In 1987 Missy and I began a music ministry in earnest. By late 1989 I was at it full time. I was performing at Youth Rallies throughout the United States. My first tour was organized by Ted Marconi throughout western Pennsylvania. 6 appearances in 7 days. Plus radio, newspaper, and lots of time with youth groups. It was a glorious time of song, story, and discovery.

Early on, I wore a pair of Red Reeboks while on stage. I wore out many pairs, like the ones in this photo recently sent to me by my first Tour Manager…you guessed it…Ted Marconi!

trainersTruth be told, the shoes were a “cape” for me early on. Like a graphic novel character puts on a mask or holds a shield, the shoes stood out, deflected judgment and attention, and kept people (including me) from wondering whether or not I was an imposter. Ted saw through the shoes, saw something in me that I didn’t or couldn’t see for myself at the time; that I have something to offer.

Eventually the shoes just became a thing…and the “cape” dissipated within me. Thank God for Ted. Thank God for people in our lives that believe in something they see in us, even when we can’t see it ourselves.

Send a picture and a story of your shoes for the journey on our COJO Community Facebook page and put one foot in front of the other.

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