Janet Paschal recalls flipping through one of her old diaries her mother found in the attic. "Page after page said, 'Nothing happened today,' 'Nothing happened today," she says
As she got older, things began to happen. As they did, she recorded them in her journal. Grammy and Dove award nominations. Appearances with Billy Graham and President Bush. Touring with Bill and Gloria Gaither. Those journal entries have helped her gain perspective on life, they've become words for songs, and now they are the basis for her first book, "The Good Road" (Multnomah; Sisters, Oregon).
The title is from Jeremiah, one of Janet's favorite books in the Bible because of its poetic language and enduring truth. Jeremiah's poetry is a good fit for this who has established herself among the cadre of Christian singers as a person of unflinching faith, not bowing to winds of compromise.
In addition to her new book and recording titled, "The Good Road," Janet has also just released a concept video from the first single, "Another Soldier's Coming Home." She penned the song for her grandfather, whose health was failing. "He was the first one in my family to accept Christ. He was totally unbending," she says. "He chose to follow Christ. Period."
An excerpt from "The Good Road" about her grandfather:
"He too, was a carpenter. He literally and figuratively built the little church I grew up in. He was always remodeling, adding to, and updating the tiny building that housed his evangelistic fire. He built fellowship halls, covered homecoming tables and paneled and carpeted everything in sight. But more than that, he built dreams and goals in the hearts of those of us who watched him drive nails and pour foundations. He erected a standard that we can only aspire to live up to. He showed us the gospel day after day, so it was only consequential that he preached it on Sundays."
Her singing family galvanized in her an unrelenting desire to sing. She single-mindedly pursued her dream and began singing professionally after high school. Her good road has led her through doors which she's convinced God opened. She offers, "I used to pray that God would give me the courage to walk through the doors He opens. I still pray that prayer, but with an addendum. I now ask Him to keep me from standing and staring at the doors He closes for so long that I miss the ones He's opening."
After moving to Nashville in 1992, Janet became the Official Spokesperson for Mission of Mercy, an international Christian relief organization. Following her first trip to Calcutta, India, she concluded, "You realize there's a whole world out there that God cares about."
Of her life, Janet says, "I conclude simply that, for me, there is no other way but to follow Christ. To study Him. To pursue Him. He has carved a place in my heart that yearns for Him."
A yearning that propels her along her own good road.