The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Lily Isaacs grew up knowing about pain and loss. As a young woman, she found the incomparable joy of Jesus Christ, but once converting to the Christian faith, she became estranged from her Jewish parents. It was her hope in Christ that would get her through many tough times ahead, from relationship problems to loneliness, and even breast cancer.
Throughout Lily’s music career—from starting out as a Jewish folk singer to her now starring role as the matriarch of the multi-award winning Gospel music group The Isaacs—she has sung a steady refrain of God’s constant love, comfort, and strength. Recently, she set pen to paper to share her inspirational story. New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews contributed the foreword to the book, You Don’t Cry Out Loud (New Leaf Press, May 2014).
When did you first discover that God’s story—the greatest every told—would become the most important in your life?
When I first got saved and word got back to NYC and my parents about my going to church and believing in Jesus, they completely rejected me. My own father told me he’d rather see me dead and in the grave, than to be a reproach to my people and accept Jesus into my life! That was one of the most lonely times in my young life. At that point I realized that God was teaching me that…… HE was the most important thing in my life and He would never leave or forsake me….. no matter what! Also, when I found out that Jesus was Jewish, just like me……. it made me very curious to learn all I could about being a follower of YESHUA. It changed my life and became the most important thing to me.
God sometimes sends us down an unexpected path—one that may at ultimately bless us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
When my three children were born, I felt so blessed. They have always been such a joy. They all got saved at an early age and somehow just started singing and play various instruments. They could harmonize as young as four-five years old. I must say, this has been a divine detour! We never intentionally became a family band. It was definitely God’s plan. I look back now and see what a miracle all this has unfolded to be…. “The Isaacs.”
I have been asked by fans all over the world…. ”When are you going to write a book?” Several years ago, I decided to write my story while my mother was still alive (she will be 95 in July). I wanted to be able to talk to her and ask many unanswered questions I had. So this process started about ten years ago. I guess I’ve written and rewritten this autobiography ten times. I must say, New Leaf Press Publishing has been so supportive and encouraging. Seems like they out a fire under my feet…. so here it is!
What is the significance of the title
I’ve thought of several titles throughout the years. One time when I was proof reading one of the chapters, I saw this particular statement my mother made about what it was like in the concentration camps! I probably have read over it a hundred times……. But this time it hit me in the heart, and I knew this was it. The title… Mom’s own words!
When we dedicate our work to Him, God often uses it to teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
Writing this book has been therapy for me. I had two amazing ghostwriters to help me so I had to talk out every detail of my life and then trim it all down into a book. I realized that all through my life I felt like I needed to fix everything and everyone, but in the process I broke myself! I’ve learned so much about myself and who I have become. It’s certainly given me much more compassion and understanding concerning myself and the people around me.
Please tell us a bit about your upcoming trip to Israel.
We have been blessed to visit Israel about eleven times in the past thirty-five years. This year we will spend nine days there. This is the most amazing experience I and my family have ever had. It is the Jewish homeland and also as a believer it’s the Christian’s homeland as well. We visit all the holy sites and get to have little mini services in various places, singing songs and reading scriptures. I wanted my entire family to go. Five of my grandchildren are teenagers and I knew this would be a trip of a lifetime for them as well. There are thirteen of us going and we have another fifty friends joining us too.
A few fun questions…
On the road or off, what is your favorite comfort food and why?
My favorite comfort food at home is pineapple sherbet with sprite. A delicious frosty drink! I just simply crave it. I could put away a gallon of this stuff in two days!! Also I love green olives!! Cheetos too! We don’t have a freezer on our bus so sherbet is not an option, so I must settle for dark chocolate ANYTHING!!!! Maybe a dill pickle, lol!
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
In this story I think I am the strong female lead, at least that’s what I thought I was. I probably wasn’t as strong as I pretended to be!
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
The only pet I was ever allowed to have was a mutt dog I named Ezra! We had him for about eight years. He became part of our family and my parents took care of him after I left home. He was a wonderful companion to my father.
Thank you, Lily! It’s an honor to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
THANK YOU KATHY….. Blessings, Lily
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