Today we have the STELLAR Jamie Grace on the podcast. She is a singer, songwriter, musician and actress who current lives here in Los Angeles, California and is originally from Atlanta! Y’all she is 2x GRAMMY nominee, Dove Award winning artist and actually got her start on YouTube when she was only 14 years. Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at a young age, she has a fierce resilience that gives her the fuel to create content regularly, including weekly videos and daily podcast episodes in an effort to share her journey with her followers.
Jamie Grace now has nearly 1.5 million followers across social media and she actively advocates for joy, wellness and mental health through the lens of music, film and Faith. So. inspiring!
Earlier this year y’all Jamie Grace got MARRIED- YES! Jamie Grace has such a unique and mature view of dating and waiting… and we dive into all of her past struggles in this arena as well as why she is such a beleiver of “waiting it out”.
What is your story of how you met your now husband, Aaron?
They met in November 2016 when she had a concert in St. Louis, Missouri. She noticed him in the front row and found him to be interesting, but didn’t make any sort of a move. She didn’t even know his name! A year later, her best friend was visiting and she started wondering about that guy she felt she wanted to get married to at her show a year prior…so then ensued the Instagram Stalking.
She found a picture of him that he was tagged in, followed him on Instagram, and he followed back and sent her a plutonic DM introducing himself. For the next few days they messaged back and forth until he sent her a video telling her he wanted to get to know her. This led into talking on the phone 6 hours a day nonstop for the next few weeks until he came to visit. Very soon after that he came out to visit, he proposed to her and then got married a few months later- WHAT!
Would you be willing to share your singleness journey with us a bit? What does “wait it out” mean to you?
Jamie Grace bring up such a valid point that often times many of us have grown up with a very unhealthy mindset towards sex. There is a tendency to think that “if you have involvement with the word sex then God doesn’t love you anymore.” This is of course completely false, but something that often exists due to the the way we learn about sex growing up.
Jamie Grace had a beautiful unique view of sex as her Youth Pastor (aka her mom), talked about the beauty of sex. She said that it was SO beautiful that it was worth waiting for, and if it was SO great then why not wait to share it with the right person? It did not feel like waiting was a burden, but rather it gave her a freedom to know she was waiting for something so beautiful.
With that perspective for her it totally took sex off of any sort of pedestal. “I think when we put sex on a pedestal, but “if you do it in the wrong time” if you put it on a pedestal like that it all of a sudden becomes a thing of shame for someone who does it and then feels so far from God.” PSA: Sex is NOT the only great thing about a marriage.
We have to stop putting sex so far on a pedestal and reframe a HEALTHY view of what it means to be abstinent, removing and connotations of shame for those who have a sexual past. By putting sex on a pedestal there are two options: we either feel so much shame if we do engage in sexual acts and are burdened by the shame, hide from it, or feel identified by it. OR conversely if we remain abstinent but have this fear based view of sex, when we finally do get married we won’t be able to easily shake the mentality that sex was something to stay away from at all possible cost.
Jamie Grace says something so profound that “There is no more or less grace for anyone based on their sexual history or lack of sexual history.” There is grace, and ZERO condemnation. Truly.
Also, the ladies agree that while purity is a beautiful concept, it has been misused in some ways. We cannot just slap legalistic rules on something and expect people to obey them wholeheartedly. There has to be a deeper, engrained meaning behind them. it is important for ourselves to learn the deep WHY.
You and your husband “courted?! Can you explain this a bit more for us?
Jamie Grace grew up with her mom influencing her that courtship and having a “suitor” was something she should be looking for… but more importantly look for a man with INTENTION. She would say upfront to guys on a date that she was “marriage minded”.
“If a grown man is not able to open his mouth and say what his intentions are then he is not acting like a grown man he is acting like a boy and I’m not going to marry a boy because that isn’t legal”.. ha we love that! Intentions have to be made KNOWN and clear.
That is what we love about her and Aaron’s story, that they were extremely intentional with one another from the start. They also were even intentional in the kind of questions they asked from “How do you handle conflict?”, to “How many children do you want to have? How do you feel about disciplining children?” As they got further and further into it and they agreed on so many of the major issues it caused them to think about the next step…which for Jamie Grace was meeting her family.
Aaron DID end up coming to visit Jamie Grace but he also asked if he could bring his mom! As much as that would have intimidated many people, Jamie Grace was excited because she wanted to see how he treated his mom. After ALL of this intentionality, when Jamie Grace thought about the next steps she didn’t really think “boyfriend” was the right term because they had already been so intentional in getting to know one another.
The difference with “courtship” in Jamie Grace’s mind is that it is really going into it with true intention. This means that whoever the people are who are leading you in your life whether it be parents, pastors, mentors, you make sure that you are on one accord and that you have many eyes on the relationship.
What about taking initiative in dating? How about when people say “I am just waiting on God?”?
Jamie straight up says “God does not call us to sit on our butts.”Jamie Grace brings up the idea of “dropping the hanky” which women used to do back in the day to signal to men that they were interested. The point of the matter is that both men AND women can show initiative and indicate if they are interested in the other person. This is not male specific!
It is important to be pursued even in MARRIAGE. We cannot be quiet or stagnant, we have to be active, not passive. If you are really are unsure about someone, maybe ask them to a game night with you and your friends!
Jamie Grace says, “Don’t play hard to get, just know your worth.” Take the risk and take the chance, but know that your life is not dependent on that risk working out.
How would you encourage people who are currently struggling with worthiness or a sense of rejection?
Sometimes it works, sometimes it just doesn’t. It is a part of the process of elimination. This is not to diminish the heartache or heartbreak happens after a breakup. If you re finding it particularly hard to come to terms with a breakup, you might need to face a potential fear of rejection that you possibly have.
The GOOD part about breakups, is most of the time they honestly and truly have NOTHING to do with us not being good enough. It is rather just a process of elimination, and God showing you that this person is not interested or committed in you long term. That does NOT mean that there is not someone else out there!
Can we just laugh about the fact that dating, especially as a christian sometimes can be SO CLUNKY like shooooot. What are some awkward moments or stories you have about dating?
Dating can be CLUNKY! What are your absolute dating NO’s?
Jamie Grace says that we must make sure our validation and worth come from Christ and Christ alone. “It’s so easy for our hope and validation to be found in people.”, but Jamie Grace says it is so important to know WHOSE you are and what your true value is. For the most part we will only be treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated which lines up with how you see your worth and your value.
Be humble, but grow in confidence of who you are. “Walk around in the confidence that you KNOW that you are worth being pursued.” Invest in the things that you know will grow you and make you an even better person.
What is your final nugget of dating advice?
“Allow yourself to have a safe and healthy meltdown. Journal about it. Pray about it. Have a moment about it. BUT THEN remind yourself of your worth and your value. Know that “weeping comes at the night, but joy comes in the morning”. The sorrow won’t last always. Know that in this season you are here for a reason and a purpose. Go LIVE your life because it is not a season you are living UNTIL you get married. It is the season you are living. Period. Embrace it, you are here for a reason.”