CHINO, Calif. When Moriah Peters’ mom suggested her daughter audition for American Idol in 2010, the high school senior hesitated. She’d done enough modeling to know that the Los Angeles entertainment scene can be very dark.
However, her mom was so convinced of God’s leading that she persuaded Peters to begin a five-month interview process to be on the show. Peters said she spoke openly about her faith, and no one complaineduntil she performed for the celebrity judges. Though they loved her soulful voice and look, they said she needed to go make mistakes, feel sexy and experience life.
Peters said she knew God had closed that door and had a bigger plan, but she didn’t feel like it. She’d wasted important time that might have been better used studying for finals.
Since her freshman year at Don Lugo High School in Chino, Peters said she’d had a plan.
“My plan was to get a scholarship at a University of California, go on to law school and become an entertainment lawyer.”
That way, the honors student figured she could stay involved with her hidden dream: music.
But God had a different plan, Peters said, with a sparkle in her voice. While leaving her last audition with American Idol, a stranger approached. After hearing her sing and express her convictions, he said he wanted to introduce her to singer/songwriter Wendi Foy. That connection took Peters to Nashville where she recorded three demos.
Foy warned Peters not to get her hopes up. As a result, Peters said she came home and prayed that if it were God’s will, He’d open the doors. Knowing that most singers don’t get signed, Peters realized that only God could make her dream a reality. She let go of the outcome and planned to take advantage of her scholarship to California State University, Fullerton.
A week later, Foy called. Five labels wanted to meet Peters. With offers from all of them, she chose Provident Label Group. They recently released her first album, “I Choose Jesus.”
She also chose her education, enrolling at Grand Canyon University where she can do her marketing classes online while pursing her music.
With Christian parents, Peters said she was raised with biblical values and morals. But early in her senior year, she went through “a dry and doubtful period” when she questioned the existence of God and everything she’d been raised to believe. When people asked her to defend her faith, she couldn’t explain the origins of the Earth or historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ.
One night, while outside looking up at the stars, Peters said she had an honest conversation with God. In the midst of her angst she asked, “God, are you even real? Because this doesn’t make sense to me.” That very moment, she knew He was.
“I knew that if God is not real, nothing matters. But if He is real, nothing else matters,” she said.
Though not everything made sense, Peters chose to believe because she was convinced understanding would come as the result of her faith.
And it did. Reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis and “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel gave Peters the answers she sought.
“There is evidence,” she said. “We need to be very knowledgeable of that. But at the same time nothing should pull us away from pure and simple devotion to Christ.”
Peters said that experience became a cornerstone in her life. It also validated her decision to remain pure. As a little girl she’d decided not to kiss a man until she married him. Her song “Haven’t Even Kissed” captures the joy of how such a bold faith led to romance beyond her wildest imaginings.
At times Peters said she’d been lonely and wanted a boyfriend like others her age. But she knew she “shouldn’t settle for anything less than extraordinary.” Still, she wasn’t sure that the type of man she wanted even existeduntil two years ago.
That’s when Peters said she found a special relationship with a godly man, who appreciates those standards of purity. Maintaining such high morals isn’t easy, especially as a relationship grows. Peters learned that only God can give the kind of strength it takes to stay pure.
“Only the Holy Spirit gives us the power to say ‘no,’ when our flesh wants to say ‘yes,’” she said.
Peters said she now understands why God put those standards in place; not to be strict, but to delight the hearts of those who adhere to them.
“It’s been incredible to see how God’s blessed this relationship because we’ve remained obedient to Him,” she said.
To encourage her peers that they are equally as valuable, Peters said she’ll soon be introducing “White as Snow” sessions on high school and college campuses. She wants students to know about the forgiveness of God.
“One of the biggest strongholds the enemy has on my generation is guilt and shame,” she said.
The weight of guilt and shame can then drive people deeper and deeper into sin.
Peters said many individuals think when they do something wrong that God doesn’t want anything to do with them anymore. The young songstress said reality is much different.
“When God looks at us He doesn’t see our sin,’ she said. “All He sees is the blood of his Son that washes us clean and makes us white as snow.”
Peters said she hopes the White as Snow sessions will remind her peers of this truth and encourage them thatin the eyes of Godthey are accepted.
For more information visit www.moriahpeters.com or MoriahMusic on Facebook. To book Peters for a White as Snow session at a high school or college, visit www.paradigmccm.com.