Noah and I were married two months ago after dating for two and a half years. We met and became friends a couple months before I signed my record deal. Noah has been by my side as I’ve made a lot of big decisions at the beginning of my career. He has seen a lot of my uncertainty and the not so pretty parts of my job that most people don’t see – the long hours, the days away from home, the number of people involved in every part. Noah has also watched me work really hard, fight nerves, and shine on big stages. It’s been a blessing that we met at the very beginning of my career in Nashville because through all these experiences we have developed a respect for each other for choosing to give God the glory when it feels like we’re flying, and when it feels like we’re just barely hanging on. So our relationship and my career took off about the same time, and both began to escalate really quickly.
In that time, I have grown in my faith because I have moved more and more out of my comfort zone. I’ve battled with worry, fear, and anxiety when faced with decisions that I didn’t know which way to go. But in those moments, I’ve increasingly turned to my faith for strength and the blessing of discernment. So many people are involved in launching a new artist from the label, my management team, my publishing team, the amazing group of musicians I have on the road, and especially my close friends and family who have supported me from the start. I’ve never been good at letting anyone down and making decisions from a place of confidence because I’m using faith as my guidepost has really helped me keep focus.
When I was asked to write about the topic of balancing career and relationship, I sarcastically thought to myself, “I’ve been married two months, so I’ve totally got this right??” Ha!
I became inspired to look outside my own opinions and instead use this as an opportunity to explore faith as a source for wisdom about balancing my life, my relationship with Noah, and my career as an artist/songwriter. Before I knew love with Noah, I knew the phrase “God is love” from the bible. And that simple, straightforward thought continues to influence all my relationships and set the standard of what I wanted my marriage to be.
The truth is you can’t completely prepare for the unknown. However, I took this topic and asked advice from many married couples whom I admire. Of these couples I talked to, some that have been married for a year or two, some 20 years, and some have been married more than 30 years. Some are friends and some are family members— all who travel for work and have had to adapt to the lifestyle that comes along with a career like mine. What I heard over and over was the importance of faith and choosing to believe in something bigger than ourselves and our relationship, or my career. They told me that marriage is not an easy or perfect adventure, but a solid foundation makes a huge difference in figuring out how to maneuver through this lifelong commitment.
After seeking advice from our married friends and turning to faith for inspiration, we have come up with our own strategies for staying connected through intentional communication.
One thing that each couple touched on was how to intentionally communicate with each other while traveling. Especially as a recording artist I’m constantly on the road and it’s easy to get caught up in each day’s events and forget to reach out to Noah. A quick text or call to remind him that I’m thinking of him every day goes a long way while I’m away and keeps us in touch with each other. Even if it’s a completely different time zone or no cell service, sending an email or Facebook message can make a huge difference in his day, and mine.
Prayer helps me feel more connected to Noah when I’m away from home, so praying for Noah is always a part of my morning routine. I thank God for Noah, pray for his heart and mind, and ask that God would take care of him throughout his day. Prayer always makes me feel closer to him somehow and puts my mind more at ease.
Another thing several couples mentioned was the importance of being aware of each other’s “love languages,” and how making an effort to speak each other’s love language during the time we are together can really make up for the lonely times when we are apart. For example, Noah and I both really respond to words of affirmation; and they can really help refill both our empty “love buckets”! For us, simply asking about each other’s day, snuggling on the couch, or doing a chore or two around the house shows how we care for each other. One friend went so far as to advise me to schedule time just for us – even if that means staying at home. It’s worth it to be proactive and schedule the time.
The thing that Noah and I continue to remind each other is that no matter what happens each day, no matter how far apart we are, we have this unique, beautiful relationship with Christ as the anchor. Here are a few verses that have helped me see better how I can live and love in regards to relationship and career.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
I love this verse because it’s a simple equation that makes sense. It’s a good springboard for my thought process about the idea of balance.
Many days I wake up feeling out of balance and automatically feel myself battling with stress, worry, anxiety, depression, confusion, or loneliness. But when I remember to seek God first thing when I wake up, He reminds me that He is giving me everything I need right in front of me and my heart and my mind immediately feel lighter. Growing in our faith in Christ isn’t easy – especially with a demanding schedule – it takes practice and tenacity. So, Noah and I carve out time in the mornings to pray and ask God to give us a heart that seeks Him first – not our career, not each other, not our families, not friends, not money, not reputation, not personal gain. Then we talk to God about everything on our hearts. Prayer is a sacred time that we get to share and I’m really thankful for that bond we create through that time while getting to know each other more and getting to know God more.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
In my mind, when I see “To every thing there is a season,” I see “To everything thing there needs to be balance.”
I was on the phone with Noah’s parents, talking about the balance beam of life, and Noah’s dad — who was the officiant at our marriage – brought up this passage in Ecclesiastes. He talked with me about the image of a man who walks across a tight rope, and how in pictures you can’t see how hard he leans from left to right in order to keep his balance. It’s never just a perfectly balanced walk. I think that’s an amazing picture of how I have to experience balance in my live.
Sometimes my career calls for me to bury my head down and focus on my work whether it be at home or during travel. And sometimes Noah (and our future kids) will need me to be focused on the needs of our family and nurturing our relationship. However, taking the time to communicate when the balance needs to shift is critical. It’s really important that I create a safe space of communication for Noah and vice versa. I want him to feel like he is listened to when he speaks about his feelings and that I care about those feelings, even when it’s not an easy conversation. If I don’t, he will bottle up his feelings or let them build up and spill over in an unhealthy way. I have to choose to let Noah know he can be honest with me when he needs more quality time. This way, when the balance needs to shift between the two of us, he doesn’t feel needy or overbearing, and I don’t feel controlled.
For us, our marriage is a dream come true! This year I released a song called “Enough” that talks about that, and I hope it will be a reminder to us throughout our marriage. Noah and I are so excited to continue to learn about life and share our world with you all throughout the journey.
Picked as the only country artist on Entertainment Weekly’s “2019 Artists to Watch” list, Rachel Wammack has a deeply-rooted, classic sound influenced heavily by the rich musical history of her hometown of Muscle Shoals, Ala. Her songs showcase a gifted musician with a confident, soulful soprano earning her early recognition including being named to Rolling Stone’s “10 Best County EPs of 2018” as well as Amazon and NPR’s lists of “Best Music of 2018.” She received “2019 Artist to Watch” acclaim from multiple outlets including AOL, Pandora, Music Row, Pop Culture, Sounds Like Nashville, and more. She was also selected for CMT’s “Next Women of Country” and Bobby Bones “Class of 2019.”
Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelwammack