It’s almost been two years since I started “working” in Christian radio. (Open and close quotation marks because we don’t get paid.) I didn’t tell a lot of people when I started. However, part of the job is to post selfies (ugh) and messages on social media. Of course, it was only a matter of time before most of my contacts and connections knew. Those that knew were more than happy to tell those who didn’t. (Again, not my idea.)
I live in a culture that elevates any person in broadcast media. Some people would joke about me being a celebrity (I am SO NOT). They think that being a radio show host or DJ is all glitz and glamour. Let me set the record straight – waking up at 5am and changing into jeans and a t-shirt to get to the station before the sun rises is not at all glamorous. It requires a commitment of above-average levels. You get up even after you’ve had a long night – there is no option to hit the snooze button.
Then there are friends who just tell me simple truths. They never thought radio was something I would do but now that I’ve done it, it makes complete sense to them. “It just clicks,” they say. They are genuinely happy for me. It’s like I was made for radio. Deep down, I know they’re right. And it shows – you can hear it in my voice when I turn on the mic, you can read it in my comments on social media, you can even see it on the selfies that took forever to get right.
Nobody knew that radio work came at a time when I was just recovering from a difficult season of my life. Those early Sunday mornings alone in the radio booth were my safe haven. It gave me the space I needed to heal. Even when it was pouring outside and the booth felt like 15 degrees Celsius, I would find my happy place. That six-by-four-metre box was, to me, holy ground. In that room, it just was me and God. Sure, I speak into the microphone to maybe a dozen (or a hundred?) listeners. And yes, each person on the other end is the one I’m trying to connect with. But for those four hours, I had space to just enjoy the music and the stillness. I can ponder on the message of the day and realize things I never would have realized otherwise. Even if I go in tired, I would leave happy. The time I spent on radio restored my soul.
Being on radio wasn’t always smooth sailing. There were days that were challenging. A lot of times I had to fight for the decision to go on air and stay on air. When I started doing weekdays instead of Sundays, the challenges doubled. I took six weeks off earlier this year to get some room between me and the rest of my world. When I came back, I had to deal with a different set of issues that made me eventually decide to take a break from radio altogether.
It’s been a month since I unofficially signed off from the airwaves. So much has happened this past year that I barely have time to write. Of the many things that have changed, though, God reminded me of one thing. I didn’t really choose radio. God chose radio for me. Nobody saw it coming but it was his plan all along.
Being on radio saved my life. I know one day, it can save someone else’s, too.
This is why I do what I do.