Worship pastor and Christian artist Patrick Ryan Clark is set to make his national debut with his album Where Would I Be. On the album, he opens up about his life’s struggles including addiction and his difficulty embracing Christianity.
Clark recently opened up about his past in an interview.
Growing up in the “Bible Belt,” Clark was exposed to Christianity but did not gravitate toward it.
“My deal with Christianity was I never thought that I was good enough. My parents would take me to church stuff and I would enjoy but when I started getting older – middle school, junior high, high school kind of that area – I really didn’t have a relationship with Christ,” he said.
“I still believed that there was a God out there and that Jesus was His son but, you know, for me, I just thought, hey, I’m such a bad person that there’s no way that God could love me and there’s no way that I could have a relationship with Him. So really I just kind of brushed it off. I did my own thing. I really didn’t start to have a relationship with Him until later in my life.”
As Clark went on with his life, he developed into a great athlete and turned his attention to basketball. At a party one night in college, as Clark was shifting through CDs at a friend’s house, he saw an album that not only grabbed his attention but helped changed his life. It was DC Talk’s Jesus Freak.
“Man, God really works through that CD,” he said.
One song, called “What If I Stumble, What If I Fall,” particularly spoke to him.
“I started listening to that song and I started hearing these Christian guys talking about their insecurities with what if I stumble, what if fall, what are people going think, what is God going to think? All of that stuff and I realized that these guys that had a relationship with Christ, these Christian guys, had some of the same fears and questions that I had,” Clark said.
“What [it] made me realize was that you didn’t have to be perfect for God to love you and that He loved me just the way that I was at that time,” he continued. “It was really eye opening for me just to realize that God accepts me, loves me, He created me and that I didn’t have to worry about performing or working my way into a relationship with Him, or pleasing Him in that way but just accepting that Christ is our savior, that God loves us, and wants the best for us.
“Through that song really, was a big turning point for me.”
That turning point led to a transformation in Clark’s life. After realizing Christ’s love for him Clark no longer carried the reservations that he once had about Christianity.
“I pulled over to the side of the highway,” he recalled. “I was crying and I knew, for the first time, that God was really there. Even though I didn’t know exactly what to say – or how to say it – I gave my life to Christ on that highway.”
Where Would I Be chronicles Clark’s path of faith, the good and the bad, including his struggles with addiction. The song that pens his life story is the title track of the album, “Where Would I Be.”
“Those two verses really kind of sum up a lot of this album and a lot of inspiration ... It’s just dealing with your junk in your life. Instead of filling that void with material things and stuff that’s not good for you, it’s best you fill that void with Christ and let Him get in there and do some work on you. It really inspired a lot of this album.”