If one will stop long enough to truly examine their life, moment by moment, phase by phase, event by event, the good, the bad, the unjust, the amazing, a prepared path will be evident. God has a mission with blessings for those who love and call upon HIM, but many of us dismiss it or delay it when we blind ourselves to HIS active presence and fail to call upon HIM.
We all have pivotal moments, life changing choices. Some times we get it right and some times we don’t. Through it all, God is there. HE will pick us up, puts us back on track and uses it for our good, if we don’t lose heart and turn to HIM, even in times of crisis and despair.
One life changing moment for me came in the very early years of 1990. I was young and newly married. Like many couples, we found ourselves in a very serious financial situation after my husband at the time lost a well paying position. Most all of our debt had accumulated before me, but we had become one and so his debt was my debt. I had soberly taken that on. Drastic changes had to be made. Employees were let go and I was asked to take on an extra job. The pressure from everything had me worried and full of fear. I had lost confidence in myself and my abilities. I didn’t see a way I could pull in the amount of money needed. I found myself in tears and on my knees. When going through a trial you can either turn away from God and try to solve things yourself or you can humble yourself and turn to HIM. Take it from me, RUN TO HIM! Go to a private place, fall on your knees and have a little talk with Jesus.
I remember so clearly going to my room, getting on my knees and asking God to be with me and to help me find a job so we could meet our bills. After pleading to my heavenly father, my mother’s words ran through my head... “Dry It Up! Pick yourself up and forge ahead. Life is what you make it.” I then typed out a resume and pulled out my best business suit. The next morning, I headed out for Music Row, anxious, but determined to find a job.
Many executives, whom I had known during the time I was working for the Oak Ridge Boys, saw me that day, but none of them had an opening. I went to each building, filling out application after application, until my feet became bruised and swollen. My shoulders wilted along with my hope. I was about to call it a day when I passed the offices of Doyle Lewis Management on 16th Ave. Doyle Lewis was the management firm of Bob Doyle and Pam Lewis. Their biggest client was the World’s top entertainer at the time, the one and only, Garth Brooks. They also had signed a new act named Trisha Yearwood to their roster.
I first met Pam Lewis in 1986, shortly after I began working in country music. Pam had started PLA Media and was promoting a newcomer named Steve Earle as well as many other great singers, songwriters and musicians. Pam was from New York and had worked with Nickelodeon. She was one of a handful who helped launch MTV. With time she moved to Nashville and headed up PR for RCA Records. Ms. Lewis was a Bohemian Yankee, a little older than I, but for some reason she liked this young, prissy, southern girl. I worked under her briefly on a MCA project, mainly running errands and doing odd jobs. During that time, I gained a great respect for her talent as a publicist, and marketer.
I remember the early years when Pam began working with Garth Brooks. She promoted and co-managed him without taking a paycheck. He couldn’t afford it. However, Pam and Bob believed in him, his music and his future. Pam had such passion for Garth's potential that many times she had to pay her rent with a credit card and take the pay she made from working on other artists to pay her bills so she could concentrated on the Oklahoma singer. The former television publicist called in many favors to help this unknown act. She and her partner were determined. If Pam had told me once during this time she had told me a thousand times, “Garth Brooks is going to be bigger than Country Music!” She was right. Pam and Bob went on to receive Manager of the Year Awards, in all genres, internationally, along with a host of others accolades. At this time in my life, Pam Lewis was holding the biggest hand in the entire Entertainment World, this time, while I was struggling to pay our mortgages. The pendulum swings back and forth. As the way life goes, with busy schedules, we had lost touch for a couple of years and so I wondered if she would even have time for me. I didn't have an appointment, but felt drawn to make the attempt to see her.
God will make a way when there seems to be no way. - Isaiah 43: 16
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. - Rev. 3:8
One of the things I appreciate about Pam is her blunt, cut to the chase style. In spite of a full day’s schedule, Pam saw me immediately. She asked me into her office. The New Yorker didn’t waste any time. "What's going on?" I tried to small talk but Pam could tell something was seriously wrong. She repeated herself, “What’s going on, Brenda?” I got real. I told her I needed a job, any job. I assured her I would take anything she had open, nothing too great or small. I will NEVER forget and ALWAYS be appreciative for what she did upon hearing about our financial situation. With her office door closed and just the two of us sitting there, Pam took out her checkbook and grabbed a pen and asked me how much we owed on our home. I could not believe it! Who does that? That was not what I came for. I was stunned and humbled, but I could not take her money. I told her I couldn’t accept it! I just wanted a job. Pam insisted and told me that if it made me feel better that it would be a loan and that I could pay her back what I could, when I could. Pam Lewis’ compassionate and generous heart brings me to tears to this day. I once again refused and pleaded again for a job. This master manager asked me, "Do you want a career or do you want a paycheck?” I assured her while I needed a paycheck, I wanted a career. She then replied, “Good, because I do not want anyone working for me who just wants a paycheck.”
