As a teenager, Gretchen had been plagued with fear, paralyzing anxiety, insecurity, superstition and depression. Her life was becoming unbearable. She tried therapy, but that just left her more depressed and anxious. She heard so many well-meaning people say: “find yourself,” “take care of yourself,” “put yourself first.” But it was an endless hole that was never filled.
To make matters worse, Gretchen’s father was a well-known psychiatrist, author of a bestselling self-help book and he was labeled by LIFE Magazine as “the father of pop psychology.”
Realizing that her daughter was spiraling down fast, Gretchen’s mother read her Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It spoke deep to Gretchen’s heart, and for the first time, she had hope. As she began to study the Bible and look to Christ, her fear began to subside. And that is where her spiritual journey began.
Gretchen moved to Los Angeles where she got a job as a page at NBC. The job opened opportunities, and she landed a role on a primetime NBC special and then some walk on parts on three popular soap operas. She began to study at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and she received her Screen Actors Guild card. But Gretchen had a difficult time navigating her new life and new relationship with God. Before long, the peace she cherished started to disappear.
She moved back to Sacramento and eventually rededicated her life to Christ at a Billy Graham event. Not long after, Gretchen met her husband Randy, with whom she has three children. She finally found lasting peace and fulfillment.
Says Gretchen, “When I decided to put God first, just as He promises in Matthew 6:33, all my deepest dreams and desires that were in His will were coming alive in my life.”
Gretchen loved singing since she was a teenager, but she had a fear of singing in public. “My voice just kind of shut down,” says Gretchen. “That’s what fear does. Shuts us down.” Until 2008…
Frustrated by her fear, Gretchen prayed to God: “You have given me this voice, I want to use it for your glory, but you will have to help me.” And He did. Doors opened for Gretchen to be a worship leader at several Northern California area churches, and before long, she was traveling across the country sharing her music and story.
Fast forward to 2016, and Gretchen has an album in stores nationwide. And not just any album. Produced by Eric Copeland and mixed by Ronnie Brookshire, “Walking in the Spirit” features an all-star roster of Nashville’s most sought-after studio musicians: Kenny Lewis on drums (Stryper, Brad Paisley), Matt Pierson on bass (Jason Crabb, Natalie Grant), Scott Dente on guitar (Amy Grant, Jeremy Camp), Dave Cleveland on guitar (Jason Crabb, Natalie Grant), producer Eric Copeland on keys as well as additional keyboards by Blair Masters (Megadeth, Garth Brooks, Steven Curtis Chapman).
“Christ has healed me, given me confidence and security I never had,” says Gretchen. “Thinking back to how this journey began, and hearing the completed album of songs, I know for a fact this would never have happened without the Lord's inspiration, guidance, help and blessing. In many ways for me it is a miracle.”
For more information, visit www.gretchenkeskeys.com.
“Walking in the Spirit” Track Listing:
1. Then I Met Jesus
2. Walking in the Spirit
3. It's In Your Hands
4. Standing on the Word of God
5. The Battle
6. God Loves You
7. Prince of Peace
8. The Days for Faith
9. God's Love Will Never Change
10. At Night in the Garden