Jodian Pantry finds her way back to the fold
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
She was the shy sweet little girl who entered the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission gospel festival competition in 2001 with the George Gordon penned, 'I'll Give My Heart' which was placed second.
For a while, she was the darling of the gospel circuit performing on almost every event ... until a few years later, Pantry turned her attention to the secular world entering the Digicel Rising Star competition, recording combinations with fellow competitors Noddy Virtue and Romain Virgo.
Looking back on those years, Pantry told Family and Religion, "I had a map cut out for me that should have led me right to everything I thought was best for me and my life. While following my own self-made map, I came upon Goliath's, I came upon lions, entrapment, confusion, deception, frustration."
According to her, at that point, she had to slow down and apologise to God for not giving Him all of herself and the full attention and commitment He deserved.
"That's when I let all go and asked God to direct me and he lead me right back to the light, His light and the ministry."
Since that reawakening, Pantry said she is feeling great as her burdens are truly gone. She is experiencing peace and, best of all, she doesn't have to resort to man's help, but instead has been looking to the Creator.
"He has been proving to me every day that He is God and that His way is the way. Doors are opening slowly, but surely in terms of the journey, God has ordained me to go heal and inspire those out there who are now trapped in the very same den I was in and (who) feel there is no way out," she shared.
Pantry said not only will she be ministering in song, but will be sharing her testimonies under the Spirit's direction.
A member of the Chapelton Church of God of Prophecy, Pantry recalls an experience she had since her new found faith.
She said it happened on a Good Friday in Black River, St Elizabeth, with fellow gospel singer Joan Flemmings.
"Everything that happened that night when I went on stage and took the microphone, to the first note was just angelic, in terms of the angels God had dispatched around me to do His work. I literally could hear the chain falling, everything God allowed me to see that night was just so clear," she related.
Pantry had a powerful discernment for someone who was in attendance. According to her, he was about to accept a gift that would have caused his death. Through the Spirit's urging, she managed to thwart that plan.
"I can remember every word whispered in my ear that night as I held the gentleman (who was a security guard) to pray with him, as he repeated 'I won't accept it, I won't bother to take it, I won't accept it', as he trembled in fright. In the end, it was to God be all glory," she said.
Pantry said she is in a constant state of prayer as she knows her most challenging moment is yet to come and when it does, she wants to be spiritually strong for it.
Her message for fellow unsaved entertainers is simple, "Letting go of all heavy burdens and take some time out to know God for yourself, it is then that you will know, it's not just about entertaining, it's not about the loud cheers, or who gets the most air play, television or radio interviews, who sounds better, it is not about who is more popular neither is Gods house a place for competition. It is all about God's grace."