Tell us a little bit about yourself
I grew up in a very loving and caring Christian home. However, since about 8 years old I struggled with debilitating fear, depression, suicidal thoughts and anorexia. I was medicated for years and brought to doctors who told me I would be medicated for the rest of my life for my condition. I prayed with very little faith because I believed this lie that God would never heal me. I suffered daily. In the midst of all this pain, by God’s grace, I graduated from Point Loma University in San Diego in 2000 with a BA in vocal performance which paved the way for me to use my gifts for the Lord in the future. I was married to my husband Jeremy that same summer; and we currently have two daughters, Katelyn 13 and Haley 11.
Tell us about the process of how God healed you
After years of medication I realized nothing was working; I still felt miserable. I started counseling with a woman from my church which was transforming. We prayed together, read scripture, and talked through each lie that I had been telling myself for years. The lies that I would always be this way, fearful, and depressed never able to accomplish anything of value and that I would be sick and scared my whole life. I began to understand that this fear and negative thinking was not from God. Though I grew up in a Christian home, I didn't live as if I was a child of the King. I was timid, terrified of everything, and my faith was very weak. I started learning through scripture about who I was in Christ; adopted, chosen, His ambassador, and His child. I had a purpose on this earth and I wasn't fulfilling that purpose stuck at home. I realized that God wanted me to bring Him glory by telling others about Him. I also learned that He cares about my every need, He protects, loves me, knows my name, every tear I cry and is intimately acquainted with all my needs. Scripture was so healing to me. I specifically remember the power of Psalm 91 talking about Gods protection over me.
What was the turning point for your healing
I began mentoring with a friend and she encouraged me to start crying out to God; to pour out my needs before Him, just like David did in the Psalms. I had prayed here and there but not with much faith. I came across this verse in Psalm 118:5, “Out of my distress I called upon The Lord, The Lord heard my cry and He set me free.” So I began to literally cry out to God for deliverance, sometimes just using the name of Jesus. The first time I did this peace began to flood my body, and God showed me His power right before my eyes. So I continued to cry out to Him and each time I did, He was faithful in providing peace. This strengthened my faith immensely. I knew at that point I needed to rely on God fully, every second, in order to survive another day.
Was it an instant change or a process
It was definitely a process. I had years of unhealthy patterns of thinking that needed to be re-trained. I had to take every thought captive and ask myself, “Is this true, is this right, is this lovely, is this what God would want me to think on? Am I trusting God? I literally had to rely on Him every second of the day. My fear had been so severe that there were times when I couldn't leave my house, eat, or even drive. I had to take baby steps. But each step of faith I took, He was faithful to provide more and more courage to take the next step. I started understanding how self-focused I was, which fed the fear, keeping my focus continually on myself. I began looking outward, serving others, thinking and praying for others. Once I began to serve and think of others, the fear and despair subsided.
How did you start writing music
I began writing music as a way to cry out to God, this is where I really began to find freedom. The power of scripture and worship joined as one set me free! I began to truly worship this God that I had been learning about my whole life growing up in church. I studied all His attributes; His power, His holiness, His Deity, and His sovereignty. I started documenting my story interwoven with verses about Him; the Holy Spirit began flooding my mind with lyrics and melodies.
Tell us about the first song you wrote
One day I opened the bible and started reading from Isaiah 43:1-3,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine; when you pass through the waters I will be with you, and through the rivers they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you, for I am The Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” This verse hit so close to home. I just started praying, asking God to help me write a song from these scriptures. Within a few hours the Holy Spirit gave me lyrics and a melody and my first song was written in less than a day.
What is your motivation for writing music
It's Christ, His work on the cross, His work in my life, and bringing Him glory in everything I say, think about and do. He's everything to me. He delivered me so I want others to know Him, to draw nearer to Him and to be changed because of Him. I want to encourage others with insecurities, constant comparisons with others, fear and discouragement to draw nearer to Christ, experiencing His deep love and divine purpose for their lives. I pray that I can remind others who they are in Christ; adopted, chosen, an ambassador, disciple, and child of the King! I want my music to bring healing to people and to help others come into His presence through worshiping His great name; to know that they can be free because whom the Son sets free, he is free indeed. I hope that my testimony can help others come to a saving knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
What do you write about in your music
I initially wrote songs relating to my testimony and how He freed me and delivered me. I have started writing more about who He is, revealing His attributes and promises. Some songs are testimonial while others portray surrender, trusting, waiting, remembering and believing in the Almighty God. Others simply lift high the name of Christ and His work on the cross.
How has God used you to help others
Through many years of getting counsel and being mentored through many difficult trials, I have had the privilege of finishing training at my church as a Biblical Counselor through NANC (National Associations of Nouthetic Counseling) in which have had opportunities to counsel and mentor woman/friends through their struggles with fear, discouragement, and suicidal thoughts.
Looking back on your life, how has God prepared you for this ministry
Well, I never thought I would be here today telling my story of how God healed me. But I can see each struggle, each thought, each fear that I fought through paving the way in revealing Gods faithfulness in bringing me to where I am today. I wanted to die, many times, and I thought I would live in fear and despair until I died. But this wasn't Gods plan for me. His desire is for us to be useful for His kingdom, to bring Him glory and honor in all we do. When I was in my darkest moments He picked me up and stood me up boldly to walk this life for Him. It was as if He said to me, “There's more for you to do, don't live for yourself anymore. Go and tell others about me and what I have done; be bold, trust me, and believe.”
What is your vision for your ministry?
I want to see others find freedom like I did; to feel His peace and know who this great God is. To know that His death on the cross has freed us from all condemnation and penalty of sin. We can be free from all bondage to sin we just need to truly believe in Him, trust Him, and surrender our lives daily to Him. I want my testimony to help others realize that those lies we believe about ourselves can be replaced with the truth in His Word. God has a purpose for each one of us on this earth. We all have a mission to share the love of Christ across the nations, to take up our cross daily and follow Him.
What encouragement can you share with others struggling with fear and despair today?
Cry out to Him, because He hears every cry for help. Also, fear the Lord. When we obey His commandments we will find peace. Psalm 119:165 says, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.” I think anxiety and depression are very selfish conditions and we tend to look inward continually. Seek to please God in all things, serve others, and obey His commands. I believe that is when He will strengthen our hearts, renew our minds, give us everlasting joy, and satisfying peace.