like, and as I said, it doesn't sound like what you would expect from a Christine DeMarco record, or something from Bethel, which, I mean, when Stephanie Grotzinger came out with blackout, we're just like, Whoa, where did that come from? It's the same thing. It's a whole different sound. And I appreciate it. And I love it so much. And again, like we've all been in that place where we're like, You're wrong. I'm right. But throughout this record, one of the reoccurring themes is like, we're probably all wrong in some way, shape, or form. And that's okay. Yeah. Why is? Why is it that we're not allowing Jesus to restructure us in that way? Yeah, no, just refreshing. Like, seriously, it is. And I keep going back to it. Because when people listen to a podcast, they want to take something away. And I hope that if there's one thing that we can all get out of this talk, it's that it's okay to not have all the answers. It's okay to disagree with someone, but have a discussion about it, write an album about it, like I don't know, like, bridge the gap with Christ. And you've done that. So with all of that being said, you have, obviously and you can decline this or whatever, but you've grown into an amazing lady. And we've all obviously all heard your version of it as well. And I'm like, like, it's been stuck in my head all day. But it hasn't always been that way. Like before the millions of views and worship leading in front of 1000s of people like there was simply just Christine there. And that same girl is still in you. And one thing that I like to point out is we're all just normal people that God's called us to do some extraordinary things. So with that being said, before you did the Jesus culture record, and then went on to Bethel and creating albums, where did it start for you? Was music always the vision that God has given you? Or was this a journey that you're still on to this day?
Kristene DiMarco 14:39
So great question. I'll try to I'll try to get all the good parts in that in the answer. When I'd say I've loved singing since I was a little girl. And my mom has pictures of me like belting it out to Sandy Patty, you know, just standing on a stool with a hairbrush. You know, just a little toddler. Lily and I, and it, it was so simple back then. And it was just the feeling of singing. It was the feeling of like it floating out of your out of your vocal cords, you know, and it just coming out and I, I was this five year old little kid, I was all they tell me that they would put me up on stage to sing little solos in the Christmas plays at church because I was like the only five or like how to hold a tune in that go flat or not go sharp or something. But maybe like, we'll have Christine do it. And I was, I was extraordinarily brave when it came to singing. When it came to speaking out not so much. I was very, very shy. And so, but um, when I it was there was no shame when it came to singing. I'm like I have I have everything it takes to do this. And that. I kind of grew out of that. Honestly, when it came to adolescence and being a teenager, and no, I was I was scared on my mind to sing, absolutely terrified. And I wouldn't even I wouldn't sing in front of anybody. It was very different than when I was 5678. You know. And so like i i remember joining the worship team, but only for keys. So I would play piano and I was on the I was I played piano from the time I was 13 to the time that I was about 15 years old, just piano. And we had this new worship leader come into town, we are a church of probably 150 people. It's pretty small. And it was actually right down the street from where I lived. And so my dad would give me the keys because he was the assistant pastor. And I would I would go in. And at night, I turn on the sound system and I just sing and that's the only time in front of you. Well,
Trevor Tyson 16:44
Kristene DiMarco 16:45
Nice. You're it's fine. I think I sound good. I'm not really sure I was just super insecure. And we have this new door splitter come in, and he was a little bit he like was in a band. And he was like kind of edgy. And I was playing keys for him. And one day our worship leader our girl was really just got sick didn't show up. And he's like, he looks at me like you're singing. Like, I don't sing. I play piano. He's like, yes, you sing. You're singing. And you know, a small church, right? It's like, while you're taking over. We don't ever want to do
Trevor Tyson 17:21
this, this and this. We don't have somebody to do why it's but we need you to be worshipped. So dealt with your toes.
