by Dr. Yvonne Lewis
Whitney Houston was a friend of mine. I met her when she was 17 years old, and she had grace and charm, even then. I attended her eighteenth birthday party, sang on her first hit song, and was a guest at her wedding reception.
Time sped by and I watched her become “Whitney Houston the Star.” Her mother, Cissy Houston, is a dear friend, and was a great mother to Whitney. When I was a background singer, Cissy would sometimes hire me to sing with her and “Nippy” (Whitney’s nickname). We’d have a great time together, and Nippy was always Cissy’s baby girl.
Over the years, Cissy and I would talk about our children, our careers, and our challenges. But as I prepared to attend the final milestone in Whitney’s earthly life, I thought about my final conversation with her. I had said, “Look at you, you’re a star!” and in a sad tone she answered, “Believe me, Yvonne, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”
Much More Than Meets the Eye
Sometimes our children have dreams of fame and stardom, but have no idea of the price one must pay to get there, since kids only see the upside of fame and fortune. However, the grueling schedule, the broken relationships, and the drugs are not prominently featured as being necessarily related to the show business lifestyle. In the entertainment industry, the emphasis is often misplaced, and our kids think it’s all about the glitz and glamour.
Whitney found out there was so much more to life than the music. I’m sure that as a girl she had a dream, only to find much more than meets the eye. Once again, the enemy of souls painted a rosy picture of what later became a dismal reality.
I remember working in that music business. While it was very rewarding financially, a deep emptiness filled my soul, and I was lost in a world of superficial relationships and spiritual need. I really didn’t know exactly what I was missing—until I found Jesus!
As a child, I had wanted to pursue fame. However, when I grew up and had a chance to observe the lives of the rich and famous first-hand, I discovered, as Whitney did, that fame is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Hold Onto Jesus
As I sat in the church during Whitney’s funeral and listened to how she always talked about Jesus, I realized that she’d shared her faith with those who would listen. She wasn’t afraid to specifically say the name, Jesus, when it was more politically correct and inoffensive to just say, God. I’m not trying to canonize her, but we shouldn’t judge her journey. That’s between her and the Lord.
We at Dare to Dream want our children to know that they should first seek God for His plan for their lives, and then “work the plan.” If they have the gift of music, they should sing for Jesus! If they’re academically inclined, they should study hard and prayerfully set their goals.
But above all, we must encourage them to hold onto Jesus.
He’s the only One that will never let them down.
He’s the only totally dependable, faithful Friend.
He should be the Source of our dreams.
He is the true Dream Maker.