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'My relationship with Jesus completes me' says young songwriter

Talented singer/songwriter Jacob Lloyd has lived through some tough times in his young life, but as the A-level student tells Sharon Barnard, God has never let him down ...

Talented singer/songwriter Jacob Lloyd has lived through some tough times in his young life, but as the A-level student tells SHARON BARNARD, God has never let him down

Jacob was just a boy when his father, a church youth leader, walked out on his family to take up with another member of the church.

If it wasn’t for his mum’s strong faith and example, Jacob reckons he might not be where he is today.

“I struggled to understand what exactly it was I believed in anymore. I remember getting incredibly angry at my dad and at God as I couldn’t understand why he would allow this to happen.

“My mum never questioned why, but stayed prayerful and amazingly strong for me and my sisters.

“I could see that if she was still praying and keeping faithful then there must be something to believe in. It was this that kept me going.”

Jacob says he always knew that God loved him, but it wasn’t until he was 11 years old that he decided he wanted a personal relationship with Jesus.

“Up to that point I had gone to church, mainly because my family did and I thought it was the right thing to do. However, at 11 I was confirmed and I think this was the real start of the relationship with Jesus I have now.”

That faith was challenged when he became the victim of severe bullying at his school in the West Midlands.

“It started with them saying things like ‘Bible-basher’, but before long, it turned into physical and mental bullying, with events ranging from elastic bands in the eye to having work changed on the school ICT system.

“In the end, a page was set up on a social networking site that gained a lot of followers. It included comments from school colleagues boasting about what they’d done.

“My new dad found the site and sorted things out. Although mum and dad have briefly told me what it was about, they’ve never let me see it.”

Jacob has since starred in an educational video created for local primary schools by Sandwell Literacy Team where he played a character who had been bullied.

While it was not specifically an anti-bullying resource, it has made him think about producing his own anti-bullying material – from a Christian perspective.

“Christians are sometimes bombarded with verses and quotes that tell us life should be peachy.  When this isn’t true for us, for whatever reason, we can question our own faith, or the validity of the Gospel. I’d love to tackle these issues with young people.”

His advice for anyone who is being bullied?

“Get in touch with someone who can help you. Remember that no matter how dark the situation, there will be a positive outcome.

“Stay true to who you are, and never forget that.

“However, the single most important thing you can do is involve God in your situation. Pray to him, believing that he does care.

“Don’t be afraid to say: ‘Please help me’. Just tell it like it is. God wants to be your friend!”

Jacob says his Christian faith is central to everything he does – including the songs he writes and records.

“It influences my morals, my decisions and impacts every area of my life. My relationship with Jesus is what gets me through day to day and quite simply, it completes me.”

His musical style is acoustic pop similar to Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz. “Some people have described me as being like Ed Sheeran and Passenger,” he says.

Following on from 2011’s Somewhere New, last December Jacob released a single See in Colour ahead of his new album of the same name which came out in February.

“There has also been a lot of interest from the media as a result of the new single, which is fantastic as it allows me to share my message with a wider audience.

“The new album marks a massive step up for me, lyrically, musically and in terms of God’s plans for my future.”

Jacob had intended to pursue a career in medicine after his A-levels, but now believes God is calling him into a musical ministry.

“As I’ve said on the CD notes, I don’t know how long this season will last, but for now, I’m in God’s hands.”

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