Change is a huge part of Trace Balin's life. Like the willow tree she sings about in her song "Changes", she has had to adapt and bend in the storms of life or otherwise break. As Trace has persevered through those changes, her music and ministry have spanned nearly 2 decades, impacting people's lives throughout the world. Since her days on Word's Dayspring label, her artistry has continued to ebb and flow, evolve and expand from the concert stage to ministry as a dynamic motivational speaker, writer, author, recording artist, actress and playwright.
It all started with a ravaging bout with pneumonia that left her with a distinctive, raspy voice setting the stage for her entry into Christian music. After landing a deal with Word because of "that voice", she recorded 3 albums that generated 8 top ten singles on the contemporary Christian charts and opened doors for hit producing projects in Europe that people still clamor for.
Maybe they keep asking for her music because it reveals a vulnerability and utter dependency on God born out of change that's been tough and painful like the cancer that left her unable to conceive. Even in that God set a stage again for Trace and her husband to adopt two beautiful Korean children. Maybe people can hear the hope in her voice that's been carved out of loss such as when her mother died unexpectedly. Maybe people feel the faith that resonates in the songs; the kind of faith that sustained her after a second throat illness left her with a partially paralyzed vocal chord. She says "I stopped touring when doctors told me surgery wasn't an option. I went to speech therapists and did exercises that brought no improvement. I went through what some people call a dark night of the soul."
Determined not to wallow in self-pity, she asked God to give her direction and once more He set a new stage for Trace to minister joy out of sorrow and weakness. "I taught myself to sing all over again using different techniques to overcome the handicap." It was very hard. At one point I thought I might not be able to do it so I got a real estate license. It was my back-up plan." She laughs, "I figured if I could be so enthusiastic about our eternal home I could be just as enthusiastic about our homes on earth. It turned out to be a wonderful blessing to me because I've been able to truly help people."
During that time, God kept reminding Trace that a merry heart is good medicine and told her to bring good medicine to others who have been broken in spirit. She began to write and produce musical comedies, eight in all, and she developed a passion for speaking encouragement into the lives of women. One listen to the hilarious and compelling production of Adam's Rib and you know her joy runs deep.
Says Trace, "God promises us that He will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. It's true, if we're willing to adapt and bend to the changes He allows us to go through! I'm still singing in concert and musical productions, I'm writing to encourage others to laugh, I'm speaking hope to whoever will listen, I'm serving with my husband Joel who is Senior Pastor of our church, CrossBridge, and yes, I'm very active in real estate, eternal and temporal. I have a sign in my house that reads, "God put me on this earth to do a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind I'll never die!"