At 13 years old, Cody James was reading, ‘Hinds Feet on High Places” when he first experienced the Holy Spirit; but, with the lures of the flesh and the world, by 15, he was playing music in bars. This began a 25- year battle with addiction. The three threads that flowed through Cody’s life were his praying mother, his addictive behaviors and the music he would eventually turn into a career.
At 17, Cody joined the U.S Army, but even after his three-year enlistment in the 10st Airborne division, the thought of regular everyday life just did not seem attractive. Eventually he moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he managed to take his music to a whole new level; unfortunately, his addictive behaviors also grew to a whole new level.
Though his personal musical tastes were rooted in Rock, Cody grew up in a musically talented family; eclectic in the genres as well as instruments each family member played. This made it easy for Cody to fit in anywhere as a musician, songwriter and vocalist. Cody credits this upbringing for his ability to plug into the country scene, landing a job as songwriter for Loretta Lynn’s publishing company, Coal Miner Music. He traveled with Loretta on the road, and had songs recorded by Loretta, Pam Tillis, and Mark Chestnut. Cody also wrote, sang, and produced the theme song for a Tim Curry movie called “Pirates of the Plain,” though he is most gratified by the Loretta Lynn single, “I Can’t Hear the Music.” It was a poignant ballad about Loretta’s relationship with her husband, Doolittle, inspired by something he said on his deathbed.
By all outward appearances Cody had a great life; Yet there was always an emptiness, a void he could not fill; although he tried with alcohol, drugs, success and short-term relationships. When things would get bad, as they often would, he would look to his mother Norine. She was a phone call away, and with her encouraging words and endless Christian love, she would bring comfort to him; but lacking his own relationship with Jesus, the bad times would continue coming. When she fell ill, Cody went to Missouri to care for her, and after a year and a half, she died in his arms at the age of 62. His mother and music career gone, Cody went into a three-year out-of-control tailspin that led to the loss of everything, incarceration and a desire to take his own life. When it seemed there was no hope, hope arrived. A bold voice spoke to Cody’s heart and said, “It was never your music anyway, its Mine, meant for My glory.” After God spoke that, Cody began to seek the face of Jesus and what he was to do with what he now understood to be God given gifts.
“It was not an overnight thing, I was a tough piece of clay, one that required much kneading before a suitable vessel could even begin to be formed,” Cody explains. “Glory be to God that He is patient and loving. The Father has restored my life ten times better than it ever was, He has delivered me from addiction, fear & depression ( A life of sin). I now have a godly wife, two daughters that love Jesus, and a son Jeremiah; and God has given me all new songs and an amazing mission field where he allows me to share with the hurting and lost people of this world.”