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Snapshot Testimony

December 04, 2023

Tiffany Hudson: I Needed My Own Encounter With God

Tiffany Hudson is a member of Elevation Worship and the award winning songwriter behind worship anthems like Graves Into Gardens and Never Lost. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, she was in church every night, constantly hearing about God. But her deepest desire was to really experience Him for herself.


Podcast Transcript

Ally Domercant: Welcome to the Snapshot Testimony podcast. I'm your host, Ally Domercant . I'm a former journalist and a current Christian radio host in Chicago. I'm passionate about communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ through storytelling. In this podcast, I ask my guests to share a pivotal moment that helps shape their faith in Christ. This week's guest is Tiffany Hudson. She's a part of Elevation Worship and the award winning songwriter behind worship anthems like graves Into Gardens and Never Lost. Growing up as a pastor's kid, she was in church every night, constantly hearing about God, but her deepest desire was to really experience him for herself. It's what drove her to first sit down at her parents out of tune piano and play four simple chords. Here's a snapshot testimony from Tiffany Hudson.

Tiffany Hudson: Well, I grew up, you know, in a ministry family, and my parents were pastors. And so I kind of grew up around, you know, in the church was there every night of the week and kind of first there, last to leave. That was kind of my story growing up. And so from a very young age, I knew a lot about God. Right? Like heard a lot of stories and would always say that I loved God and always would say I believed in God. Um, but there were definitely moments along my journey where I found him for myself. And that's such an important, pivotal journey in everyone's walk, where you have the moments of really realization of this is actually what I believe apart from my parents, apart from how I grew up. Like this is actually something I can stand on. And so yeah, I have so many memories growing up of whether it's, you know, responding to the altar call. I was the kid that like raising hand for every altar call. Like every time. It's like, rededicate your life to Jesus. I'll do that because, you know, like, I don't know if I did something. I want to rededicate my life. Or maybe it's just like, you want to know God more. Just like I was a kid that was just hungry to really experience the God that I've heard about my entire life, which would hear my parents preach about, my parents sing about is like, well, if they're talking about him, like, I need to know him. And so I always had this deep to to know the Lord. And I can remember, you know, now I find myself in a season where I'm a worship leader and I do it for a living, and it's such a beautiful privilege. But I remember being young and growing up in my parents house and, you know, they had a piano that's out of tune still to this day. And I just remember, like learning for chords, which honestly, for worship music is kind of all you need sometimes. And remember, I remember learning a few chords and I just would get home from school and I would sit at the piano and I would just sing over those four chords. Anything that came to my heart, anything that came to mind and would sit there until I felt the presence of God come and without fail. I remember, like every time God's presence would fill that little room in this out-of-tune piano, and I would just begin to cry at the piano. And I still get a little emotional thinking about it, because those were such formative moments where God was like, this is real, and like I will inhabit the praises of my people. And so, you know, you could you could access his presence, his beautiful presence in a room all alone where you're not even good at what you do. Right? Like, I didn't know how to play the piano, but I had a heart that was hungry for the Lord, and he would fill that room. And I remember encountering his presence so sweetly. And of course, you can encounter him in a room of 100 people or a thousand people when you come to him with that same hunger for him. And so I just think learning those things from a young age is really foundational for even what I'm a part of today. So super thankful.

Ally Domercant: So for somebody who may be listening, who maybe isn't familiar, like, as best you can describe, what do you mean? Like the presence of God filled the room. How would you describe that to somebody with no church background who goes like, did someone walk in the room? Did the room get hot or cold? What does the presence of God feel like?