Kristene DiMarco 17:26
You're doing it sorry. And I'm like, Oh, my God, I was. So I was shaking. I was terrified. And it was the song, I think by passion. And it was this version of amazing grace. And I, I was shaking and I sang it. I say this thing, this whole song. And I remember at the end wanting to go run and cry. But at that moment, I got so much positive feedback and so much encouragement. People were coming up to me and saying like, your voice is amazing. You have to keep doing this. And that's that's the thing, isn't it? Like you step out and do something? And if there's nobody there to encourage you, would you ever step on stage again and do it? I don't think so. encouragement for new leaders is is vital. And so I got so much encouragement, I'm like, Oh, hey, maybe, maybe this is who I am. Maybe this is what I want. And I because I still loved it. I love singing. So I continue to sing. I became the youth worship leader, the assistant worship leader in my church by the time I was 18. And when I graduated high school, I all I wanted to do is just seek the Lord. I had had it in my head that I wanted to do something with music, something with worship, but I didn't know how am I supposed to make money with this? How am I supposed to build anything with this? You know, everybody said, go into art, be an architect be this, you know, I'm like, but I feel like it's on my life to do this. So I ended up going to IHOP Kansas City, which is the International House of Prayer, not pancakes. And I global house of prayer. Yes. I did not realize what I got myself into. It was a lot of prayer, um, time, I did find the night internship, which we we basically would wake up at 3pm in the afternoon, we would go into the prayer room at midnight, have lunch at 2pm and 2am. And then, you know, it was just a weird schedule. And I did it for six months. I was a part of the worship teams there. So I decided I'm going to try out for worship teams. Funny thing I tried out for keys and vocal. I didn't make it for keys, but I made it for vocal. And I became I became a prayer room singer prophetic singer. And I thought that was quite the the training ground because you people would be up there praying and then you'd have to like listen to what they're praying and then come up with something dusting off of what they were praying. That really prepared me for vessel music. Let me tell you Yeah, like our 50 minute songs. You know,
Kristene DiMarco 20:09
I learned that stuff. Yeah, just 5050 That's fine. I
Kristene DiMarco 20:13
learned that by doing the house prayer stuff. And I fell in love with it. I fell in love with being just in the presence of God that long and just sitting in it. And sure, like I my fingers cramped after a while and my voice got hoarse sometimes. But I and then I joined the call with Lou Engle stood in front of the Supreme Court lifesaver in my mouth, praying for the new abortion. Did that for 10 months was in Washington, DC. I sat in on the the confirmation hearings of Justice John Roberts just did some really weird things
Trevor Tyson 20:53
like just the random things. Some nobody would think that's
Kristene DiMarco 20:57
all Yeah. And I'm like, I can't believe I got to do that. That's pretty cool to get that to be that close to government. And then we would pray. And I was one of four worship leaders going 24/7. And so you imagine that's about a six hours set. And with a little break in the middle to pray at the Supreme Court, but I started doing very long marathon worship sets. And now I think two hours is probably my max. But I hit 13 hours at one point, leading worship. That's my record. That's like an entire day that your toddler's awake, you know,
Trevor Tyson 21:35
that is a lot of people's records by a longshot. I don't think I've done anything close to 13. Now,
Kristene DiMarco 21:42
I haven't met anybody so far. That's like I broke her record 16
Trevor Tyson 21:46
David's tent in DC they'd go for like 24 hours. But I don't know if that's like one individual I would.
Kristene DiMarco 21:52
I like to think that's not one individual. Because nobody, like I had a hard time saying no back then I'm really glad that I built up some boundaries.
Trevor Tyson 22:00
But that's me over the past few years. I can't do it right now. Sorry. Yeah.
