Sometimes, God directs our lives through a still, small voice.
But not always.
Seventeen-year old Tiffany Tabor thought she had her life figured out. Tiffany is the daughter of Mike (and Connie) Tabor, pastor of The Happy Church, a Grace Brethren Church in Jackson, Ky. Currently a homeschool senior taking dual credit courses from Hazard Community Technical College, Tabor planned to attend the local community college and pursue a 13-month program to receive a license to be an ultrasound technician.
“I had it all planned out,” Tabor notes. “I was going go to our community college and do something that would [lead to] a stable job.”
“It wasn’t really my passion,” she notes. “If somebody would ask me what my dream would be, it would be either to work in animal rescue or to be a worship leader.”
Tabor grew up joining her family in leading worship at The Happy Church, playing guitar with her father and singing duets with her mother. As a child, she struggled with depression and turned to music – both singing and writing – as a solace.
This past July, Tiffany attended Momentum Youth Conference, sponsored by CE National and held at Indiana Wesleyan University July 18-23. Each year, Momentum hosts a talent show for students and Tiffany had successfully auditioned for the competition months before. Right before her Momentum debut, though, she decided to perform a different song – one she’d written herself.
“There are so many people trying to make it in the music industry,” Tiffany said. “And my talent’s only mediocre. For a long time, I just thought that I wouldn’t make it anywhere [as a singer-songwriter] even if I did try.”
But the Momentum audience heard something very different. She performed a song called, “Where Were You Then?” which recounts the depression and trauma of her childhood, and how God came alongside her in the midst of the pain.
She left the audience and judges in awe, capturing a well-deserved first place, which included a $20,000 scholarship offered by Olivet College of Olivet, Mich.
“It turns out that my mom had prayed before Momentum,” Tiffany recalls. “She prayed that if God had a different plan for me, that He would show me at Momentum.”
Excited for the new possibility, Tabor knew that she still wouldn’t be able to attend Olivet without more financial support. That’s when their gospel choir director La’Rae M. Trice approached her with an offer.
“She said that actually $20,000 is the minimum that she would give me,” Tiffany recalls. “And that she would give me whatever I needed to go to their college as long as I joined their gospel choir.”
Trice also gave her a once-in-a-lifetime offer: the chance to have her song recorded and produced in Nashville, Tenn. by the end of the year. Tiffany would have the opportunity to travel to Nashville to take songwriting classes, professional photos, and to start building a fan base.
Basically, Tiffany was offered a fast track to becoming a professional singer-songwriter.
“It was kind of just like a smack in the face: ‘This is what you’re supposed to be doing,’” said Tiffany. “I feel like God showed me, ‘If you trust Me, if you just obey – I can send you wherever I want you to go. I’ll make it possible.’ Any obstacles in the way, God can overcome them.”
“I don’t really have a plan anymore. Because every time I make a plan, God’s like, ‘Nope, that’s not what I have for you. I’ve got something better.’ So I’m just going with God on this.”
Click here to send a note of encouragement to Tiffany. (The note will go to Pastor Mike Tabor.) Click the video below to watch her Momentum performance of “Where Were You Then?”