Pam Lewis made an opening for me at her PR company and told me to start the next day. That was a major turning point in my life. God came to my rescue and had answered my prayers beyond my wildest dreams. Pam Lewis taught me a profession. A profession which I love to this day. A profession which is still sustaining me and my son.
Looking back, as stressful and hard as it all was, it had a purpose. If I was not put in the middle of a serious financial devastation, I would have never pursued a job outside of Golden Era Plantation and in turn I would not have this fantastic occupation. In addition, if I would have taken Pam’s generous offer to pay off our house, instead of working off our debt with the bank, it probably would have strained our friendship and my hidden talent would have remained buried.
ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD, ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. – Romans 8:28
The World is fickle. Over the decades I have seen and experienced the highs and lows of the entertainment world. When one is on the mountain many "friends" surround you. People rush to you in hopes of access. However, if you find yourself in a valley, which happens to many, some of those same people will turn their heads to avoid making eye contact. I have ridden this roller coaster, up and down, a few times now in my life. I have seen others go through it as well. Know that there is a reason for the madness. I’ve learned the importance in having these things in your life; 1) A relationship with Jesus and God in your daily life ... on the mountain and in the valley... 2) Stable, consistent and honest friends, who will tell you what you NEED to hear and not always what you WANT to hear. Friends who are not afraid to kick you in the butt when you need it too. Pam Lewis will always be my friend. I will NEVER forget what she did for me. Pam is like an older sister to me who will tell me what she thinks, whether I ask her or not, kick my butt when I need it and give me a helping hand up when I am down. I strive to do the same for her. I will always treasure her friendship.
I look back and give thanks to God for those struggles. It has helped mold and make me. I know it is hard to do, but hang on, hold on, during your struggles and TURN TO GOD! HE CAN and WILL make a way and will bring blessings out of your struggles.
Here are some words of wisdom I gladly share with you from the great, Pam Lewis.
“I think it is really important not to get caught up with age . Age is just a number. Most of the time I forget how old I am and have never acted my age much to the chagrin of my exasperated parents. When my mom turned 80, she was a little upset about this milestone. I bought her an 80th birthday card and a happy 8th birthday card and wrote, It's only a number!!! How many times do you meet people who act far older than their chronologic age? Take good care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Guard your words and thoughts, for they are powerful and create your reality. Avoid stress, negative people and don't take yourself or life too seriously.”
The Successful manager and publicist shared changes she has recently made in her own life. “I stopped micromanaging my office and empowered my wonderful staff. A few years back, I made a bucket list and started checking off goals as well as travel spots. I have visited all 50 states and have visited international and national spots that interest me, such as India, Iceland, China, Egypt, Israel, Germany, to name a few. I love the book “1000 Places to Visit Before You Die,” great book. There is so much to see and do!”
“I realized that I keep promises to everyone but myself. I have given to everyone but myself and so I started honoring myself more with an exercise regime, better eating habits and regular spiritual work daily. Something really life changing for me was the decision to run for office. The citizens of Franklin, TN voted for me to represent them as their alderman for four years and I also worked on the planning commission. I learned so much, met so many people from different walks of life, whom I would never have met. I still serve on two mayoral appointed commissions. My life is broader and more interesting and I have helped shape our county and build a legacy. I joined a choir, which I enjoyed, relearned sight reading, wrote, published and marketed a book and began more gardening. I have set a goal to read more daily, watch less TV and increase my exercise. I got off of boards that I was sick of and started doing charity work which feeds my soul.”
“One great lesson I’ve learned over the years is that it is OK to say NO! I try not to procrastinate. Time is of the essence. TICK TOCK! DING! DING! “
Pam summed it up, “With age, I decided I was taking my power back. I also realized I want and deserve romance. Life is not all business, all the time. However, don't wait for someone else to make you happy. It isn't their job. It's your own path. Recognize and celebrate your own uniqueness.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT FROM PAM LEWIS:
Women fall in love in the presence of a man. Men fall in love in the absence of a woman.
Never give your whole self, whole heart. Always save something for yourself or you will be lost.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.