Milk and Honey Magazine article with Taylor Leonhardt on the faithful project Christian book, music, and gathering of women to encourage other women!

The FAITHFUL Project

Taylor Leonhardt

Is there anything more inspiring than women of God coming together to create for His glory?! That's what the ladies above did, crafting stories, music, lyrics, and art to detail the faithfulness of our God!

The FAITHFUL Project came to life the winter before the pandemic when a group of well-known and respected authors and songwriters gathered as a community to write and sing. Their work became FAITHFUL, songs and stories of God’s kindness to modern-day ladies and women in scripture!!!

The book (out as of May 1st this year!!!) is the SWEETEST keepsake, examining stories of incredible women of the Bible. Sister, beware, because you will find yourself filled to the brim with hope, encouragement, and community in this collection of writing, photos, and lyrics that reflect God’s faithfulness! FAITHFUL guides ladies into understanding how God has always valued the integral role of females and how that shapes the lives of women today. Isn't that so lovely?!

And without further adieu, here is Taylor Leonhardt (pictured below with the guitar!!) sharing about how God moved for the FAITHFUL Project! Wahooo!

“Story Girl” – by Taylor Leonhardt

I’ve always been a story girl. It was stories that captivated my attention as a little girl, stories that kept me up at night reading with a flashlight underneath the covers, stories I scribbled into my journals and as a teenager, it was the stories I heard about Jesus on a camping trip in the Texas hill country that drew me to faith.

When my Mission House bandmate Jess Ray and I were invited early last year to a writing retreat in Nashville for a project called FAITHFUL, we kept pinching ourselves and wondering how we got there. What gracious turn of events could have possibly led to us being here in this room of storytellers, with authors and songwriters we had long admired? We dove right in.

The aim of these gatherings was to tell the stories of women from the Bible, to look for the threads of faithfulness running through, to follow those threads into our own lives today. You can’t tell someone else’s story without listening first, so that’s what we did, we listened. Poring over the story of Eve, of Ruth, Mary and Martha, of Leah, of Rahab, and many others, we traced the outlines of their pain and grief. We sank ourselves deep into the text. We imagined what it might feel like to lose a brother, to wait impossibly long for a child, to live as a refugee, to weep outside of the tomb of the man you thought was the Messiah. As we looked for where and how God was showing up, we marveled at how near, how present and close he came to these women. Perhaps because we were looking and listening so closely, we found it easier than ever to find in these ancient stories glimpses of our own. The conversation flowed easily from the Biblical narratives to our own narratives of heartbreak and joy, doubt and faith, sorrow and blessing, our lives filled with waiting, longing, hoping for, and trusting in a God we cannot see with human eyes. We told each other stories of hospital rooms, miscarriages, personal failure, unspeakable loss. In the heart of those stories of pain, we saw the living God who makes everything new.

The songs followed…so many songs! In an age where much of the music for the church is written by men, what a refreshing and different experience to hear the sound of songs written by women. The result for us was an album’s worth - twelve songs inspired by the stories of God’s faithfulness to women. We recorded the album slowly (and safely!) during a pandemic year none of us saw coming. Our brilliant and big-hearted authors created a companion book to the album, written reflections of the stories we read together from scripture. We gathered together in Nashville again, almost a year later, to create a livestream event to invite even more people into these stories with us.

Being a part of the FAITHFUL Project was an experience Jess and I will never forget, not only for how it felt to be with those women and create something beautiful together, but because we have such a strong sense of being at the beginning of something significant. It wasn’t only songs, poetry, and a book born in that room together - it was friendship, solidarity, a knowing that God had given us companions for the journey. The space that was created for us there to tell our own stories makes us want to create that kind of space for all the people in our lives. Growing up as the only girls in our respective church / youth group worship teams, we feel so hopeful for the way God is making room for the voices, the gifts, the stories of women to be seen and heard and known. I’ve always been a story girl, and I have hunch I’ve found myself in a great one. “Go and speak of what you’ve seen,” the risen Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, and speak she did. We’re only following her lead.

by Taylor Leonhardt

Want the FAITHFUL Book, sister?

Milk and Honey Magazine Faithful book and music for Christian young women

This beautiful, creative book will invite readers to return again and again for reflection and inspiration through guided scripture reading and writing prompts. As they examine the stories of incredible women of the Bible, readers will find hope, encouragement, and a strong sense of community in this beautiful, eclectic collection of writing, photos, and lyrics that reflect God’s faithfulness. Purchase now, lovey!