If life is a song, then hope is his rhythm. But it took singer-songwriter Dave Pittman a few years to find the music.
Pittman, a former contestant on “American Idol,” was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder causing involuntary repetitive movements and sounds, as a young child, and attempted suicide at just 10 years old.
“To see the spot I was in earlier on, after being diagnosed and even after the suicidal situation, to think in those dark moments that there would ever be a light at the end of the tunnel was a far cry — I just couldn’t see how any good could come out of that,” he told Faithwire. “But God is in control of it all and he has a plan and his sovereignty is something we won’t fully understand until we get to heaven.”
In January, Pittman’s sophomore album, “Different Kind of Love,” debuts. The seven-song record — bursting with hopeful overtones — features six original songs and a new arrangement of the hymn “I’d Rather Have Jesus.”
For his first album, Pittman said he traveled to a lot of schools, where he chronicled to students his personal journey with Tourette’s and his attempt to take his own life at an early age. But in that season, he didn’t have the chance to share his faith and the hope it gives him.
“Because I was in public schools,” the singer explained, “I couldn’t share where my hope was rooted, and that’s in Christ. The main theme of my life has been hope, and I wanted that to be evident in this [second] album.”
The new record also tells the story of the different seasons through which Pittman has journeyed. The title track, “Different Kind of Love,” is particularly appropriate in this cultural season. Today’s society, Pittman said, “is so wrapped up in self-love and putting ourselves first.”
“I wanted a song that told the true meaning of what true love looks like, which is Christ’s love,” he continued. “We can love others because he first loved us.”
From the time he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome when he was just nine years old, Pittman said he “would have never thought” God would use his own struggles to impact people’s lives in positive ways. Singing in front of an audience of 10,000 people has never been hard for Pittman, but talking to them? That was out of the question.
God had a different plan, though. Pittman said the Lord “uses the dark things in our lives to bring him glory” and “to teach us and equip us for what he wants us to do.”
Throughout his life, Pittman shared two Bible verses that have guided him: Proverbs 3:5-6, which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” and James 1:2, which declares, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
“I do believe this with all my heart,” Pittman said, “that God does not waste our pain and he uses every bit for good.”
When he was competing on “American Idol” in 2010, guest judge Neil Patrick Harris called Pittman “crazy brave.” In the years since his time on the show, Harris’ moniker has served as motivation for the Christian recording artist’s career.
Now, less than a month before the release of his second album, Pittman has found the music.