If you look up “All American Girl” in the dictionary, chances are the definition will be accompanied by a picture of Sommer Floyd. Growing up in the Texas Hill Country, Sommer was an honor roll student, gifted athlete, beauty queen, and genuinely nice person. Voted “Class Favorite” and “Most Talented” by her high school classmates, she was the quintessential cheerleader, earning four individual high school All American designations, and three All Star Team National Championships. Attending college on a cheerleading scholarship, Sommer was designated a college All American as a freshman, an almost unheard of accomplishment. She ran on the varsity track team, played tennis, showed livestock, participated in rodeos, earned her Deep Sea Diving certification…
Oh, and she sings and writes songs too.
While Sommer certainly has all the credentials as an All American, she is also 100 percent human. She is the first to admit, she has made her share of mistakes.
“As a teenage girl, I made some poor choices that changed my life’s direction dramatically,” she confesses. One of those choices resulted in Sommer becoming a single mother at a young age. Broken-hearted and at the lowest point in her life, Sommer returned home to her loving, supportive family. She began to dig deep into God’s word, and discovered a fountain of acceptance and blessings.
“Heidi is the greatest blessing I could have ever received,” Sommer says of her beautiful little girl. “I thank God that He allowed me to be her mother.”
“Heidi brings so much laughter and joy to my life,” she continues. “Just as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
As Sommer reconnected with the God of her youth, songs began to pour forth. Already a skilled vocalist, she honed her songwriting craft by pressing into music theory classes with Phil Holt, the retired worship leader at Hill Country Fellowship. “Putting my brokenness on paper helped to get me through the hard times,” she says, “and the lyrics started to turn into worship.”
When God turned Sommer’s brokenness into restoration and worship, it resonated strongly throughout her community, opening doors for her to share her music and lead worship at churches and charity events throughout the Texas Hill Country. But the music didn’t stop there. Her fetching vocals, ear-pleasing melodies and spiritually mature lyrics caught the ear of multi-Dove Award winning producer, Steven V. Taylor (Michael W. Smith, Matt Redman, Veggie Tales), and Sommer soon found herself in Franklin, Tennessee with some of Nashville’s finest musicians, recording her debut CD at the legendary Dark Horse Studios.
A joyful amalgamation of sparkling Pop/Rock, New Country and Contemporary worship, Sommer’s inaugural release will draw instant comparisons to artists like Kari Jobe, Mia Fieldes, Laura Story and The Band Perry’s Kimberly Perry. Fan favorites include the celebratory “Children of God,” the fun and encouraging Pop-Country anthem, “Drop and Run,” and the gently meandering confessional ballad, “I Need You.”
Sommer allows her natural effervescence to shine through on the exuberant “Ray of Light,” and reveals her vulnerable heart in the lovely and poignant “Stronger,” a song she wrote for a friend battling leukemia. Her peace-evoking Contemporary Worship hymn, “How You Love Me,” could easily become a staple in churches services across the country with its lovely chorus: “You are worthy, worthy/ I fall down at Your feet crying holy, holy/ Your love is all I need and Your beauty takes my breath away from me.”
While Sommer is ready to embrace a fresh season of ministry, including opportunities for extensive concert touring in support of her new CD, she recalls her initial resistance. “The songs were flowing so easily, and for two years, I knew God was telling me that He wanted to use my music. I kept pushing that notion away. I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I wasn’t your typical worship leader. I was a single mom. But I had a strong desire in my heart to share the healing and redemption provided in God’s word, as I came across many people every day who were broken and scared. I prayed, ‘If music is really what you want me to do, then make it loud and clear.’ God gave me His answer that very morning. I put in my two-weeks’ notice at work and never looked back.”
The transformation from everyone’s All American to God’s empty vessel didn’t come quickly or easily for Sommer Floyd. But being forged in the refining fire of adversity can have a profound affect on a willing spirit. And the songs that emerge sound somehow sweeter, ring truer, and hold the capacity to scatter the darkness like a ray of light on a cloudy day.