A change of heart saved Sydney Guerrette’s life. Now, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter is sharing her testimony and encouraging women through the new single “Carry On.”
In 2001, Sydney’s mother faced an unplanned pregnancy as a law student and visited an abortion clinic to terminate her pregnancy. A conversation with a worker at the clinic encouraged Deirdre Guerrette to consider other options, and after the encounter, she and Sydney’s father walked out.
“The woman who worked there lovingly sat down and heard my story and my heart and said, ‘Hey, you don’t have to do this,’” said Deirdre. “As we were leaving, she ran after us and said, ‘I need you to know that in my 20 years of working here, I’ve never said this once to anyone, but I feel very strongly that you should not go through with this.’”
Though the road ahead was uncertain, and some would turn their backs on the couple, Sydney was born seven months later.
Now, the singer-songwriter from Portland, Maine, through Be The Change Collective, is releasing the new single, “Carry On,” in hopes to encourage women sharing the uncertainty and fear her mother faced as an unwed mother. This debut single is slated to release on digital platforms Friday, Nov. 16.
“With our story I feel there is a huge responsibility. We have the power to do so many incredible things. We have the opportunity to change things and I want to take that opportunity,” says Sydney. “The heart behind this song is to offer encouragement and not condemnation. It speaks to the mother’s heart, contemplating how Mary must have felt —the same feelings that many women facing this have.”
Sydney teamed up with Dove Award-winning songwriter Krissy Nordhoff (“Your Great Name”, “Mercy Tree”) and Dove Award-winning producer David Leonard (The Creak Music, All Sons & Daughters) to write and record “Carry On.” The song was birthed through a dream Krissy had after a writing session with Sydney.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been more moved during a co-write. As Sydney was telling me her story, something deep welled up in me. That night I literally dreamt the song. I dreamt verse one and the chorus, and woke up. I went straight down to the piano and wrote verse two. I felt something so powerful as this song came out. When God works the way he did through this process, I know it’s urgent. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt such urgency about a song,” Krissy explains. “I hope that this song will encourage girls to keep carrying their babies. Even though they may feel fear or condemnation, it’s good to remember that even the mother of Jesus felt those very same things and she carried the baby that changed the world.”
Along with the release, Sydney is partnering with GiveLife, a life resource organization based in Nashville, to give the song to women visiting pregnancy care centers across the U.S. and to provide pregnancy resources through the Carry On Project. Proceeds from digital sales will benefit global causes connected with Be The Change Youth Initiative, an organization Sydney founded that provides life-changing opportunities to children around the world through partnerships with organizations serving impoverished communities. Be the Change Collective is the music arm of the nonprofit.
“What Sydney has done through this song is beautiful and personal. It’s a message of hope. We want women to know that someone has their back and that they aren’t alone. God has given them a gift,” says Rachel Anderson, founder of GiveLife.
Sydney’s mother says the song is not only ministry for women entering clinics, but also carries a message just as important for the Church. She remembers feeling shunned by her church after visiting the abortion clinic years ago.
“This song is reminder for the Church to rise up and surround women with love and support instead of hate,” she shares. “The chorus talks about the faithful ones—those that are truly faithful and showing the love of Jesus. They will show up and support and see the beauty that’s coming from the ashes.”
Individuals who would like to support the Carry On Project can make donations by visiting www.bethechangeyi.com/donate.
About Be the Change Youth Initiative:
Be The Change Youth Initiative, founded by Sydney Guerrette, exists to encourage youth to use their gifts and talents to change the world. For her 15th birthday, Sydney set a goal of granting a child’s wish through Make-A-Wish Foundation. With the average wish costing more than $7,000, she recruited the help of friends to use their gifts and talents to raise the money. Together, Sydney and her friends raised almost $8,000. Months later, Sydney went on a family mission trip and was confronted with poverty for the first time. Returning to the United States, Sydney wrestled with a sense of helplessness and decided to make a difference. In that moment, Be The Change Youth Initiative came to life. Today, the organization provides financial support and advocacy to hundreds of children around the world through partnerships with organizations serving impoverished communities.