Tiffany Hudson: Oh, I love that question. I've actually never really talked about that with someone. That's amazing. Um, for me, it feels like every sense sense that we have is kind of heightened, like it feels like. It just, you know, when you, like, feel something in the room and you're like, oh my gosh, like, someone's here. And it feels like a very holy, like, reverent type of feeling for me where I just feel like I'm kind of. And not to make it too mystical. Like it's very much like you're still there. I wasn't seeing anybody. I wasn't, you know. Yeah, everyone has their own experiences, but I was just like, my spirit felt very awakened to the fact that, like, God felt close and that felt like the most safe feeling and the most just like invitation to bring all of who I am. And as I would worship, I just would begin to cry. And I think that's a part of the senses sometimes, like I'd be getting to feel things. I felt like I was kind of awakened to the fact that like, oh, God is real. And I know it's like, maybe that sounds confusing still, but like, it's hard to fully put into words of what that feels like when you really just know, without a shadow of a doubt, that like, God's presence is with you and it's just the most, like, sweet, safe feeling. Truly. Yeah.

Ally Domercant: So how did you then decide, like, okay, this is something that I'm called to do. Like, I'm sure you started maybe in youth groups or in your parents church and did it then just become the thing where you're like, this is what I'm going to spend my my life doing leading others in worship, right?

Tiffany Hudson: Well, I also love this question because it wasn't like this clouds parted moment and a voice came down from heaven that said, you are called to be worship leader. Like none of that. Everything that God's done in my life at the time felt coincidental, almost like I accidentally stumbled upon something. But then you look back and of course, in hindsight, you're like, that was God's hand and sovereignty and all of that. But at the time, like I, like I said, grew up in my parents church and our youth group. We needed a worship leader. We needed somebody to step up and and be able to lead the kids in worship. And again, I learned four chords. So it was like, as the pastor's kids, sometimes you're just called upon to like fill the role. And in some ways that's what you got to do it. Me and my sister did. Like we both kind of learned on the whim. And I mean, there's like, you know, at the time, five, ten kids in the group. So it's not like we're like up there leading a ton of people. But those are like the the moments where we begin to learn the practicals of leading worship and actually how to hold a tune and play, play a progression and all that kind of stuff. But, um, so I think along the way it really was like it started with filling a role, although my heart was always captivated by the presence of God. Always. That's where I really, like, fell in love with the Lord. It was at the altar calls. It was just like the moments in worship where. Where it did feel like, oh, something just shifted like, this feels very reverent. This feels like we're all, you know, you go from a place of like, we're all singing and we're all together. But then it was like we're singing to God and he feels so close. And those were the moments I crave more than anything. And those are the moments that shaped my life and my walk with the Lord, so that it got to a place where it wasn't ever about singing. Like, I love to sing, but it wasn't like, well, I can sing, so I better be a worship leader. It was. I encountered God through worship and through the piano, and through the altar calls and through the moments in church. That's how I really encounter God the most. So I remember, like, being young and saying, God, I just want to be a part of stewarding these types of moments that changed my life for other people. And of course, we don't create the moment. So it's wrong to say create those moments for others. But when God does something so specific, how can I play a part? How can I steward? How can I just like, even selfishly be in those moments the rest of my life? And so I would see that was the the progression for me. And I ended up going to college and I didn't study worship, but I studied ministry because I just knew in some way I wanted to serve the church and was involved in worship teams and learning a lot of things and unlearning a lot of things. So yeah.

Ally Domercant: Yeah. So you've been a worship leader for elevation. You've been a part of their music. I know you recently have a solo album out, so when it becomes your job and all of a sudden you go from that little girl in a room alone with your piano to now you're on these big stages and there's big crowds and there's album covers and photoshoots and there's, you know, a sense of almost like a celebrity attached to it. How do you keep the purity of what it what it was back then and maintain that now on a, on a much bigger stage?

