Pop singer Tori Kelly recently opened up about her faith in Christ and shared the powerful Bible verse that has been a "theme" throughout her life.
During a recent interview at the Rock Church, Kelly said that looking back, she can see God's hand guiding her life -- especially after being rejected from American Idol when she was 16 years old.
"Through all of that, I came out so much stronger, because I had to experience that and I really felt that, now looking back, I can see God's hand and being like, 'No, no no you're going to learn this from this...and then I'm shaping you to be who I want you to be,'" she shared.
While she grew up in church, the 24-year-old "Should've Been Us" singer said she hadn't previously shared her testimony because she never felt her story was powerful enough.
"God's teaching me right now that I do have a story, because for so long I didn't feel like I did," she said. "I thought, 'I love Jesus and I'm just doing my thing, and there's these people who have these crazy, dramatic...experiences and amazing stories, and that's just not mine.' I always kind of felt a little bit left out of that. But I think God...is teaching me, 'If you believe in me, if you know that I am in your life and I am...the center of your life and that I'm better than anything, then just say that and just share that. Whatever you have, share that, and it'll hopefully resonate with somebody.'"
Like so many Christians, Kelly said she struggles with trying to be "perfect."
"I think that's another thing God is kind of saying, like, 'No, when you try to do things on your own - even preparing what you're gonna say or how you're going to act - that's you not trusting me,'" she said. "That's been a big one for me."
She added, "I think even with my childhood and being so involved in the church there's this temptation to be even the perfect Christian, and that's not what being a Christian is about at all. It's recognizing how broken we are and continually going to Christ and being like, 'I need you,' not, 'I didn't read my word today, or I didn't pray today.' Those are all good things, but that's not the heart of it...it's relationship."
Kelly said that Paul's words in Philippians 3:7-9 have been a theme in her life. It reads, in part: "whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."
"I want to be like Paul and be able to say, all these things that I've been able to do, any earthly thing, amazing things, and they're blessings, I'm so thankful that I get to do what I do, but if all of that went away and disappeared I would still have Jesus. He's the one, the one thing that I get to have that nobody can take away."
"My faith is everything to me," she said "Music has always been a part of me and my faith has always been a part of me. So, for me it's been that daily, 'Okay let me remind myself again that Jesus is number one. Let me remind myself again what all of this is for. There's that conviction. Certain opportunities will come up and I'll just have to say no."
Whether she's at home or on the road performing, Kelly said she strives to read the Bible and pray every day.
"Even though He knows everything. He still wants to hear from us and He cares," she said, adding that her faith allows her to stay humble in an industry that constantly glorifies man.
"In my line of work it's kind of built up to be about me...which is scary. It's terrifying. That's the biggest challenge," she said. "I can't rely on these accomplishments, these goals, and these dreams, which are great and good things...but even good things can be idols."