Kristene DiMarco 22:04
Exactly. Like there is an element of hey, this doesn't make you holier just, you know, relax. Yeah, I think I was I was definitely in the Thralls of like, I'm so holy and righteous. And I must keep going. I must do the altar. Yeah, find the altar never go out. God really has worked on my heart. But I did that move to San Francisco started a house of prayer out in San Francisco, which is how I ended up in California. That was the hardest three years of my life. The Where's light was album really is came out of that I was about that. And I think that I did like kind of a mini documentary about that. So if people want to dive into that a little more,
Trevor Tyson 22:48
we're gonna put the link for that in the description, because I do want to talk about that. Especially the little apartment and you know, yeah, all the encounters you had were phenomenal. Yeah, we
Kristene DiMarco 22:57
I mean, when you're, there is nothing quite like being in a place where where it's, it's, it can be so dark at certain points that I kind of described as you shut off all the lights in a room and you light a candle. That candle is incredibly bright, right? Sometimes when you light a candle in broad daylight, you don't notice that as much. But something about being in that city, I noticed the Kingdom of Heaven everywhere I would go. I would see him in everything. And I miss it. Sometimes I'm in a very peaceful, peaceful city peaceful place. And I think I it's easier to miss the Kingdom of Heaven sometimes when there isn't. I mean, when you're not confronted with darkness all the time. It's an interesting, I guess, maybe an interesting thing to say. But I believe that it burns all the brightest and darks, dark places. And I met God in San Francisco. I nobody can convince me that he's not real, because I'm like, not actually. I met him. My daughter is at this stage in her life where she's like, Mom, I just don't know. And I remember being in that place. And I was like, well, Lorelai do you hope do you hope that he's real? And she's like, Yeah, I hope I was like, good, because that's all you can do. Because it says faith is a gift of God through Jesus Christ. And I'm telling you, God gave me faith and he'll give you faith. It's just like, we think we have to like conjure up something, but it's like, Hold on your hope. Don't lose hope. And he'll meet it with this faith, you know? Yeah. I so that's what that place was. for me. It was like my hoping that he was real. And him meeting me with a knowing that he was alive and real. And I mean,
Trevor Tyson 24:59
a lot of people People pray for that. They're like, God, give me that sign. And one of the things that really stuck out to me about seeing you lead worship, I'll have like the Bethel YouTube channel just going on repeat while I'm working throughout the day. And one thing that really stands out to me is you have this. It's almost a presence of fearless worship. And I was very curious about that and hearing the story behind like, yeah, like, you've had people literally putting curses on you in the streets, and you're still waiting worship, and you're like, God, like you told me to be here. I'm quite anxious and don't feel good. I don't want to be here. And all that's in the documentary, which again, we'll put in the description below. Like, it's, it's interesting, because it you see people on stage leading worship, and it's so easy, especially in the celebrity, like church culture, quote, unquote, to be like, Oh, they're superhuman, or this or that, no, they're human. They're literally just, that's what they do in their own time. Like, you see him offstage nine times out of 10. If somebody is charismatic on stage, you see him in the crowd somewhere, they're gonna be going ham just as hard. Like I'm running around, I remember I was on a charismatic, gathering a few, like a year ago, and people like, There were old ladies that were dancing around like fairies, and oh, my y'all get it, you know, like, you're doing it, you're doing it, there's
Kristene DiMarco 26:20
Matic it's a whole nother level
Trevor Tyson 26:24
flags and painters and it's for fires? Well, it's encouraging because it shows like worship comes in all different forms. And especially when it comes down to like that, quote, unquote, fearless worship. It had to take a while to get to that point where you're like, I don't care what people think like, this may look weird. But this is just how I was wired to be. And I live in Georgia, which is obviously down in the Deep South. And you don't see that quite as much. And a lot of people are even afraid to raise their hands during worship. So not that we're like talking people into it. But was there a breakthrough that you had to have personally, where you're just like, I don't care. This is a surrender. This is a worship, this is how you have called me to be? And how did you break through that anxiousness that you might have had?
Kristene DiMarco 27:13
