HOW IT ALL STARTED
Did your mom sing to you as a child? When I first was learning how to walk and talk my mom would sing to me. She isn’t a singer but that was how she taught me;by making a song to accompany the action we were about to do. That’s how it all started, making songs became a language. I began grade school and decided my life was going to be spent loving Jesus and walking with Him. I had a natural pull towards the action of music. I began memorizing all the lyrics to the christian CDs I found in my parents CD collection, “ Steven Curtis Chapman”, “Point of Grace” and the “WOW top hits” CDs. My sister would dance while I sang.
Seeing that we performed in our room so often, our parents signed us up for ballet. What little girl wouldn’t want to try dance? I did it for a year or so and begged my parents for music lessons. My grandpa nudged them towards piano. I was excited but I knew I really wanted to play the guitar or even the piccolo after seeing it at an instrument workshop. I roughed my way through piano, writing my own songs, playing by ear, and making “C”s in my piano grade book. Finally, I made all A’s in 4th grade on my report card and my parents got me my first guitar. It broke pretty quickly and when I got into Jr. High my dreams of the piccolo were becoming a reality. I began the flute and my aunt got me a guitar. The guitar wouldn’t stay in tune and I quickly gave up. I focused on the flute and improvising to worship music while secretly writing my own songs and wishing I could be in a band.
I CAN’T SING
Eventually, high school came and I felt a pull to join the worship team. I thought, “I can’t sing!” So, I brought my flute and played for the youth pastor and like that I was on the team. I began to write poetry and would sing when I wrote it. I also found myself singing what I would play on the flute. Still, I thought, “I can’t sing.” Finally, my friends encouraged me that I was a vocalist down deep. I went to audition for the worship team, this time on vocals. After much discouragement, and even failing to make it in the first audition, I joined the team.
I began writing my own songs, pouring into guitar, and even dappling in piano here and there. I was drawn to people,outreach,and Jesus, not music, but yet It was a part of me, a part of how I communicated and loved on people. I couldn’t run away from it. I was a part of worship in church and band, playing in front of many people but my favorite times were when it was me and God in my room. The way he would speak to my heart, the way he would fill me with peace. I wanted to take that out of the church, out of my room and bring it to His people so they too could feel his love, so they too could feel at home, to feel a glimpse of heaven on earth.
ALIGN WITH JESUS
My chance had arrived when my mother began to care give for a lady named Rose. She was nearing the last months of her life and I came and sang for her. She told me I would be famous or at least famous in the nursing home and I began to play every week for the residents. I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to those without earthly family, without a real home, some not even in their right mind experiencing God. For that brief moment, we align with Jesus and nothing in this world matters.
TO STAY ALIVE
I played every week and began playing for my grandfather, James Daniel Frost who had dementia and passed away January 2017. His life has helped me be who I am today. I would play music for him and it would calm him. It connected us with Jesus and made him feel alive again.
Around this time, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, called Addison's disease, where my adrenal glands, an organ in your body that produces cortisol and a fight or flight reaction stops working. Without this organ functioning, one can’t live. I was finding myself working harder than I ever had in my life, visiting my grandpa, beginning a Bachelor's degree, helping start a church plant, going on mission trips to Haiti, and helping with worship at multiple churches. God kept telling me to rest and I wasn’t listening. I found myself in a fight to stay alive. This disease came and I had to slow down or I’d literally die. I was diagnosed and given steroids that would be taken for the rest of my life to keep me alive. I wanted more faith, I wanted to be dependent on God, and I wanted to rest but not like this.
I awoke in the middle of the night, around 3am or 4am or so, picked my guitar up and put it in my bed with me. I cried out to the Lord, not for healing, not in a “ how could this happen?” way but instead in a,” teach me, Dad, I’m afraid and I want your guidance, I want to feel you now, I want to only look at you. ” I began to sing whatever he said and he told me in what was probably 15 minutes or less, “ Be still, listen closely, the waves are distracting you me, Be still, have faith, and I’ll keep you safe from the sea, just don’t take your eyes off of me.”
I had gone to a bible study earlier in the week and God had led me to two verses:
Exodus 14:14 ”The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;do not fret when people succeed in their ways,when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
I thought, this is for my friends at the bible study and for my grandpa; this has to be shared! I pulled my two friends aside, began playing and when I looked up the area of the room was full of people, all touched by the words of this song. I played for my mom and grandpa and God gave me the bridge, “ When I feel like drowning, you lift me up, when I’m too weak, you are more than enough, I give you the waves, I give you my life, you lift up above the strife.” Since then, it has been shared at the college I attended, sung at a church plant I helped at and at numerous open mics, shows, and nursing homes and it's still being sung to my heart.
RELEASING MY HEART
Music has a way of making a person look at themselves. It’s scary but freeing. What’s even more terrifying is sharing it. It’s hard to release your heart. So, I kept it inside and shared it from time it time but I didn’t make it accessible to those who can’t come out to shows or those who need this reminder like I do. I’ve tried to put this off and I’m convinced it's time I begin releasing my heart. This has nothing to do with making me known and everything to do with getting the message across. When we align our life with God He keeps us safe, He gives us peace and security only found in Him. He places songs in our hearts and when we stop and actually listen, they come out and change us, they touch people, He makes us feel Home. Have you released your heart to Him? Do you feel at Home? Are you sharing your story? Let’s start by taking the time to BE STILL.
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