Faith Inspiration

An Open Letter To Sandi Patty

An Open Letter To Sandi Patty www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Andrea Wenburg

Dear Sandi Patty,

You probably don’t remember me, but we almost met. You sang at the Nebraska State Fair in the late 1980’s for your Make His Praise Glorious Tour. I could hardly contain my excitement when you invited KIDS to join you on stage to sing. My little sister and I jumped at the opportunity! After we finished singing with you, I lingered. I was the 10-year-old who let dozens of other kids pass in front of me so I could be up on stage just another moment with you…the woman I dreamed I could be someday.

An Open Letter To Sandi Patty   www.herviewfromhome.com

We have quite the history, you and me. So many of my childhood memories involved me playing your music and dreaming of becoming just like you. “Love In Any Language” was my signature solo when my family did singing programs for local churches. We sang dozens of your songs through those years.

Last week you brought tears to my eyes as I watched you announce your retirement (watch the video here) from your prolific career in the Christian Music industry. A flood of memories, dreams and music filled my mind and heart. You share lessons that you learn from others on your blog, so I would like to return the favor.  

Lessons I’m Learning From Sandi Patty

1. It’s OK for a woman to be strong and vulnerable at the same time.

You were my introduction to what a vocal powerhouse could be. I remember the “wow!” look on my dad’s face when we heard you nail the high notes in songs such as “We Shall Behold Him.” And yet you also caress with sweet vulnerability in songs like “Merry Christmas With Love.” I long to express myself with equally stirring power and tenderness.

2. It’s possible to connect deeply with thousands of individuals at one time.

I listened to my cassette tape of Live: We Shall Behold Him so many times that I had your entire script and performance memorized. I probably still do! You radiate warmth, humor and conviction on stage. I learned that it is a viable, honorable goal to offer my heart and connect deeply with individuals on whatever stage I stand.

3. It’s OK to sing out loud. 

You demonstrate to me the beauty of singing out when there is pressure to blend in. I can’t imagine all of the beauty and glory the world would have missed, had you held your voice back. There is a difference between performing for praise and performing to make His praise glorious. 

4. Every voice is unique. 

I sang “Carry On” for my commercial music vocal audition at Belmont University in 1997. When I got there as a freshman I was crushed to find out that a bunch of other women were at Belmont to be the next Sandi Patty, too. I realized in the next few years that I didn’t need to have your voice to make a difference in the world. I needed to find my own.

5. In our weakness, He is strong.

My heart broke in the mid-‘90’s when your life took a drastic turn. Divorce was not something I thought about much as a middle school kid so when you went through it, it was hard for me to understand. For the next few years I didn’t hear much from you, and then my family attended the 1997 Music In The Rockies. My eyes and heart overflowed with forgiveness and love for you when you sang “You Set Me Free.” I went on to sing that very song as the closer in my own college senior recital in 2000. It took a while, but I eventually realized my own humanity. Our message of God’s grace is exponentially more powerful when we embody a picture of the gospel instead of just preach it.

An Open Letter To Sandi Patty   www.herviewfromhome.comI am honored to have the opportunity to bring my own husband and children to see your concert in Omaha in March. You’ve titled your final tour “Forever Grateful” (click here for tour dates and venues). It’s such an appropriate title, because that’s how we all feel about you.

Straight from the heart,

 

Andrea Joy Wenburg

Share your gratitude to Sandi Patty in the comments below.

 

* All pictures used with permission.

About the author

Andrea Wenburg

I’m Andrea, author of the bestselling book, UNFROZEN: Stop Holding Back and Release the Real You. I’m a wife to Aaron and mom to two beautifully creative kids. When they’re not around I’m working as a writer, speaker and strategist for my company Impact By Design, helping people find and refine their “voice” in the world as a person and/or a Personal Brand. I love writing about the experiences and lessons I learn on my journey to find, refine and express the voice of my heart. I do what I do so others might be equipped and inspired to realize how they might be holding back so they can release their true selves for the sake of others.

You can find more of my writing, audio and video, on my website http://andreajoywenburg.com

You can also find me on
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andreajoywenburg?ref=hl
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaWenburg

B.A. Music Education
M.A. Counseling Ministries

5 Comments

  • Great letter Andrea! I grew up loving her too. Of course, I lived about 30 minutes from her, and her parents performed at my church on occasion. I’m glad you can appreciate how exciting that is!

  • I’m the sister of Andrea who also sang numerous Sandi Patty songs as
    solo’s for family programs, church solos, etc. We all dreamed of having
    the powerful voice that she has. I’m forever grateful for the grace,
    humility and passion she has shown over her career. I will definitely
    find a way to be a part of her last tour.

  • My sentiments are the same. I too sing her songs and first heard her when I was 6 years old! She’s such a big part of my childhood, like the sound track to it 🙂 God bless Sandi Patty!

  • What a great post! Gosh, just the listing of the songs in your blog brought back so many memories. I sang those songs over and over, too. Until some of my tapes broke. Remember tapes? That broke? Thank you for the memories. We are all friends bonded in Jesus. I loved singing “Jesus Loves Me” in concerts together.