That's, that's a good question. For me. I think initially, I would have said, I don't care what I don't care what people think. And I think we a lot of people say this all the time. You know. And it's, that's, that's funny, because it's, it's like, it's what I want deeply is to not care. But when we try to do it in our own strength, it tends to come off as rebellion or like, we anything really, in our own strength isn't always great. And it comes off like that, or we just dismiss people. We were like, I don't care what you think. And therefore I don't care about you. And what's interesting about fear, well, it says in the Bible, we've read this, we've all read this, where it says, perfect love casts out fear. And I'm here to tell you that it's no different when you are leading people in worship. So if I'm up there, and I'm like, I don't care about all of you, I don't care what you think, in my own strength, just trying to make it through. I am going to be just basically in fear anyway, because I'm not moving in love. The thing that broke fear off my life as a worship leader, was just that it was getting up on stage and loving the people that I was leading. And wanting to see them get their breakthrough, wanting to see God move on their behalf, wanting to to reach into heaven as a worship leader and pull down. Oh, just what was needed in that room, you know, and obviously worship is unto the Lord. But when He comes, like, like, we I think Brandon Kagetora have this incredible sign when you walk into the room, sickness starts to vanish, every hopeless situation ceases to exist. I say that that would be what, like, I'm like, to be completely captivated by God's heart in such a way where you you love the people that he loves, because he He is love. And so that broke the fear of man off my life, like nothing else. Was not this. I don't care what you think thing, but it was like, I don't care what you think. But I do care about you. And and and I need Jesus and you need Jesus. And that's what that's we're both gonna go after him today. Amen. You know, and then that helped a lot. I would say a big thing, especially I watch leaders and worship leaders get promoted really fast. And I think God can do that. He can use it. I don't think it's the easiest way to do it. But for me, what helped is as my history as the Lord was built, and as my the song I will rise I wrote a while back. And it's kind of based on that whole that idea is like in the quiet in the morning when no one knew and no one needed to, like this, this what God built with me in the times in the secret places where nobody was watching, nobody was seeing, like those moments in your life, they build who you are, and you bring them on stage with you. Like when I get on stage, I bring my entire history with God with me, I have this relationship, I have this history with him, I bring it on stage, I don't, I don't come onto the stage alone. Like I bring our relationship, I bring our history. And I feel like over the course of time, that that is my confidence. Like I've had vocal struggles, I've had vocal problems. And I've literally gotten on stage it at Bethel and been like, we're just gonna roll the dice today, you know, and I've lost all confidence in my vocal at one point. And God was like, I just want you to watch and see what I can do with someone who loses no confidence in me, even when losing confidence in their gift. And I am like, no matter what I wherever, whatever stage I'm on, or whatever stage I'm not on, it's like I bring my history with God. And it's my greatest treasure. And it is it's the rock on it that I stand. So I'd say I watch really beautiful voices get promoted really early. And I don't envy them. I think that that's the harder way to do it. It causes a lot of confusion, a lot of questions, die. I've watched God use it, though. So he can use whatever the heck he wants, you know, so he's, he's used a Avilon. In my life. He's used Christian radio, he's used everything. He's he's used everything I thought he couldn't use. So I'm like, You know what? I don't envy them. But I know God can use
Trevor Tyson 32:03
all of it. And that's the same thing with anything like you can get promoted way too quick. And I can't sing worth a crap. So I'm not all volunteering for worship anytime soon. But when I first started, like, Okay, God, you want to do something with my voice? I know you want to like, I don't know what it is. But I'm so glad he didn't give me a platform when I wanted it. Because I want to butcher every single aspect of it. And even now, it's like, alright, God, what do you want to do? What do you want to do? Like, why are we recording these? Like, why is this a thing like, yeah, give me your will, like your will be done. And it's refreshing to hear that it's not only worship leaders, it's not only people on a platform that happens within everybody. And it's something that we can all bond over, like, hey, we don't have it all together, like your voice, like, sometimes my voice isn't going to work, that's totally fine. And if God wants to give us a season of rest, look at it as that he's blessing you with a season arrest. And that's one thing I struggle with, like crazy, I cannot rest my mind is just always moving. Like I gotta be doing something, we've got to be booking this, we got to do that. Like, there's always something to do in my head. And I'm like, Well, I'm going to hit a brick wall again. And I've learned like, over time, and I'm not perfect at it, but I am working at it like, Okay, I gotta slow down. I've got to pace myself. It's a marathon, not a sprint. If God wants me to do this tomorrow, it's gonna happen tomorrow. If he wants it in 10 years, that's when it's going to happen. And diving, kind of like back into the record, we've talked about what if Jesus, one of the songs that I'd really like to just give you the for to discuss is wherever you lead, because the lyrics, the lyrical content throughout the whole record? is amazing. But this song in particular just stopped me in my tracks. And I was like, I've got to hear the process for this. I need to hear the story behind it. I need to basically feel like I wrote it by the time we're done with this.
