When God Closes Doors: An interview with Giel

By Ashley Flores

Finding a balance between chasing your dreams, and honoring your Faith can be tricky at times.

More often than it should be, the appeal of fame can cause us to turn away from God’s plan for us in exchange for the temporal fulfillment of earthly gain. Our name scrolling across the marquee can overshadow the pleasure of making His name famous. Praise from our colleagues and those we admire can expose our hidden thirst for applause. The false sense of security that comes along with financial wealth can lead us to believe God’s protection is no longer a necessity.

But the moment that snaps us back into reality is not always done gently.

Sometimes, it’s downright painful.

Gospel music recording artist GIEL is someone who truly knows the gut-wrenching kick we sometimes must endure in order to be reminded of why God has given us our particular talents and gifts. Though many have grown to love her through her latest single “NOW”, there was a time when this melodious powerhouse was once blinded by the selfish gleam of the secular music industry.

GIEL, the quintessential “preacher’s" kid”, sought to rebel against what she saw as the chains of Christianity in order to pursue an R&B music career.

Many mainstream music labels and producers were immediately interested in her song-writing and vocal abilities. Her unique sound and passionate prose seemed to have the potential to make them wealthy off her dream to share her story the masses.

"At that time, I couldn't see that I wasn't just rebelling against my earthly father, but against my heavenly Father as well," she said. "But after I truly developed a relationship with God for myself, I knew that singing for His glory was the only rightful way I could use the talent He'd given me. I had to have my own 'Damascus moment' where Jesus became real to me."

Then, all of those opened doors suddenly shut without warning. She went from being thought of as the up-and-coming artist who would one day “replace” neo-soul queen India Arie, to nothing more than an afterthought. Major showcases she had booked were suddenly cancelled; contracts were dropped. She was shocked.

“No more trips, meetings, or special treatment. I was crushed,” she recalls. “Needless to say, I didn’t see much of a future in music. I became pretty depressed.”

This sudden change of events humbled her led GIEL reevaluate her current path. She soon saw the same life that she used to feel was full of restraint, now contained the only real freedom she’d ever known. Battling criticism from those closest to her, and her newfound difficulty to find producers who were willing to work with her on her new mission to share the Gospel through her music, she turned to God for direction and for, most importantly, His forgiveness.

Finally, understanding how she’d misused her talent, GIEL made the decision to begin to fully dedicate her life and career to glorifying God.

This decision not to wallow in the disappointment that came along with God putting the breaks on her secular music career allowed her to experience the beauty of when He bestows His blessings on those who submit to His will. GIEL’s gospel career has now included her releasing her first EP, Message Behind the Music, touring Spain as a feature artist with the Alabama Gospel Choir, and opening for artists such as The Ambassador and Jai on the M.O.V.E. Tour. In 2013, she has already been touring Florida and opening for Christian rap legend Da TRUTH.

God’s word tells us in John 12:43 that gaining more pleasure from the praise of man than we do from pleasing God will lead us nowhere other than to our own destruction. It's important to make sure we never allow the plaudits of others take our eyes off of our responsibilities as Christians.

“Truly seek God! [Don’t] be anxious about anything, but trust God,” GIEL advises to all who are looking for guidance as they work to intertwine their passion and their occupation. She also encourages others to spend serious time contemplating whether or not they are ready for the physical and psychological commitment required to survive in whatever career they choose, but especially in the music industry, which she now knows quite well.

To stay connected with GIEL, be sure to check her out at http://www.gielmusiconline.net.