Fear can feel real. But beyond the fear lies the actual Truth of who we are and what we are made of. The LiveJam team caught up with singer, songwriter and upcoming podcast-er, Nehemiah Damien on his journey of overcoming a simple fear that he wrestled with and got over! Read on to know more!
Q. Let’s start from the beginning, can you describe the early years of "Nehemiah"?
I’ve had a difficult childhood with my name “Nehemiah”. Whenever I get in a class, teachers would make me stand up and repeat my name several times until he/she gets it. Then I would have to explain my name, the pronunciation and hear many variants of it! So I kind of hated my name back in school.
Q. What were you like when you were in school?
I was an introvert with low self-confidence. Here's a story: we had compulsory swimming classes every Wednesday in school. I was so terrified of my swimming instructor that somehow I managed to bunk it every time. One time I hid in a school bus and the entire school was searching for me and they even called my parents! You know why I was hiding, I was scared! Fear had gripped me and it was not just the swimming classes but slowly fear began to spread in all areas of my life. Everything on the outside seemed ok but inside my heart was messed up. I was not addicted to any substances but was 'addicted' to self-depressing thoughts. I wouldn’t dare to speak up in class and hated myself more for that.
Q. You mentioned fear consumed your life. How then did you finally overcome your fears?
Will Smith once said, “Life’s greatest things are placed on the other side of fear”. That made sense to me. Once I realised my purpose is to speak to people, I also understood that my purpose was itself my greatest fear back then! But at the age of nine, I came to know about Jesus Christ and he completely changed my life! I was a broken, introvert, shy person who wouldn’t amount to nothing but as the years passed by and as I slowly trusted and followed Jesus Christ, I saw the fears in my life going away and I became a more confident person.
Q. Wow! So what kind of public speaking do you do?
The public speaking I do is a bit diverse. I have done Model United Nations in the past, a session with Harvard University which was held in Hyderabad and several charity events and spoken about human trafficking.
Q. You recently started a podcast. Why start a podcast and what is the message you want to give?
I personally really like to listen to podcasts, sometimes during a car ride or while jogging because it encourages me. I want to see people encouraged. And in short, the reason why I started my own podcast.
Q. What's the role of faith in everyday life, and how is it different from those seeking for God?
Faith played a huge role in my life. As an introvert, I didn’t know how to stand in front of people or be confident. But faith in God gave me confidence. Life is changing especially in this Coronavirus pandemic, people are losing jobs, everything is shifting and changing, but there is one thing that never changes, that’s our faith. If we have faith, then that’s our strong anchor which can hold our ship in the midst of everything.
Q. Also you mentioned that you are a singer and songwriter. Is there a song that you wrote that speaks to you and you always go back to when things are difficult?
There’s a song that I wrote but I’ve not released it yet, it’s called “There is no way you love me”. This song is about how we wear a mask on the outside to pretend everything is fine. But we do have internal masks too. We use those to hide our emotions. The song ends with, there is only one person who can love and accept me for who I really am: Jesus Christ.
Q. According to you, what are the 3 things to maintain a healthy emotional life?
1. Love yourself and love God.
2. Don’t be self-centred, you have to live for people.
3. If you have a dream, work hard to achieve it. Don’t be lazy.