Todd and Brooke Tilghman on "Every Little Win"
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A Big Win
Todd pastored a small Mississippi church for over a decade until 2020 when Brooke encouraged him to try out for The Voice. Although he regularly sang in church, Todd did not sing professionally. When he sang, “We’ve Got Tonight” he blew the judges away, getting all four chairs to turn. For the finals, Todd sang "I Can Only Imagine.” Kelly Clarkson was nearly brought to tears, saying she wanted to come to his church just to hear him speak, not only to sing. He chose Blake Shelton as his coach.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Todd and other contestants could not perform before a live audience. The viewers listened and voted for Todd, but they also started tuning in to his virtual services at Cornerstone Church. They told him how much his joy meant to them and asked him for prayer. The fear and lack of hope in the world drew thousands to his Facebook page. For the finale, Todd did all his remote work from his church, and all his family could be there which was great. Their oldest son Eagan, 21, was a big help with setting everything up. “All my family was there,” he says, “and the kids got to be part of everything.” Not having to face a large audience and having his family with him kept Todd’s anxiety down. Todd was surrounded by Brooke and their eight children when he was announced the season 18 winner of The Voice.
Todd’s new platform of music has given him another way to share God’s love. He says, “I’m now able to connect with all types of people from different parts of the country and world and offer them hope.” In 2020, Todd and Brooke left full-time ministry and moved near Nashville to pursue music full-time. Todd says, “God is opening doors that I never thought would open, and He’s giving me favor within the music industry, which is simply amazing.”
Celebrating Small Victories
It is important to celebrate all the little wins in life, especially the wins we often forget to notice. Despite your circumstances, Todd and Brooke encourage you to trust God with the bigger story of your life. “If Brooke and I had waited around to find joy until we got a big win, we would have missed out on the amazing life we’ve had,” shares Todd. They encourage you to keep in mind:
- Gratitude helps you take note of wins. Focus on what is good and what God is doing. Don’t compare. Be thankful for the little things.
- When you take time to listen and care for others you will often find yourself listened to and cared for.
- A shift in perspective changes everything. Small celebrations along the way can lead to big wins in our minds, hearts, and lives.
Brooke was 18 and Todd was 20 when they married. Six months after their marriage, she found out she was pregnant. Being young and in the ministry, they also faced financial struggles. Her happily ever after soon felt like a lot of work and not a lot of fun. She felt like she had missed out on the single life. Brooke decided she wanted a divorce. She moved in with her parents and had no plans of returning to Todd. One day Todd’s mom came to see her at work and asked if she would give their marriage six more months. Ladies in the church had been praying for Brooke. The next day Brooke put a hold on the divorce papers. She returned home to Todd although she had no intention of saving the marriage. A month later at a women’s Bible study, Brooke recalls letting go of what she wanted and trusting God to restore her marriage. Over time their marriage grew stronger despite the ups and downs of life. They have now been married 22 years.
Although Todd and Brooke had three biological sons and no fertility issues, they chose to adopt a girl from Korea. Brooke had been praying for a daughter for years. Their church, family, and friends rallied around them to help raise the money for adoption. They did many fundraisers from bake sales to car washes to help reach their goal. Finally, they were able to bring their daughter home. After some time of adjustment, Judah fit in with the family perfectly. Eight months later they got a call from the same adoption agency asking if they would like to adopt Judah’s sibling. Todd and Brooke felt they could not ask for money again since everyone had given so generously to make Judah’s adoption possible. That night at church, a lady walked up to Brooke and gave her a check for $1,000 which was just the amount needed to start the adoption process. Another man who was so touched at Todd and Brooke’s willingness to adopt, despite not having the financial resources, that he paid for the entire adoption when he sold his business.
Todd, Brooke and their kids each wear a piece of red string on their wrist daily. They do this to remind one another that when they are going through a battle, they are all in it together. A few years ago, their family was going through a very difficult period (details are not given in the book). Brooke made bracelets for each member of the family. The red string reminds them that they don’t fight alone. “No matter where we are or what we face, we are always connected to people who are unwaveringly in our corner. All of us stand for any one of us, and any one of us stands for us all,” shares Todd. Each time their family looks at those red strings they remember that together they win.
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