One of the greatest things that has ever been given to me is the gift of music. It has defined my life in nearly every way. I remember being not much older than a toddler, sitting in the back seat of my parent's car and hearing the song "Wildfire" by Michael Martin Murphy on the radio. I would sing every word that I could, and I would just cry big tears because the horse named Wildfire had died. I had an extreme connection with music, and as a little girl, would play piano and sing with my Grandma. And I could sing every word to every song that came on the radio.
When I was 8, I joined the orchestra at my school, and started playing violin. I was never the cool kid, just the nerdy girl carrying her violin home from school, who couldn't wait to get in my room and practice. And years later I actually met the man who was to become my husband in a music store of all places! Little did I know it then, but my life was going to change drastically. Because the man I met was serious about music! We spent 17 awesome years touring with a full band. Vance and I traveled all over the world, playing venue after venue, year after year, had a large following, and made a great living being able to travel and perform together. The only thing we really knew how to do was music!
But whenever I went to church, I would always want to go the service after the music was over, because I didn't feel any sort of connection with it. I would always think "why do we all have to stand up and sing the same words over and over? And what's with the arms in the air?" This went on for years - I loved God, and I loved hearing His Word, but I would only go to church to hear the preacher, and that was it. I only felt that real connection and passion about music when Vance and I would perform together. I loved the emotion of our live stage show, and wondered why I couldn't feel that same connection to the lyrics and the music in church. In 2004, both Vance and I felt a really strong call to go into ministry together. We had no idea what this meant, we just knew that we needed to do it. And so we waited to see what God would do........... and one day, in 2008, we were both asked to go on staff at a large church together. We felt that God was pulling us out of the entertainment industry, and into His church. Even though I had never connected with "church" music, and didn't understand what it was all about - God was going to show me how to worship Him in a big way!
A friend invited Vance and I to a Night Of Worship at another church, and for some crazy reason, we went. We didn't really want to, but we were told that we would really connect with the worship artist that was there. And that was really the night that changed my whole outlook on what worship was all about. I told God that same night that leading worship was something that I wanted to do for Him for the rest of my life. I prayed for God to do something powerful in my life through worshiping Him. I wanted to introduce people to God through music. I wanted people to have an encounter with God through the melody and lyrics of a song written about Him, and I wanted people to connect with God in a way that they had never connected with Him before. And I wanted God to use me as an instrument to bring Him glory. And so began my journey...............