By Donald Lee
Special to Inside The Pew
Two minutes, 6 seconds.
That is the climactic point in the song “Even Me” by up-and-coming Gospel sensation Anita Jarrell-Robertson. Though virtue springs forth from the very beginning of the song, the second minute and sixth second of that track sets the tone for a soon-to-be-released album that is certain to command rave reviews.
Jarrell-Robertson said what the listener hears at that point in the song is her pouring out her soul before the Lord. The intensity of that moment was birthed from her deliverance from a dark place in her heart.
“That’s the part where I accepted His healing and deliverance,” said Jarrell-Robertson, who is a Dallas native but now lives in Baton Rouge, La., with her family.
“I was literally sitting in my closet; that’s where I pray. I was in my master bedroom walk-in closet. I don’t want anybody to freak out about that,” a tickled Jarrell-Robertson said about her prayer closet being as much literal as it is metaphoric. “It is a walk-in closet, and I had my Bible, my journal, a pen and my ‘Steps’ book, a book that walks you through reconciliation with Christ.”
What Jarrell-Robertson said next is quite revealing.
“I was wrestling with a decision to cheat on my husband, and I wasn’t quite sure how to pull it off,” she said as she explains further how “Even Me” came about.
“I just wanted to make him mad. It wasn’t that he was cheating or anything. It was trivial things,” she said, adding that she had those thoughts even though there was never another man in the picture. “He didn’t wash the dishes enough; he didn’t help me enough with the kids; he didn’t date me enough; he didn’t talk to me the way that I wanted him to talk to me all the time. But he’s actually the most faithful man I’ve ever been with.
“So, out of anger and hatred, I was going to cheat,” Jarrell-Robertson said. “What slowed my progress was I thought about my children and I didn’t know how to look them in the eye and tell them that I had cheated on their father. I really didn’t have a good reason. I knew that if I’d have made that choice to do that, I knew that I could potentially damage their destiny. I grew up with that kind of dysfunction as a preacher’s kid: Hearing one thing said and seeing something else done.”
At that point, Jarrell-Robertson began to see that her inner-being had become as a land ravaged by drought. What was going on within her was much bigger than the “little things” that she didn’t like about her husband, Jesse.
“After about 20 minutes or so of just weeping in despair, just frustrated about the condition of my soul, I just asked God to help me,” she said. “And He gave me this song. I believe His answer to my prayer was this song. This was the first time that I really internalized the message of the cross for myself verses making sure that everyone else on the planet got the Gospel, literally.”
Jarrell-Robertson said she was so inspired by Isaiah 44:3 that the passage of scripture became a verse in “Even Me.”
The scripture, as does a stanza in the song, said, For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring …
“I was just done; I was broken; I was finished,” a humbled Jarrell-Robertson said. “That was the best thing that could ever happen to me. Little did I know, the song would end up on a CD somewhere.”
And “Even Me” is by no means the only song on the Maxi single worth listening to. There are three other tracks, including “Future Generations,” “Never Forget Your Maker” and “On My Way,” that are phenomenal.
Jarrell-Robertson wrote, arranged, and performed every song on the project.
“Future Generations” and “Never Forget Your Maker” were written when the couple’s daughter Jessica, 6, was undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. She is now healed.
“On My Way” was written when Jarrell-Robertson’s father was dying in the hospital. The Lord Jesus let her know her father was on his way to heaven.
The album, which is also titled “Even Me,” will be released in September, and will include six additional tracks.
Donald Lee is an author and freelance journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com. To book Anita Jarrell-Robertson, call (866) 486-5810 or visit her website at http://www.anitaworships.com.