By Fayth Lore
While Hope Bowling has not been singing very long with her family, The Bowling Family, she is no stranger to Southern Gospel music. Hopeâ€™s father, Mike Bowling, sang with various groups and eventually went into a solo career. Hopeâ€™s mom, Kelly, sang with one of Southern Gospelâ€™s most loved families, The Crabb Family, for years. After the birth of their third child, Mike and Kelly began to tour as The Bowling Family. Hope began singing with her parents four years ago. Â
I love seeing other young women singing for the Lord. So, I was so encouraged to see Hope standing on stage singing with her parents. Every time Hope walks on the stage, audiences across the country canâ€™t help but fall in love with her humble and sincere spirit. Her voice blends perfectly into that family harmony that is unbeatable.
On the Road
Hope shared with me that she had mixed emotions about joining the singing group. She was extremely excited to be sharing the stage with her parents, but it was also a bit scary for a 13 year old. Four years into road life, Hope says that her favorite part is getting to see the world and meet new people. Ironically, she says she is also a homebody, so there are moments when she really misses being home.
Hope has two younger sisters, Katelanne (13) and Gracie (10). The three sisters have begun to sing a song or two in Bowling Family Concerts across the country. When the three sisters take the stage, you can see their parentâ€™s faces light up with joy and pride.
Siblings have a special bond and Hope certainly shares that bond with her younger sisters. Hope said that if she could describe Katelanne in three words she would say funny, talented and creative. Hope would describe her youngest sister, Gracie as being spunky, determined and smart.
Answering the Hard Questions
If you have followed Southern Gospel Music for any time, you will remember about a tragedy that shook the lives of The Bowlings forever. It impacted the entire Southern Gospel industry, and sparked a national call to prayer. Recovery from their tragedy would have to be nothing short of a miracle. In 2010, The Bowling Family was heading down the highway in Belmont, NC, when all of a sudden their bus was hit head-on by a semi-truck going 60 miles per hour. This accident took a toll on the entire family, but Mike, Kelly and Katelanne suffered the most severe injuries. Hope was only 10 years old when everything happened, but she remembers that â€œIt was a rough time.â€
Some people ask, â€œWhy do bad things happen to good peopleâ€? That question could be asked under the circumstances of what The Bowling Family lived through. I asked Hope how the accident affected her spiritually and mentally.
â€œI didn’t question, because I was a kid. I’ve been taught that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. I have seen this first hand through our accident. I believe we are changed for the better.â€ Romans 8:28 has been a scripture that many Christians turn to in their time of suffering. As Christians, we understand that while not everything in life is good, God is working it all together for good. This biblical truth and promise of God is something to rejoice over.
Showing What Love Looks Like
First Corinthians 13:6 says: ‘Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth.Â Jesus has told us through the Bible that He is the way, the TRUTH and the life. In Him, we can find life and life more abundant. Even in the dark times of life, we can have a joy in knowing the truth. It seems like so many people in our world are desperate to find hope and fulfillment in their life. I asked Hope how she felt that Christians could help spread the Gospel to unbelievers.
â€œI think showing the love of Jesus is really important, and something we as Christians can forget. I’m always reminded that actions speak louder than words.â€
I have heard those words many times in my life too. Even Jesus spoke that faith without works is dead. It is obvious that in order to show the world what love looks like, itâ€™s important that we live out our faith and rejoice in the truth. This Christmas season, enjoy the warmth of family traditions. But, donâ€™t forget to spread the love of Jesus to a world in need of hope.
Pop Quiz for Hope Bowling
I love getting to know some of my most favorite Southern Gospel artists personally, and Iâ€™m sure you do too. So, I asked Hope some fun questionsâ€¦
Fayth: Do you have any unknown talents or hobbies?
Hope: I play guitar. I love photography and playing around with makeup.
Fayth: Would you rather scroll through Instagram or check out the latest snapchat stories?
Hope: Scroll through Instagram.
Fayth: Would you rather eat your meal first or dessert?
Hope: Meal first.
Fayth: Would you rather ride the merry-go-round or the Fire-Hawk at Kingâ€™s Island?
Hope: Iâ€™ve never been on the Fire-Hawk, but I love roller coasters, so Fire-Hawk!
Fayth: Would you rather watch Pride and Prejudice or Tangled?
Hope: Pride and Prejudice.
Fayth: Would you rather DIY or just order from Etsy?
Hope: Order from Etsy. Iâ€™m a bit of an Etsy junky!
It is always a joy to chat with the young ladies in Southern Gospel music. If you enjoy reading words of spiritual inspiration and getting to know these girls more, be watching for the next issue of What Love Looks Like.Â
Photo Credits: Candi Combs and Hope Bowling
By Fayth Lore
First published by SGNScoops magazine in December 2016. Feature has been edited.
For more information on The Bowling Family click here.
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