I stood. Even though I was nine, I knew what I was doing, and I was afraid. But I stood in the middle of a crowd of kids at Spring Valley Bible Camp and I made the decision to follow God and trust Him instead of myself–even if that meant going to Africa. Which I really did not want to do.
If you asked me what I did want to do as a kid, I would have said I wanted to be a teacher and a mom. Thatʼs it. Pretty simple. I liked to stay in my comfort zone. I didnʼt like to take risks. Music was way out of my comfort zone, and therefore the thought never crossed my mind.
I did love music, though. My dad was a pastor. My family was very musical, and I grew up in a church where creativity and kids being involved with worship was encouraged. When I found my momʼs old classical guitar in the attic, I immediately began to teach myself how to play. I began to write. I began to sing to God as my love for Him grew.
Well, I got what I wanted. I married my high-school sweetheart, graduated from college, and started teaching 5th grade in the worst math scoring elementary school in Chicago. Only it didnʼt feel like my dreams were fulfilled. It was harder than anything Iʼve ever done. There were three fist-fights in my classroom the very first day of teaching. The only time I felt like I really bonded with the kids was when I brought my guitar to school and we all wrote songs together as a class. But amidst the failure, I faced many of my fears and was able to push myself to do things that made me uncomfortable.
Then I had my first child, and my husband became a pastor of a small church. They needed someone to lead the music. It was time to be brave again. I was uncomfortable with being in front of people, but I realized I loved leading worship because no oneʼs eyes were supposed to be on me. My job was to direct their attention on someone much greater.
As I began to write and sing more, I found that I communicated best with people through music. I could write a song to be a comfort in the death of a loved one or to encourage during depression or to to inspire during hard times. I could write to make people laugh and cry and take them on a journey.
Almost every one of my songs has a story behind it. The album, “Walk Me Home.” was made to share those stories. To share my heart. So Iʼm standing up again just like I did when I was nine. Iʼm shaky. Iʼm nervous. I donʼt like people looking at me. But my hope is that when these songs are listened to and my voice is heard, it will all point to the God I love and a story that is much bigger than my own.