|Movie Release October 4th!|
In “Grace Unplugged,” Melody Carson reminds us that without God directing every aspect of our lives we can never achieve true fulfillment. Even if all of our wildest dreams come to fruition if God isn’t in them we’ll always experience a void. The tighter we embrace the world the further away we draw from God, leaving us depending on our own strength which ultimately makes us weak. Grace Trey is an eighteen year old wide eyed- talented beauty with an intense love for music who is struggling with the dilemma of faith versus worldly and self-desires. Grace is raised in a Christian family in the sleepy town of Homewood Alabama with her doting mother, Michelle and her father Johnny. Johnny was a short lived pop star who had a taste of fame with his one-time hit, “Misunderstood.” After battling his own demons he dedicated his life to God, still performing, but in churches instead of nightclubs and sharing his testimony. Together Grace and Johnny play in the Worship band at their church. Grace wants to come out from under her father’s shadow and yearns for more than her tiny town can offer, but she just needs a plan. One fateful day that plan walks through the front door. Johnny’s old manager Mossy visits the family plopping down a contract of a lifetime in Johnny’s lap. There is one hitch he can’t sing religious music. Johnny flat out refuses the offer leaving Grace in shock and even more determined to pursue her own dreams. For Johnny, glorifying God is the purpose for his music, not stardom something he is trying to instill in Grace.
Tempers flare after one worship service when Grace takes the liberty of rocking out instead of going along with the program. Johnny tells Grace she’s out of the band. Angry and hurt Grace is bent on proving that she can make it on her own, so she videotapes herself singing “Misunderstood,” and sends it Mossy. Shortly after, Grace is leaving her parents a Dear John letter and is booked on a one way ticket to LA to meet with Sapphire Records after Mossy realizes he hit the jackpot. Her parents are devastated. Johnny knows the heartache awaiting his prodigal daughter and just like our heavenly Father his heart breaks as his child draws farther away from him. Although haunted by his daughter’s decision Johnny comes to the painful realization that he has to let her go and experience life. Gracie is quickly thrown into the bright and deceiving lights of Hollywood. She finds herself compromising her Christian values and living a life far away from Christ. The more disobedient she is to God the more unfulfilled she becomes. Inevitably she ends up playing in the devils’ playground. Her descent leads her into nightclubs, dates with bad boys, alcohol fueled evenings and questionable wardrobe choices. All the things her faith taught her to reject.
“Grace Unplugged,” is an inspirational book you’ll want your teenager to read. It is a cautionary tale of how far we can fall when we allow our happiness to depend on worldly desires. By putting her faith in her talent, her manager, and herself Grace lost the most important relationship… her relationship with Christ. Without her relationship with Christ the joy she longs for continues to escape her, even when all her dreams are coming true.
Melody Carson, shows the steady decline of Grace as she realizes that fame isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Grace begins drinking frequently to numb the pain she feels from the choices she’s made. She is at her lowest point when she hears a knock at the door. Hung-over from drinking the previous night she stumbles to the door and reluctantly lets in Quentin, an intern at Sapphire Records who ironically saw her perform with her father years ago. Grace isn’t quite interested in his good guy demeanor because it reminds her too much of home. But, Quentin pursues her with a gentle friendship that even in her hardened state she can’t resist. He invites her to a home cooked meal and Grace discovers that on the night he saw her father perform he gave his troubled life over to Christ. Carson gently weaves into her story God’s skillfulness in delivering to us a lifeline when we are drowning. I love how Grace’s father led Quentin to Christ and how Quentin will eventually lead Grace back to Christ. He gives Grace a book to read while she goes on tour called, “Own It,” which is coincidentally written by her Pastor in Homewood. As she reads the book she begins her own self-examination.
Just when she is being drawn back towards the Lord, she is offered a chance to open up for Rena Taylor a troubled rock star. A chance of a lifetime except that she has to sing lyrics that are immoral. She is torn about what to do and can’t understand that is this is so awesome why does she feel so bad? Quentin so brilliantly tells her that she knows exactly why she is unhappy. He makes her question why is she doing her music? She has to admit to herself that it wasn’t to glorify God. All she did was done for her own glory. God was nowhere in her music or her life and because of that, regardless of how many opportunities arose it would never give her contentment. Grace made the common mistake of storing earthly not heavenly treasures and trusting in her flesh that was only concerned about its appetite for the world. Nothing mattered if her relationship with God and her family weren’t right. That night Grace went were many of us go when we’re broken and that is to God. She prayed. After that a peace that passes understanding took over Grace’s heart where there was once sadness and confusion.
Just like the father in the prodigal son, God was just patiently waiting for Grace to come home and he embraced her with open arms. Melody Carson lovingly shows us that regardless of Grace’s sin God was always with her, always protecting her, and even placing someone in her life to help lead her back to him. His grace is sufficient, and when Grace unplugged the Lord’s grace it was more abundant then she could’ve imagined. “Grace Unplugged,” is one of those books you don’t want to put down, because you can identify traces of yourself in Grace and maybe even relate to her internal struggles with faith. You’ll find yourself cheering for her because you know she has so much to offer to God’s Kingdom! We see Grace two years later, in love, content and surrounded by the people who love her most. Her relationships repaired and the father daughter duo in full effect. She is still singing her heart out in front of fans, but this time she allowed God’s plans to be her plans. This is when Grace finally reaches the pinnacle of true success.
Check out the Official Grace Unplugged Site!
The Book Release Date is September 1st!
The Movie Release Date is October 4th!