At the age of 13, I started struggling quite a lot with anxiety. I have always loved to sing and that is a massive part of who I am. I wanted to be on stage but that made me feel more anxious and fearful and feel unwell.
My relationship with Jesus made a massive difference to that. Through praying and reading the Bible I felt God’s sense of security and peace. It helped me find the courage to seek help with anxiety and to be confident in my identity and who I am as a person.
In 2021 I was approached to be on the TV show The Voice and I was picked by Tom Jones. It was amazing to be able to do that having struggled so much with anxiety when I was younger. The creative industry can push you into being something you’re not, but I have a beautiful grip of peace in my life and I can rest in who I am, in God. I’m not trying to be something I’m not. I hear God through lots of different ways - art, music, books and nature – but particularly through silence, rest, stillness and the quiet.
Esther Cole is from Plymouth and is now a worship leader at St Gregory’s Church in Newquay. Her story is part of the Diocese of Exeter This is My Story photo exhibition, a series of personal testimonies of faith. The exhibition is touring churches and schools in the county.
Watch Esther's audition on The Voice (the Church of England is not responsible for the content of external sites):