Kristene DiMarco 34:02
Yeah. I would love to talk about that song. It's one of my favorites I think I've ever written or been a part of writing it. I wrote it in July 2020. And it I don't know if you've ever talked to Ethan Hulse. He actually helped Josh Baldwin, right? Stand in your love. So I got to write with him. And he's like, I was just he was through zoom, you know, because because of COVID and everything and so we're he he is like I was just looking out my window this morning and I started singing this. And he goes, I'm gonna fix my eyes on Jesus walking, and he just kind of he sings for almost the whole chorus and I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is yes. Can we please write this song let's write this. And he. So we I had the idea for the first First I'm done trusting in what sinking these boats weren't built for me. That particular one, because I had been staying this mulling around with this, and in my head, because of like the political unrest was asking God like, do I get into a boat? It just, if you if you look at both parties as boats, and both have holes, and both are in the process of sinking, maybe one sinking faster than the other, but they both have holes, do you get into a sinking boat. And I was almost like I was, I was talking to the Lord, I'm standing on the edge of the Sea of Galilee or something. And I'm like, but the boats are messed up. And he's like, Well, then you walk on water. And this idea of that, there is there is a better way, like even when Jesus was on earth, and they all wanted him to do one thing. They wanted him to like overthrow Rome, they wanted him to do all the stuff become king. I mean, the list was endless, of what they wanted their Messiah to do. And he did. He, he came from a different kingdom with different rules. And he ultimately set all the captives free, and the whole world free. So it's, I feel like this term is overused a lot. But the third way, I think that this song was started to be that exactly exact thing of, I'm going to fix my eyes on Jesus, I'm going to walk with the one who walks on the sea, I'm going to give my life to follow speak to me, and I'll go wherever you lead. It's this, this fresh commitment to the Lord, like I follow Jesus. The the second verse being I'm done trusting an image of what only looks like me, it's this idea of I'm done trusting in my idea of God, and a God who always agrees with what I think I'm at, like he, he is much bigger than my thought process. He's much bigger than what I've made them to be done trusting in my image of God, it was that idea of the golden calf in the Bible, when they were worshipping the golden calf. They were calling it like Yat Yawei. They were, they were they created it not as almost a different God, they created it as like an image of the God that they couldn't quite comprehend. And I'm like, I just, I don't want to worship an image of something that makes sense to me. surrounding you with limits. I want to make sure like God, would you forgive me and restore the mystery, that thing that irritates us sometimes mostly about, about God is the mystery of who he is. Because we want to figure everything out, right? But that restore the mystery. It's just that thought really, really got at my heart when we were writing the bridge. Wherever you go, wherever you leave, that's where I'll go. That's where I'd be very simple thought. But it's just this recommitment to the Lord, I thought that it was a good heartbeat for the entire record, being like, I'm just done trusting and what's thinking. I'm done equating certain political parties with righteousness. I am done. I'm finished God, I, I want only you, like, I will follow you. And it was it's humbling, because it's like our natural tendencies would be get in a boat, you have to take sides, you must be on a team. And I'm like, I don't feel like I am. So that's basically what the song is about, and where it came from.
Trevor Tyson 38:59
I love that. And the last one I really want to touch on is your my country. And the first thing about it that really stopped me was the sound and the flow that you have in this song. It's very again, just like the whole record. This is very new and very new sound for you. And the message of the song just like you are my country. Everybody wants to be patriotic, everybody wants to be on the right side of history, quote, unquote, but God hasn't called us to be Republican or Democrat. He's called us to be like, just believe in him. I believe that he's got a better will. And it reminded me of that saying that, like I hear a lot of family talk about God doesn't want a pastor to be the President of the United States. It's like the school. Everybody's got their thing, but you are my country. Just a read off the first line. Like maybe we will get to heaven and realize we were both wrong. Who can throw the sharpest stone build the biggest throne is there really a winner. If we all have broken bones, maybe we will get to heaven and realize we're both wrong. We're all just slapping risks over why we exist. Everybody's our Minion and everyone's a Calvinist. Can we tell God, a man made king from a man made king? Can we tell love from a promise ring? Can we tell the kingdom from the kingdom where we lay our head down at night? All the imagery in it is so perfect. I could read through the whole thing, but I'm not going to for time sake, like, where did the song start? Where was the inspiration for this? And anything else you want to share? Like, I'm just at a loss for words again, reading it, just because this is exactly what needed to be said. So
Kristene DiMarco 40:44
