One of Christian Music's most beloved voices, Natasha Owens, has just released her latest album STAND (Radiate Music). The new album was produced by GRAMMY-nominated and multiple Dove Award-winner Ian Eskelin.
Natasha's path to a successful music career is unique, rooted in agonizing heartache and unbelievable tragedy. Seven years ago, her father died suddenly while cleaning his guns when one misfired, placing a bullet in his chest. The themes of grief, heartbreak, and redemption permeate throughout her music, which served as therapy for her along the way.
Q: Natasha, thanks for doing this interview with us. I believe you have been busy speaking at the Warrior's Event this summer. Tell us more about this women's conference and some of its highlights?
I believe that the female is the glue that holds the family together. My goal is to help strengthen the Mom & Wife. Help give her real life tools that can help her to overcome, be empowered and to live a victorious life with Christ. These Warrior events are special to my heart, and I believe we are making a difference and God is strengthening families all over our country.
Q: You have been a big advocate for mental health, and you have often spoken about it. Why is it important to speak about this issue?
After my father died in an accident cleaning his guns, I downspirled into a deep depression. Proverbs 18:21 states that "we have the power of life or death in our tongue". This is so true. I spoke anger and that anger penetrated into my mind. It wasn't long before I was fighting for my life, a battlefield in my mind. I felt like I was in quicksand, It happened so fast. The enemy started to convince me that the world would be a better place without me. We go through things in life that are too much for us to bear. When we start having a hard time carrying the weight, we need to give it to God. But often, we turn to drugs and alcohol to numb it. When we can't numb it anymore, then we turn to suicide.
God will always offer you a lifeline; an out. He crossed my path when I was 6 months into my depression. That interruption in my path is the reason I am alive today. My burden for mental health has increased significantly over the past 18 months. Society has suffered human touch, in person activities and church doors have been closed. This is detrimental to someone who is struggling with mental health and depression. They already feel alone and isolated without the lockdowns.
It does not surprise me that mental health and suicide has increased over 92% over the past year. This number should shake everyone to the core. We have lost more people to suicide than we have to Covid in the past year. I urge everyone reading my words to make a difference in the world that they live in. Check on neighbors, family and friends. Go the extra mile to make the world a better place for someone. Pastors, please don't close the doors to your church. Offer a safe place for people to run to. People don't fake depression, but they are great at faking a smile, nodding their head and telling everyone that they are ok.
Q: What do you have to say to our readers who may be suffering from depression?
Depression is a battlefield of the mind. If you can win the battle between your 2 ears, then you have won the war. Like I stated above, be care what you speak. I would google scriptures for whatever emotion I was feeling for the day. I would write a couple of scriptures on my arm or on a piece of paper. The moment you feel a negative emotion, think something or say something negative immediately start reading those scriptures. Scriptures like 2 Timothy 1:7 "God has not given me the spirit of fear, but he's given me peace, love and a SOUND MIND".
The Bible says that the word of God is sharper than any 2-edged sword. This is battle. This is war. We have to use the word of God as a tool. The moment you start reading the scripture, you will feel a peace and are able to take a breath. If you can catch that negative thought and combat it with positive, it will not take root in your mind. Once it hits your mind it will take over like weeds. After a while of repeating God's word, our mind will start reciting these scriptures automatically. I also want to talk about the topic of medication. We live in a society that doesn't really want to talk about mental health, especially the church.
Sometimes, it's just a chemical imbalance and you need a little bit of additional help and that's OK. If it was your heart or blood pressure that you were having problems with, you would not hesitate to take medicine to help. The same with mental health. God gave wisdom and guidance to doctors through medicine. If you need a doctor's help, please do not hesitate to reach out to one.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your new album. Why do you title the record STAND?
I read a scripture last year during the time that Virginia and New York had adopted into law full term abortions. This was another level of evil that I had not seen before. Isaiah 7:9 "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all". This scripture stirred me. We live in a very woke and politically correct environment and the church has become too passive. We need to STAND on what we believe it. We need to be a light in the midst of the darkness. One spark can burn bight when it is so dark. The world needs just one thing, Jesus. The church needs to be vocal on issues that are not right, according to God's word. I pray that the song "Stand" is an anthem and that it will give you the courage to be a Warrior for Christ.
Q: Talk to us about your latest single "Lion" and why you are excited about it.
We often depict God as being a lamb who is a very gentle creature. And this is true. There is a part of God that is very gentle. However, there is another side of God that is a Lion. He is a conquer, a defender, a protector. He will go in front of you and help fight your battles. I have a picture of a lion cub and a daddy lion standing and hiding behind him. The caption reads: "If the devil knew who my daddy was, he wouldn't mess with me". I loved this and this picture was the inspiration behind the song "Lion". Don't mess with me devil - my daddy is a lion.
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making of STAND?
The biggest highlight for me is the song "Home". My Grandfather passed away from Covid last August. He wanted me to sing at his funeral, but I could not find a song that did this man justice. This man was so incredible. He was more like Jesus than any man I have ever known. I sent 10 typed pages of everything I could remember about him. Ian Eskelin and Tony Wood took those words and wrote Home. I was able to sing this song at his funeral.
Another highlight is the song "Perfect". It is hard to live in this society as a female. There is such pressure to be skinny and beautiful at all times. When we wrote this song, the idea was to be an encourage to teenagers. To let them know that God creates perfection, and you are perfect in his eyes. But I was pleasantly surprised that this song ministers to me, as a middle-aged woman. I have finally come to the place in my life that I can rest in this promise. I am perfect in God's eyes.
I also love the song "Storm". I don't know about you, but I often feel like I live in the middle of a tornado. Everything is spinning around me, but I can't quite grasp anything. My husband, who looks at the bright side of everything, said "Well at least you are moving forward". I often feel like Peter in the midst of the storm. I am too afraid to get out of my boat. I am often afraid of the unknown. What is outside of the boat scares me. You need to realize that God is in control of the storm. What comes against you will never stand when we have a God as our defender.
I also love the song "Fly". This is a song about crazy faith. Does anyone have crazy faith? My husband does for sure. I have a picture of a girl walking towards a cliff blindfolded. A couple of feet below the cliff is a big hand. The caption reads, "True faith is walking off the cliff and KNOWING 2 things are going to happen. 1. God is going to catch you OR 2. Teach you how to fly. It's my prayer every day, in every situation, to have true crazy faith.
Q: My favorite song off the album is "Yes." Tell us how this song came about.
I don't know about you, but I am a control freak. I want to control situations in my life and be in control of my destiny. I know I need to give that to God but it's a daily battle with me. There are paths that we take in life that we want with all of our heart. But sometimes God shuts the doors on that path. We have to understand that every time God gives us a "No" that is because he has a better "Yes". A better plan for our lives. And sometimes it is protection that he is covering over us. Our God is in the details of our lives. He has a very detailed customized plan. If a door shuts, trust him. Trust him that he knows what is best and that he is going to bring something better.
Q: What do you hope listeners will take away after hearing STAND?
I hope the listener walks away feeling empowered, full of strength, encouraged and stronger. I pray that it gives them the courage to stand for what is right and to be a light in this dark world. I hope that this album builds their faith and surrounds them with the knowledge that God is standing right by their side fighting their battle and protecting them during their battle. I pray that they feel and hear God in my words and not necessarily me. For this is the gauge if I have truly done my job.
For more information, visit http://natashaowensmusic.com.