Tiffany Hudson: Oh. This question is so important. I'm loving this whole conversation of what we're talking about. It's so important. Um, I think in 1 in 1 way, it's like we need the fear of God to absolutely come over our lives. Um, because, yeah, standing on a stage in front of people and kind of doing it in the name of the Lord, like, should cause this, like, extreme level of fear of God, of, like, I don't want to mess this up. I don't want to make this about me. I don't want my motives to be wrong. Right. So in a lot of ways, that keeps me on my knees of like, God, you know, like I didn't ask for this. And it's I'm blessed, honored to be part of it and a part of a church that truly is about like, we're about local church. We're not about the tours, we're not about the albums and all of that. Although we do those things. We are at church every single Sunday. Like it's like that is our priority. And in so many ways that's grounding in and of itself. Like, this is what we do. We show up every weekend. I don't care if the week before we were in five different cities, we're back at church Sunday because this is what we're about. So I'm grateful to be a part of a house that really is prioritized in that way. Um, but yeah, how do you keep the purity? I actually will share a quick vision that the Lord gave my friend. That absolutely was so kind of the Lord. And she had called me and said, hey, I just want to share, like, God gave me this dream and I saw you on the stage of elevation, and you were a kid. You were a kid on the stage of elevation and you were leading. But it was so this childlike wonder, it hadn't left you. And it was so kind of the Lord to remind me, you know, those moments where I fell in love with the Lord? The moments where God really captured my heart to never grow out of that? I don't care what stage I'm put on, if it's a little one or a big one, am I coming with that childlike hunger and that childlike wonder of like God? I just want you. Like I just want your presence. Is that still my motive? And again, it's just the kindness of the Lord to give me that picture of like, yes, I'm stepping on an arena stage, but am I still that little girl that love, just love the presence of God and just just wanted to be with him. And so of course, I've not done it perfectly. There's been tons of things the Lord had to uproot in my heart, and that's just the constant journey of a Christ follower. I'm like.

Ally Domercant: Yeah, for everyone. Yes.

Tiffany Hudson: Like I'm like, no, I'm good, I'm good. For months, like Lord hasn't had to correct me at all. I'm like, that's concerning because I will make a state of correction. Why did you say that? What was your motive behind that? What motivated this decision like all of that, that you know, when you have a close relationship with the Lord, it's like you see that as love. And I'm learning to see that his love of, like, the Lord cares so much and so longs for his church to be pure and his bride to be dressed in white and all of those things that think it's important to allow the Lord to just help us when we need it. And we all need it, so.

Ally Domercant: We all need it. That's so true. Yes. Talk a little bit about your songwriting journey. And you've you've had a hand in some some of the popular songs that we play on our radio station. What is your, I guess, your process, like when you're, when you're writing songs for the church? Yeah.

Tiffany Hudson: Um, yeah. What an honor to be a part of, you know, writing songs for the church. That in and of itself is a huge weight in responsibility that I don't take lightly. Um, for me, getting involved here, like, I'd always written songs, but the Lord really did take me on a journey of submitting that to him and really cultivating that gift and not expecting, like the first song I write to for anyone else to ever love or hear or seeing. So the Lord took me on a long journey of writing songs after song after song that no one ever heard, and if they did hear it, they'd probably didn't like it. So it's like, feel like I've learned how to cultivate that a little bit.

Ally Domercant: For more on Tiffany Hudson, check out her website Tiffany Hudson music dot com. Snapshot Testimony is a moody radio podcast. If you'd like to connect, you'll find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I'm your host, Ally Domercant , and together we're sharing the moments that shape a life of faith in Christ. Thanks for listening.

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Ally Domercant

Ally Domercant is passionate about communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ through powerful storytelling. In addition to hosting Snapshot Testimony, she also co-hosts Moody Radio Chicago’s morning show, Karl and Crew. Ally earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from DePaul University and got her start in broadcasting as a television news reporter. Ally recently launched Project Surplus, a feature-writing website that exists to proclaim and tell the wonders of God, and the stories of His people. The mother of two, Ally and her family currently reside in Chicago.

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Snapshot Testimony

Snapshot Testimony is a short feature and podcast on Moody Radio. Through interviews and storytelling, host Ally Domercant brings listeners inside the unique moments when a life is transformed by the power of Christ. Whether it's an unmistakable answer to prayer, the comforting whisper of the Holy Spirit, or the unforgettable day of salvation, we all have pivotal moments when the hand of the Lord is obvious and personal. These stories are the snapshots that make up a life of faith.