honestly, that is a song that I didn't think I'd be allowed to record, you know, or it was just that idea of like, Can I really say this? Like, can I say it? I have this really great friend named Gable Price, who helped me write this song. And he's one of my favorite people to write with. I remember, we're texting back and forth in 2020. And I, I had told him about, like, I asked the Lord who's right and who's wrong. And he said, we're all a little bit wrong. And he's like, that's crazy, because I started this song. And he actually had the first line, maybe we'll get to heaven realize we're both wrong. And I'm like, let's write the song. And so he comes over, are in my music room. And we actually wrote that song and idol idols, the same day, two hours, that's all ticket wrote both of the songs, but this one in particular. I, like I have to hand give Gable a lot of credit, because he has way more guts than I do in a lot of ways. He he's in a position where it feels like he has a lot more permission to like, explore lyrics and stuff. But I, I really grabbed on to this idea of maybe we're both wrong and we unpacked the who can throw the sharpest stone, you know, because it's like, it's like it is it is the person who throws the sharpest stone. Are they the most right? Like or is it? Is it actually a loss? You know, is it Robert is a really a winner if we all have broken bones going on to the everyone's are many and everyone's a Calvinist? Obviously, those two theologies are on opposite spectrums. And starting to be like, well, everybody falls in somewhere in this this spectrum, right. And kind of like tongue in cheek, a little bit sassy. And I think, I think the, the beat of the song, the way that it it is produced really lends itself to that. The idea can we tell God from a man made king was really based in my, I'd say some of it came from my frustration of 2020 of like, seeing like being like, we we've put too much hope in man. Like, like, I don't think I'm 100% Correct. But our hope is misplaced. And even like, even when it comes to issues, like ending abortion, and things that are actually really important, I feel to the heart of God, poverty, all of these things. It's like, no one has a monopoly on justice, and nobody has a monopoly on righteousness. And we're putting our we're putting so much weight into kings that we've made, like, even in the Bible, when they they wanted to King so bad. So they got saw, you know, and just mulling around with that in my head and Gable with can we tell love from a promise ring? Kind of this funny idea of like, you know, back in the day when all the girls had promise rings, and just the idea of like, well, that's, that's like this weird. It's not a real commitment, you know? And, I mean, I could go on and on about that song, like Can Can I will I really find a savior on one side of a party line? Probably not. The there's actually a bridge in that song that I didn't put into my version. Gable did a version of it. And it goes really hard. It's like, and he's like, he's a little bit more like rock than I am. But it's like I pledge allegiance to the presence no matter what it costs, because the only war I'm begging for I was finished on the cross. It's it's like it goes really hard into like, You are my country. And that's, that's the reality is like when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, everything else became secondary. And so Chris, like me, it his kingdom became the rules and the standards by which I live my life. And America gladly gives me so Many great rights and responsibilities that I am very appreciative of, especially as a woman. But when it comes down to it, if God were to say, I need you to lay down that right? Like, am I more Christian than I am American? Like, does that make sense? Like it like what kingdom reigns inside of me most, most, mostly, and I think that's the whole idea of the song is what kingdom wins when it comes down to it.
Trevor Tyson 45:29
And even in the idolatry song, like, we all have these devices in our hands. And I was thinking about it yesterday, I was like, I imagine in 1020 years, maybe even sooner that there's going to be statistics on how what percentage of our lives that we're actually looking down at our devices versus what's in front of us. Sure. And that becomes a king to us, if we don't nip it in the bud, like social media standards, working overworking lack thereof, feeling as if our community is on our phone versus in person, like there's a lot of mental health stuff that goes into that. And so many people right now feel so connected, but they're lonely, they're isolated, they're suicidal, and they don't necessarily know where to go. And segwaying into this question. There's a lot of people out there that are feeling a lot of different ways, especially in politics, whether they agree or disagree with the abortion decision for Roe versus Wade, whether they voted for Trump in 2020 and feel as if the election were stolen, whether like, on all different sides of the spectrum. Yes, a lot of people are feeling broken, afraid betrayed. And they'll, it just goes on. So for those people that might be listening into this right now. From you, what would you say to them, and just progressing move forward and heal from that heartache? I,
Kristene DiMarco 47:02
I think I just maybe just even pull on the song gravity from the album, that particular song when it says like, don't let this truth be lost on me, my God, he feels the gravity of everything. I think about it as a parent. And when you know, when you're a kid, like an hour is like an eternity, you know, and that your perspective, it's because your perspective is so small, it's so limited, you haven't quite seen the world you haven't. You haven't quite experienced a lot. And so your perspective is so small, therefore time just like crawls by and I think about having one of the greatest lessons as a parent is having grace for your kids that cannot see to the end of their noses, you know, and then they're like, they're like my iPad
Kristene DiMarco 47:57
time limit went on, and they're just like,
Kristene DiMarco 48:01
crying, bawling their eyes out. Like it's the worst thing that happened to them that day, you know, and, and you're like, Oh, my God, we need to take you to a third world nation, you know, or something. Because the perspective is so small. And I think about I think about the stuff that we're actually going through right now in the world. Like people really, really struggling with some really intense stuff like depression, like hopelessness, pandemic, death, loss, all probably some of the hardest things you can deal with as a human being. But the, and I think sometimes I was I was driving in 2020. And we were dealing with some stuff as a family and I was like, God, are you just just looking? You're just watching?
