God Told Me to Say It

Jordan Feliz: God Told Me to ‘Say It’ (Part 2)

John FarrellBy John Farrell12 Minutes

John Farrell: The song “Wounds” talks about working through trauma, and it has a deeper, personal meaning for you. Could you speak a little about what the song means to you personally?

Jordan Feliz: Yeah. “Wounds” is by far the most honest song I’ve ever written. It was honestly the hardest song to say “yes” to. Mainly because I knew that I was going to have to talk about it all the time. You know what I mean?

But this song is really about a past trauma that I have had to deal with, and that I realized I hadn’t dealt with. It all came kind of crashing down during a really severe season of anxiety. So, all of a sudden I was going through this really dark time in my mind, and then that kind of opened up. It’s crazy because that actually sent me down a tailspin. I thought, ‘Oh man, am I going to make it through this?’

I kinda started having these really dark thoughts of where is this coming from? What’s crazy is the more I talked about it – I started chatting with some friends – the more I realized that I had had this really traumatic experience. I started talking to some people about it.

Then I was out on the road, and in a long turn of events, I had another extremely traumatic experience. It just felt like my entire world blew up. It just felt like my heart, my mind, everything was just broken and shattered. I ended up calling my wife and we talked for four hours one night on the phone and I was just telling her about some of this stuff that I was going through.

My wife and I have been best friends since we were 15, but it was one of those things I’d never really shared with her about my life. She was like, “Oh my gosh. How have we never talked about this?”

I ended up running to two buddies who I was in the room with writing some songs one day and it turns out that both of them had kind of been through the same thing that I had been through. You’ve never seen three grown men cry so much, but we were just able to be there for each other and talk about the things that people have gone through.

People go through all kinds of different trauma, but you know there’s children that have lost their family members young, and it can be extremely traumatic. There are a lot of things that people go through.

After we released “Wounds,” I’ve had online conversations with people who have parents that have committed suicide and that’s created a huge trauma in their life. There are also people who have dealt with a family member that’s inappropriate or there’s people that are dealing with and talking about sexual abuse and all these things. It just starts opening up the floodgates to all these things that people have been through.

As we wrote this song, we knew it was going to be a song of healing for people because it’s a reminder that it says in God’s Word that He’s written His name on every heart and that He will heal the broken-hearted and that He binds up our wounds. We just knew we needed to write this song as a reminder because not only was it true to me but I have seen God heal me and pull me through this and not only pull me through it but create something that makes me feel like I’m a different person. It almost feels – not like I got born again – but that feeling of being born again. It’s kinda that same feeling of I’m ready to take this on.

It’s definitely a song that I can talk about for a long time because I’ve already seen people who’ve been through a lot of stuff running to it and holding it tight. I’ve had some people that were in a car accident that had never been in a car accident before, but it just shook them up and they’ve got some PTSD from it. And some military people have written me about being deployed.

It’s just been amazing to watch God call me to go out and say something that I’ve been really nervous to talk about and watch people click to it and know that it’s not me. It’s not just my story. It’s what God has done through it.

JF: How has your music and the act of creating your music and performing helped you overcome these fears and anxieties?

Jordan: I think it’s just watching God work every night. That’s the short and sweet of it. When you see God moving, it’s one of the most beautiful things you could ever watch. Watching the Lord pour over people, you can literally see the countenance on people’s faces change. Constantly reminding myself that that’s why I’m here.

Again, some of the bitterness of my heart that I’ve struggled with through the last couple of years that God has delivered me from now. A huge part of combating that anxiety is reminding myself of why I’m there and not trying to get sucked into something that doesn’t feel like me even though it might be rewarding to look a certain way or to act a certain way or to talk a certain way. But for me it was, “No, I’m just going to be exactly who God’s called me to be, and I’m going to remember my calling.”

JF: How has the pandemic affected your plans?

Jordan: It’s affected a lot in the work world of my life, just because we haven’t been able to really tour since March [2020]. That’s had a huge effect, but for our family … and I’ve had this conversation several times obviously, but this season has been crazy difficult for us from a lot of perspectives.

I’m not working and touring is really how we make a living. So, not being able to do that is really hard. And by the grace of God, we are still here. We have not had to sell our house. We’ve just been hunkered down. But to be honest, it’s literally been one of the most amazing seasons for our family ever. Outside of having to hunker down on the finance side, we’ve just had so much fun as a family. It’s brought so much healing to us, too.

Watching God really pour over our family, watching Him pour over my kids and my wife. It’s allowed me to be a husband. It’s allowed me be a dad. [2020], honestly, as much as it’s been so difficult in so many ways, it’s probably one of my favorite years I’ve ever had in my life because I’ve really been able to focus on what matters.

JF: That’s awesome to be able to say that after what we as a country and world have been through.

Jordan: A hundred percent.

JF: Who are some of your musical influences?

Jordan: I grew up a lot on Earth, Wind & Fire, Sam Cooke, and Al Green. That Motown era – Marvin Gaye, all that. That’s always going to be a huge part of me. Whether you can hear it or not, it’s always going to be an influence on me.

But lately – like in the last 20 years – for me, I’m super-influenced by a band called One Republic. It’s not a Christian band, but they’re amazing. Just a lot of different music. I know it sounds crazy, but I kinda pull inspiration from almost everywhere.

My wife loves Kacey Musgraves, but we also listen to Christian radio. We kind of listen to everything, and I’ve also pulled a lot of influence from a lot of the Christian hip-hop guys like Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and Gawvi. I don’t even know if they’d even know that they influenced me, but they have.

Just pulling inspiration from everywhere musically, but I would say my biggest influence growing up has been Motown.

JF: Cool. When did you start singing and what instruments do you play?

Jordan: I kind of play a little bit of everything. I’m not very good at anything though. You know, I’m one of those guys.

JF: A jack of all trades, master of none.

Jordan: That is exactly me. I can play a little bit of everything, but my main two instruments that I run to to write with are piano and guitar. Those are the main ones for me, and they’re both awesome.

Stay Tuned for the Final Part of Jordan Feliz’s Interview