Meredith Mauldin & UPPERROOM will be releasing their new album on July 29. The Turning, which will be released on DREAM Label Group, will feature 8 new worship songs. The part live and part studio album was recorded in Dallas, TX. We are honored to be able to catch up with Meredith for this exclusive interview.
Q: Meredith, thanks for doing this interview with us. You have a very successful film as well as music career, how do you balance the time between the different projects?
Thank you so much for the opportunity! :)
I don't do a ton of film/TV anymore like I did in the past. I still do voice overs for recurring characters and such, but most of my time and attention has gone to worship and raising up worship leaders these past 10 years. I think the bigger juggle has been balancing family life- supporting my husband on his ventures (he just finished producing a documentary) as well as my own passion to write and lead songs that point us to Jesus. I will say, it's a day to day, season to season, juggle. It takes a lot of grace, learning to stay in the lane the Lord is leading you (which means saying no sometimes), and forgiving yourself when balls drop.
Q: Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your new EP with UPPERROOM. How did you come to work with the folks at UPPERROOM?
I was the Worship Director at UPPERROOM for 7 years. Working with them is definitely like working with family. A lot of these songs are moments from the prayer room or songs written during seasons that we were in together. We have a lot of history together so this was such a sweet project! In fact, my brother in law produced it, so it's literally family as well.
Q: Why did you call the EP "The Turning"? What's the significance of the title?
There are quite a few reasons, but I'll just give you a couple.
One reason is that He is the God of the great turn around - meaning He can turn what the enemy meant for harm for our good and I love that promise!
I once had a very vivid dream where lyrics from a song I had sung started to come alive and began to play out. I saw Jesus; He was weeping while looking at a woman who was gaunt, sickly, and dressed in rags. She was facing the other direction looking for someone to love her. I saw Jesus, radiant and pure, saying "If she will just turn to me, I will give her everything she needs. I'll feed her the finest foods, and dress her in the most beautiful robes." But she remained turned the other way. After that dream, my passion has been to write songs that help the Bride (the church) turn to look at Jesus. He has everything we need if we will turn to him. The song "Adoration" on the album is directly from that dream.
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making of this record?
I think more than a moment, this was a longing fulfilled.
Some of these songs have been anthems in some of my most difficult seasons.
Elyssa Smith and I wrote "You Remain" in a challenging season for her personally and then that same song carried me through one of my hardest seasons. It was a time where I felt the Lord was asking me to lay down something that I had helped build and walk into new uncharted territory.
The bridge became my anthem "When I see your face, I'll wish I'd given more away. Don't let me waste a trial, don't let me miss the chance to praise".
So getting to lead this song with Elyssa in this season has been a full circle moment for both of us and is just so sweet!
Also, my sister and brother in law, Caroline and Oscar Gamboa (MD) came to visit us with their new baby and we got to record some of the vocals in my kitchen. It just felt so sweet and intimate to record in my home with my family here.
Q: I love how the songs all point us to God and what he does is for our good. Can you relate a time when you have felt the goodness of God?
So many times! Each one of these songs has a story behind it of encountering his goodness.
Here is an example: It had been a crazy couple of days and I had so much to do. Nothing had gone as planned. I was in my prayer room, exhausted and honestly ashamed that I hadn't gotten in there earlier. At that moment, I felt the Lord impress upon my heart, "I'm not looking at what you didn't get done today, I'm looking at you through the lens of my perfect son and You are made spotless in Him."
I just melted, and couldn't help but love Jesus more for making me perfect in the Father's sight - not because of what I had done or not done but because of Jesus! That's where the song, "Lens of Your son," comes from and I would sing it so often before I would have my time with Him to remind myself of how He saw me.
Q: How do you hope these songs would impact the lives and faith of your listeners?
My prayer and hope is that these songs of living testimonies would be highways for others to encounter Jesus again or maybe for the first time!
These songs are more than songs to me. They are some of my history with Jesus and his faithfulness and if it could help others experience Him in new ways, that would be amazing!