Caitie Hurst attended SLU 101, 201, and 301 as a high school student and is currently a junior at Liberty University majoring in Worship Studies. She recently released an EP entitled To Be With You, and we are honored to feature her story today on the SLU blog.

When I first attended SLU, I was a shy little freshman in high school. I didn’t want anyone to know that I could sing or play guitar, because I was so nervous to be on stage for fear of what people would think of me.

The dream session at SLU 101 was my favorite by far. During the session, the Lord spoke to me about overcoming my insecurities and being a good steward of the gifts He had given me. I realized the dreams that the Lord had put inside my heart, and I wanted to do everything I could to bring those dreams to fruition for His glory. Throughout the week, the Lord spoke through Dr. Jay and Brent to give me wisdom on how to do just that.

I wrote down two goals that day: To actually start using the musical talents that the Lord had entrusted me with, and later to become an artist—to record music and travel around the world telling people about Jesus through music.

Soon after SLU 101, I started leading worship in the youth services on Wednesday nights. I am so thankful for people in my life who influenced my development as a worship leader and musician, in particular, my dad and my mentor Haley. They helped me improve my skills as a singer and guitarist, but more importantly, they taught me that leading worship is an honor to be taken seriously, as it is an opportunity to glorify God and lead people closer to Him.

Releasing an EP this fall was the first step on the journey of my second dream. Working on the EP was such a fun process! A friend of our family graciously allowed us to use his studio, and we recorded all of the vocals in a few hours one day. My dad produced the entire EP and we were supported by an incredible team of friends who helped with the sound and artwork.

To any SLU students who have a dream similar to mine, I would offer these words of encouragement:

  1. Be faithful in using your gifts, wherever the Lord has placed you. For four years, He used me to lead worship for my peers in the youth group. I used to want to jump ahead of His plan and skip to the end goal of being an artist traveling around singing about Him. But He prepared me so much in that season, and I am grateful for it!
  2. Don’t be afraid to sing or play in front of people if the Lord has blessed you with the musical talents. If you are afraid, pray for that fear to be taken over by the strength of Jesus within you, so that you can glorify Him with the gifts He has entrusted you with.
  3. Constantly pray for a pure heart. The enemy wants to use pride to get in the way of the Lord using you. But remember that your talents are the Lord’s to begin with, and stay humble!

I cannot stress how much the SLU journey has impacted my walk with Christ and influenced my desire to fulfill these dreams for the glory of Jesus Christ! I thank Jesus for the opportunity to learn from such incredible leaders. 

Download Caitie’s EP on iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon.

If you’re an SLU alumni, we’d love to hear more about your journey and dream! You can submit your SLU story here.

Not an SLU alumni? Start your leadership journey TODAY!

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