Fan the Flame

By: Carissa Lovvorn

Sometimes in life, we get the remarkable blessing for things to come full circle. Last week, I drove to Nashville, TN to attend and display my children’s books at the 80th Anniversary of the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. As I walked around the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, I was taken back to one of my favorite childhood memories. My family and I used to spend Easter weekends at the hotel where we participated in the Lads to Leaders and Leaderettes Convention. The mission of this organization is to develop youth into Christian leaders. During the convention, children compete in areas such as speech giving, song leading, Bible bowl, debate, and puppet theater to name a few. It would be easy to say that the excitement of our team winning the puppet contest is what I remember the most (And fun fact, I can do some pretty interesting voices), but it isn’t.

One evening, during the last L2L convention that I attended, participating families gathered along the atrium walkways and room balconies. With the lights low and the waterfall rushing in the background, the sound of hundreds of children singing praises to our Father echoed through the atrium. I was moved by the words of one of my favorite songs. “I stand to praise you, but I fall on my knees. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak. Light the fire, in my weary soul. Fan the flame, make my spirit whole.”

A few years after that memorable experience, I strayed from my faith. I went through many challenges during my teens and early twenties which included dropping out of high school, an abusive relationship, depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts. Though I eventually rededicated my life to our Heavenly Father, those experiences left a lasting impression of guilt that I have fought on a regular basis.

As I draw closer to God, I still sometimes catch myself stumbling back into negative thinking. However, this is not what God wants for his children. Take these two verses for example, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12 ESV). “As far as the East is from the West, so far does He remove our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12). Through His grace, he turns everything to good for those who love him.

While I sat in the atrium remembering that evening from my childhood, I hummed the familiar tune and thought about how fitting it was that I was in the same place. “Light the fire in my weary soul, fan the flame, make my spirit whole, Lord you know just where I have been. So, light the fire in my heart again.”  Even after all the trials, God made a way for to me to be back there spreading His word. Only He could do something that amazing. I pray that we all take comfort in His grace and allow Him to keep fanning the flame within our hearts.


Carissa Lovvorn