Christian singer-songwriter Lindsay McCaul once found herself in a difficult and unsettling season of loss. Her father succumbed to a devastating illness, her brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly, and she left her home in Chicago to follow a dream in Nashville. Out of those losses came a sense of surrender, and the affirmation that God will see us through one step at a time.
Lindsay, who has toured with Casting Crowns, Matthew West, and Sanctus Real, among others, will soon hit the road again with label mates Jason Gray and Unspoken.
She and her husband, Mark, live in Nashville.
At what point did you know that you wanted to make music your life?
I’ve loved music since I was a little kid, as my Dad used to put on the Gaithers on our drive to church every weekend and we’d sing along at the top of our lungs. I’ve just always loved singing and making up little ditties.
When I was around twelve or thirteen I started writing my own songs, but even then I never dreamed God would call me into music as a job. It wasn’t until the end of my senior year in college that I realized God was leading me to singing and songwriting as a career and full time ministry.
I had no idea what I was doing or even how to start doing it, but a few wise mentors reminded me that I could rest in the truth of Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. It brought so much peace to my heart to realize that God was preparing the way for me to walk forward in obedience to His calling. I just had to trust and obey. I love that. He’s so faithful!!
God often sends us down an unexpected path on the way to our goal—one that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Yes, definitely with being in music. I majored in Applied Linguistics in college (at Moody Bible Institute) and totally planned on being a Bible Translator somewhere overseas after I graduated. God used several key people during my senior year to really challenge me to ask God what HE wanted me to do after graduation, instead of doing what I thought He would be most impressed with.
So, I prayed and really surrendered ‘my plans’ to God and asked Him to lead me and use me wherever and however He wanted, and He’s been so faithful to do that. I’m so thankful. It’s still my goal to translate the Bible. I just try to translate it into songs now instead of a different language.
Let’s talk about your new album, One More Step (Centricity Music, August 2014). How many of the songs did you write or co-write? What was the foundation song for the project?
I co-wrote all eleven songs for the album. The title, One More Step, basically sums up something I feel like God has been teaching me over the past few years. A lot of change has happened in my life. I got married, released an album, my Dad passed away, I toured with Casting Crowns, Matthew West, Brandon Heath and Mandisa, my husband and I moved to Nashville, I switched record labels, and my brother-in-law passed away.
Through that whole season, and especially my Dad’s home-going, I felt like God was encouraging me to focus on the day at hand. Today. Not next week, not a month or a year in the future. Today, where His grace is sufficient. Where His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
Repeatedly in Scripture, God tells us not to worry about tomorrow and assures us that His mercies are new every morning. He promises in Philippians 1:6: He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. That’s where the song, The In Between, came from. The realization that GOD is faithful when I’m faithless and is sovereignly and actively working all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
Sometimes all I need to do is take one teensy step of faith, believing that He’s working in and around me for His glory. When I’m convinced every situation is a divinely orchestrated opportunity for Him to lead me closer, I can walk confidently, love selflessly and serve with joy.
One More Step and With The Brokenhearted are both beautiful ballads dealing with loss. Were they written from personal experience?
Yes, for sure. One More Step is about my dad, who has been in heaven since February of 2012. I’d been a little scared of trying to write a song for/about him after he went to be with Jesus. I think I was nervous it would be too painful to write about and was worried I’d feel like the song didn’t capture and honor our relationship the way I really wanted to.
God’s peace was so present the day my producer and co-writer Jeff Pardo and I sat down to write and it just came flowing out. The Brokenhearted was written about/from a verse that was huge for me through the season of losing my dad. It’s Psalm 34:18, which says that God is near to the brokenhearted. I love that verse because brokenhearted people don’t usually feel like God is near, as they think He’s forgotten about them or doesn’t care. But God wanted to make sure we knew He was present and close when we are hurting and aching. He’s hurting and aching with us because He loves us. I love that. What a promise!
It’s been my prayer that God would use both these songs to comfort those who have lost loved ones, and as a reminder that none of us know how much time we have left, so to treasure and use the precious time God’s given us to love those He’s placed around us.
You’ll be touring a lot in coming months. How do you stay spiritually in tune when you’re traveling so much?
I’m a huge believer in community. I’m a worship leader at my home church in Nashville (Fellowship Bible Church), my husband and I are in a church small group, and I have a group of girlfriends in the music industry, all of whom keep me grounded and connected.
Each of those different community groups are vital to me staying focused on Jesus and why I do what I do. They all know me super well and point me to the Lord in truth and love. I’m also incredibly grateful to have a husband (Mark) who will remind me when I’m tired and missing home what an amazing blessing it is to be able to serve Jesus doing what we love. It’s a privilege and it’s something I don’t ever want to lose sight of or take for granted.
Being away from home can be really tough, but I try to stay connected with Mark (thank you, facetime!) and my girlfriends back home as much as possible. I have an amazing group of women. Many of them are artists or artists’ wives themselves, who speak truth, encouragement, and exhortation into my life. We text each other prayer requests when we’re on the road and meet as often as we can for prayer, Bible studies and sweet fellowship when we’re all home in Nashville. That support is a massive blessing and really keeps me grounded and focused.
A few fun questions…
What is your favorite comfort food and why?
Pad Thai! I could eat it every day (but shouldn’t). My mom got me hooked on it when I was younger and it just makes me super happy. I LOVE spicy food so I always add a ton of red pepper flakes and fresh squeezed limejuice to it. Delish!
What’s the name of the last GREAT book you’ve read?
I just finished One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and am now in the middle of Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. Both books are absolutely phenomenal, life changing even, and I’m planning on buying extra copies of each to give away.
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?
I think/hope I’m the girl next door. I want/try my best to be a good friend, loyal to the people I’ve been blessed to have in my life, available, kind, trustworthy and dependable. Those are the characteristics I think of when I hear ‘girl next door,’ and they’re definitely characteristics I value and strive to demonstrate. Plus, I make a mean chocolate chip cookie, which feels pretty neighborly to me!
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I’m a dog lover too. My family had four dogs growing up: Rafferty, Molly, Brownie and Buddy. They were all Lhasa Apso’s except for Brownie, who was a German Shepherd-mutt. They were all awesome and super spoiled. They’d squeeze in between us on the couch and eventually all the human family members would be sitting on the floor and the dogs would have taken control of anything cushioned.
My husband and I would have pets in a heartbeat, but with how much we currently travel we’d be bad doggie parents. Someday!
Thank you, Lindsay! It’s a pleasure to have you at DivineDetour. May God bless your work for Him.
Thanks so much for having me. God bless y’all!
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To learn more about Lindsay, logon to her website.
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