How perseverance through life’s detours paid off for Jordin Sparks

Written by Miles McPherson.

There she stood in a beautiful, flowing dress, on stage with Blake Lewis. A world-record 74 million people had cast their votes for the winner of season 6. All her hopes and dreams hung in the balance as host Ryan Seacrest forced the anticipation to its breaking point.

“The winner… of American Idol… 2007… is… JORDIN SPARKS!” The room roared in approval, as Jordin broke out in an emotional rendition of “This is my now.” It was a live television masterpiece, and a mountaintop moment for one of America’s most talented vocalists.

What few people know is how much that season of Idol cost Jordin.

I asked Jordin to join us at Rock Church a few weeks back with the purpose of sharing her story with us. We often make the mistake of looking to the rich and famous and thinking that the moments we see—the mountaintop experiences like winning American Idol—sum up their lives. In reality, it’s often the culmination of lots of hard work and perseverance and, just like us, they’re in process—learning, growing, failing, and trying again, as we heard from Jordin.

Growing up, she was a huge fan of the show, so auditioning was something she always wanted to do. While most kids her age want to turn 16 so they can get their driver’s license, Jordin was looking forward to her birthday so she could become eligible to audition for Idol.

The day of her audition, she got up at 2:00 AM and got in line with 15,000 people at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, went down and sang. Unfortunately, after she sang, they rejected her, cut off her wristband and sent her home.

Jordin was crushed.

You know, God is always involved in our lives. Always. We often forget that—especially when we encounter rejection—but God can even turn our mistakes into His plan. He is an expert at turning bad things into awesome things.

Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness…”

Jordin could’ve said, “my dream is over.” But God wasn’t closing the door on her dreams; he was just taking her on a perceived detour. After all, God’s “detours” aren’t detours at all—they’re part of HIS plan!

So she gets rejected, but she keeps singing, ultimately winning a localized version of the show called Arizona Idol while the same season of American Idol is ongoing. And, as the winner of Arizona Idol, she got reinserted on the backend of American Idol! That’s pretty amazing.

“I feel like perseverance has followed me throughout my life, just keep going!” she said. “When a door is closed, you can see which one is open, which one you’re supposed to go through. Doors, windows, basement doors, all those things can be shut, and you can see the one to go to.”

Sometimes struggle to find clarity because there are so many options open to us. And sometimes God offers guidance by closing doors: “So when the door closes you just go, ‘alright, that one wasn’t for me, what other way can I try?’”

I know a lot of people who feel or have felt like they’re lost in life’s process, full of stress and confusion. They want to know that they’re in God’s will for their lives, but they don’t know what to do.

If that’s you, it’s not too late! Wherever you’re at in life, no matter how many doors have been closed in your face, God is in control, and He can open a door for you today.

So don’t let your heart be troubled! Believe that, like Jordin, God is working things all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

To watch Jordin’s full story, text “SPARKS” to 52525 or click HERE.

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