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Spiritual Journeys: JUDY MARTIN HESS
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Providing harmony is just a part of her job as one third of the critically acclaimed, best-selling vocal trio the Martins. But when it comes to dealing with life’s high and low notes, Judy Martin Hess is on a quest to find a different kind of harmony.

With the hectic pace you keep, how do you manage to maintain a spiritual balance on a daily basis?
I don’t! [laughing] I take after my dad, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing; I’m an extremist, and it is something I have battled and struggled with my whole life. I’ve tried not to be, and I’m trying to get to a place of learning to take advantage of it instead of struggling against it because it’s more of who I am. But it’s hard to find a balance — everything is either the best in the whole world or the worst it’s ever been. I have to have people to whom I can go [with my troubles] on a regular basis who can say the things I already know like, “Are you seeking God on a daily basis? Are you reading the Word like you need to?” I have to have that prodding. You need to hear it out loud. The important thing for me is to have that accountability and to seek that type of counseling in my life because I can’t do it on my own.

Who is a spiritual bedrock for you today?
I’d have to say that my mom is probably still one of my biggest influences as far as longevity and seeing a consistency in her life. She would encourage me that “This is what the Word of God says,” and I’ve seen God’s promises come to a fulfillment in her life through what I thought were hopeless situations. It’s encouraged me, especially as a mother, to hang on to the promises in God’s Word.

Was there any one event that greatly impacted you on a spiritual level?
I’ve had several. When I was in my late teens/early 20s, I battled with depression. I think at that time in my life God really used a lot of things to teach me, once I got to a place of realizing that I was trying to do things myself instead of giving my life and my choices up to the Lord. I had the wheel more often than I should have. I think the thing that really has impacted me the most on a spiritual level is being broken. And there have been several times in my life when I’ve had to get to that place to say, “OK, I’m doing it wrong. I’ve had enough. I’m ready to give it up and let You have it.” Honestly, I’m at a place in my life right now where I’m having to give up some more things I’ve tended to gather back up, and my husband has been a great balance of spirituality for me.

How has being a mom changed your life?
Man, having kids — that’s one of the most balancing spiritual things I’ve ever been through! For some reason, as much as I have been influenced about God loving me, I’ve also had trouble with really accepting the unconditional love of Christ that He tells us He has for us. After having kids, I have the perspective of the parent — it doesn’t matter what my kids do, I’m going to love them because they are mine and nothing will ever change that. That perspective has helped me trust that God loves me because I’m His, and there doesn’t have to be another reason. Having kids has been a big eye-opener and heart-opener for me.

Who has had the greatest spiritual influence on your life?
I’d definitely have to start with my parents because they have a love for the Lord but are very much human. I’m grateful for that balance — for being able to say, “Hey, we’re human. You’re going to mess up, but you still have to hang on to the Lord and allow Him to be your strength and to bring you back to where you need to be.”