At just 20 years old, Christian singer Anne Wilson has learned what it means to persevere.
The “My Jesus” singer-songwriter recently appeared on CBN’s “Faith vs. Culture,” where she opened up about the tragic loss of her brother and how that dark chapter served as the springboard for her career.
“Losing Jacob changed everything for me,” she said of her brother’s tragic death at just 23 years old. “I gained a new perspective on life that I had never had. I realized how short these years on earth are, that heaven is the final destination, heaven is where I want to work towards. I want to tell people about Jesus. I want to work as hard as I can to introduce Jesus to as many people as I can.”
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In fact, Wilson said it was the unexpected death of her brother in 2017 that led her to realize her passion was to use music to tell others about her faith in the Lord.
“I had this passion all of the sudden to tell the world about Jesus,” she explained. “I didn’t want anyone to have to experience a loss and know that their son or daughter or wife or husband or whoever didn’t go to heaven.”
Music, though, wasn’t an obvious fit for Wilson.
She recalled sitting at a piano in her childhood home, worshipping alone a handful of days after Jacob’s death as a result of a car accident. Having never sang in front of anyone before, Wilson remembered her surprise when her mother, Lynn, walked into the room, stunned by her daughter’s then-hidden talent.
Wilson — who, at the time, had aspirations of one day becoming an astronaut — said she didn’t consider herself a talented vocalist or musician but was simply trying to find solace in her faith. Soon thereafter, her mother asked her to sing at Jacob’s funeral.
“I sang at my brother’s funeral for the first time in front of anyone and that was really the moment that I realized God was calling me to music, God was calling me to spread His name, to spread His love around the world,” Wilson told CBN. “I didn’t know what capacity that would be [in] or what that would look like, but it’s so amazing to look back and see how God used the tragedy of losing my brother to start something so incredible and change people’s lives through my songs and my ministry.”
In addition to not feeling particularly talented, Wilson said she was crippled by anxiety at the thought of going onstage as a child. So making music a career just wasn’t no her radar.
“It just never even crossed my mind,” she admitted.
You can watch her full appearance on “Faith vs. Culture” below:
Despite the hang-ups Wilson may have had in the past, there’s no doubt God has used her talents.
As Faithwire reported in June, Wilson took home two prizes at the K-LOVE Fan Awards, earning awards for Female Artist of the Year and Breakout Single of the Year for her song “My Jesus.”
The hit single ascended to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart and has sold more than half a million copies since its debut last year. And the full-length album by the same name debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart.
CBN’s Faithwire caught up with Wilson backstage after the K-LOVE Fan Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, where she said she was “so honored” and “so grateful” for the fans’ votes.
“I think it’s so surreal to be in this place and realize that fans voted for me,” she said at the time. “That’s such an honor and just makes me so humble, so grateful.”
Ahead of the show, Wilson once again credited her brother Jacob for her now-thriving career.
“I wouldn’t be here if my brother hadn’t passed away,” she said. “But I also am so grateful to be here. I’m so grateful that I get to share Jesus with people and that I get to encourage people in the Lord. I would trade it all to have my brother back. But I’m so grateful that God used [his death] for good.”
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