Up and Comer Bri Cauz
Since the fall of man through Adam and Eve’s mishap in the garden, all of humankind has been set on a personal journey to find the way back home—to God. Along the way through various routes and across all kinds of cultural terrain, the universal setback/obstacle, or roadblock rather, has undoubtedly been the dark and dangerous zone of unforgiveness.
Across the universe, there exists no greater bondage. The weight of its darkness typically goes undetected. Its paralyzing nature is hardly ever realized by the majority because the hopes of revenge or the reality of pain and struggle can instantly cloud our thinking, getting in the way of what’s right. We can’t avoid getting hurt (unless we try to live isolated), but most times we act surprised when someone serves us disappointment. If we’re not educated in the truth that withholding unforgiveness truly poisons us from within (and keeps us from our own redemptive forgiveness), we will always end up taking the wrong turns in deception that lead us on the same, long paths that keep going around and around the tiresome mountain of defeat.
For years we can be stuck, helpless in the same cycle aching for a way out. And in some cases, it can take years to gain ground and win the tough battle. For Up & Comer Bri Cauz, a gifted singer, performer, producer and full-time musician, it took a good number of years to work her way through a maze of childhood hurts as a result of her father’s unhealthy addictions that led to her parents’ divorce.
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER
Bri experienced hard things early on, things that can be confusing and frustrating especially during adolescence. She says, “The concept of grace was never really described to me before actually having a more personal connection with Jesus. He always seemed very distant and far away. . .” Nonetheless, God didn’t wait to pursue her heart and close the gap she’d felt all her years growing up. He saw the mess she was in from a young age, and even though she didn’t have a solid foundation in the Word, He came alive to her in what she recalls the roughest years of her life. She remembers laying on the floor one night, broken and sobbing. It was like she’d just seen her life flash before her eyes. Because He didn’t hold back when she needed Him most, she had an encounter that interrupted the course of her life. In those intimate moments, she learned that “Jesus is real” and was touched through discovering that “He wants to know [her] personally and [that] He’s not this ‘far away’ God.”
By that time, her “earthly father had kind of failed [her] in a way,” Bri says, so she was easily impressed by the goodness of the “Heavenly Father who’s so much greater and wants to be in [her] life.” Once Jesus came into the picture, He had the opportunity to go down deep and uproot the seeds of unforgiveness that grew over the years of not having a healthy relationship with her dad. For a long while, she felt unwanted—abandoned. As it took time for the the pain and heartbreak to build, it also took some time for the mending and proper healing to take place. But with His help, she leaned into it.
Bri remembers the difficult span of time where her father struggled on the streets. For four years, she didn’t hear from him which eventually led her to think that he was possibly dead. She was finally in a place in her life where she miraculously had true, beautiful forgiveness in her heart. All that was missing was the opportunity to express it fully. During that time, however, God was working behind the scenes on her behalf that she wouldn’t understand until further along in her journey. In excitement she shares, “It was crazy because throughout that time when my dad was homeless, I feel like God—He had to almost, like, separate us and work on us individually and then bring us back together.”
Throughout the time Bri thought she may never see her dad again, she explained that he “was also coming back to Christ.” Far before she ever knew it, God’s plan for redemption was already set in motion. And as she got closer to Him, she began to make her faith her own which is one of the key things that has kept her rooted to this day.
Bri says, “I think not having [my dad around] and [experiencing] all the dysfunction and chaos around me is ultimately what led me to Christ because that was the only thing stable—that was real and made sense to me. Going through all of that was no fun at all. Those were honestly some of the hardest times of my whole life, but I think that really has made me who I am and added to my story and made my faith so much stronger.”
With a robust testimony like Bri’s, it is no surprise that God is highlighting the work He’s done in their history together. She thrives when she gets to share her heart, the deep and typically uncomfortable things she’s had to walk through. She continues to grow as an artist because she’s willing to share the raw, authentic parts of her story that maybe some would rather choose to hide or forget about. Or maybe haven’t allowed God to invade yet.
Bri, now on the other side of things with a blossoming, Christ-centered relationship with her father, has a full album titled Trials & Triumphs, intimately sharing the real things she’s experienced. Because she chooses to write about the things she’s actually lived-out, people can sincerely connect to her lyrics which is something she is hugely passionate about.
God is supremely brilliant at forming masterpieces. He is not done with her story, but the redemption Bri has already been able to experience is undoubtedly the Father’s beautiful work. In sharing about what her life looks like today, Bri talks about how even though her parents aren’t back together, they happily support her on her journey in adventuring further in her dreams and passions. All of these details once seemed impossible to Bri.
As we’ve heard and likely know, “with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Walking out of darkness and into the light, whether it be from the shadows of unforgiveness or something else not intended for us to live in, is only possible hand-in-hand with our Maker. He writes the best, most compelling and redemptive stories, like Bri’s. So long as we let Him in, especially in the moments we’re most afraid to (even when we don’t understand what’s going on), He can keep writing in the outcomes that surpass our wildest, detailed dreams. In Bri’s words, “He can take such a disgusting, ugly situation and turn it into something so much greater.” This reality is 100% accessible to us. All we have to do, like Bri, is choose to stay the path especially when it’s the most difficult. He is always working on our behalf whether we recognize it or not. And no matter how lost we may feel at times, His heart for forgiveness will always be the answer; it’s the fast-track road to redemption—our best way back home.