Kristene DiMarco 48:49
Are you just up there?
Kristene DiMarco 48:50
You know, like, because it's sometimes it just feels like that? Are you just watching. And as soon as it came out of my mouth, you know, I'm, I'm crying. And if that's when, like the song gravity started, just to drop into my heart of Oh, my God, he feels the gravity of everything. And that even though you have this, this uncreated God, who dwells outside of time, and all of the things that it says about him in the Bible, that he would become flesh, that he would limit his perspective, that he would, he would clothe himself in skin, that he would come and feel the literal gravity of the earth on his body. I just I have found so much comfort in the man Jesus in this past couple years and I know onto my into my whole life, is that when he raised from the dead, he wouldn't says that he walked through that wall and they're like, Ah, ghost. He's like, no, no, no, touch me touch my hands. And it hit me so hard that he his body, flesh and bone raised. And he's still like he, and we talked about all the time, but it was like the spirit of revelation or something was on it. And I felt the weight of the fact that he is flesh and his bone and even washed to me, they're like, is it gonna fall to the floor, if he's eaten, you know, I would encourage people just that your God is flesh and bone. Because he chose to be flesh and bone. And that the gravity that you feel when it comes to the situations that you find yourself in, and the gravity that you literally feel keeping your feet on the earth, this big rock in outer space, like he felt all of those things, and he is not far off. I, I found incredible comfort in that, and that he has so much grace for our very limited perspective, that he's not like, I'll get over it, that he actually can feel with us. Even though he has he knows the beginning from the end. He feels with us even in the middle of it. So that has been that's a comfort and I feel like that should comfort a lot of other people too.
Trevor Tyson 51:26
Man, oh man, Christine DeMarco, everybody, geez, you probably caught on to the fact that I was at a loss for words a few times, because this record is so beautiful that I can't really describe it. And like the sound is great. But the lyrical content, there's something about it that just feels genuine vulnerable. And I don't know if an interviewer can do it justice. So I hope that I did a decent job you can let me know in the comments below. If I need to work on anything, you know what you'd be my critique, let me know something you don't like DME. But also like, this is something that we're going to keep doing, Trevor talks isn't going away. I'm super thrilled and honored to be able to have guests every single week, we're getting close to 100 episodes, which is very exciting. You never know who our 100th episode is going to be. In fact, I haven't even thought about that. So I'm gonna get on that. But in the meantime, we love you guys so much, be sure to check out the field with the link in the description below. As well as that short documentary on Bethel music's YouTube page, which we're also going to have in the description below. Thank you guys so much for tuning in seriously, like a little old dude from social circle. Being able to do a show like this is a dream come true. And if you're listening this right now you were a part of that. So from the top bottom in my whole heart, thank you so much. And I cannot wait to bring you more content next week. So we'll talk to you then. And in the meantime, just know your loved you have purpose and then God has a specific plan for your life. Never forget that
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Kristene DiMarco is a worship leader and songwriter at Bethel Church and with Bethel Music. She joined the Bethel Music Collective in 2016, bringing with her a history of passionate worship that has inspired a new generation of worshippers. Her worship magnifies the peace and breakthrough we encounter in Jesus.
Kristene is featured on Bethel Music’s most recent album Homecoming (2021) singing “Wherever You Lead”. Her album Where His Light Was (2017) features her song “Take Courage”, which also appears on Bethel Music’s Starlight (2017) album and Bethel Music En Español (2019) as “Ten Fe Corazón”. Kristene’s song “It Is Well” is featured on Bethel Music’s You Make Me Brave (2014), and is played on Christian radio stations around the U.S. The fresh perspective of this timeless hymn impacts churches all over the world. With a rich history in songwriting, Kristene has 3 other solo albums Mighty (2015), Safe Place (2012), and Those Who Dream (2008).
Kristene has a heart for growing future leaders and encouraging young creatives to step into their calling. She enjoys life in Redding, California with her husband Jordan, a pastor at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and their two children, Lorelai and Nico.