God and People and Music
For me, life has always been about God and people and music.
My earliest memories are set to the hymns we sang in church. I remember sitting below the organ at the back of the sanctuary as a child, feeling the movement of sound deep within my chest as I watched the people around me connect to God and to each other through song. I remember exploring relationships between the keys on my grandmother’s piano, finding joy as I played with intervals, the note pairs giving my little heart a language for expression. I remember the sheer excitement of learning how to play a melody, discovering how to bolster its beauty with harmony, realizing that two notes are often better than one.
I think I was born with a song in my soul. And I think I’ve spent most of my life learning how to sing it.
I was introduced to contemporary worship music when I was a young teenager. This music was different than the church music of my early childhood. There was a liberty to this music, a freshness, a malleability. We would sing these worship songs every week together in our middle school chapel. This was music that facilitated communion with God, music that reminded me that He is close, music that showed me I was deeply loved. The lyrics displayed the power of Jesus’s sacrifice and compelled me to live in response to His great love.
In these moments of worship, I experienced freedom, acceptance, and awe. It seemed that these moments gave us a glimpse into the way things were meant to be.
I decided to learn these worship songs. At 14, I sat down at our piano and I taught myself how to play. I loved that the piano gave me the ability to create something out of nothing. For hours I would play and sing, allowing the truth of these songs to calm my fears and silence my insecurities. Without fail, worship music revealed that God’s presence was more accessible than I could have ever imagined. I found my voice during these times of worship. Soon I began to write my own lyrics and melodies. Songwriting helped me navigate my adolescent years and has allowed me to process the ups and downs of my life ever since.
Throughout high school and college, I seized every opportunity I could to play worship. I loved the communal aspect of playing in a band and leading others in song. It was exhilarating to play with friends and watch the music we played affect the people in the congregation. Time after time, I saw that people responded in joyful surrender to songs drenched in the truth and the glorious implications of the Gospel. I saw that musical worship has the power to soften hearts, open minds, and unify individuals from vastly different backgrounds. I learned that when we worship together, we remind ourselves that there is a greater purpose for our lives. Worship allows us to encounter a God who loves us more in a single moment than anything or anyone else could in a million lifetimes.
Leading worship has taught me that we were designed to give God glory.
For the past 12 years, I have felt the call to lead worship and to minister through music. My deepest desire is to faithfully walk in this calling. Over the past decade, God has used each season of my life to develop me as a worshiper. These seasons taught me that worship is not just singing songs. Instead, I have learned that worship is a daily posture of joyful trust, gratitude, and surrender. For years I prayed and waited for an opportunity to lead worship full-time.
In September 2017, with my husband’s constant encouragement and God’s unmatched faithfulness, I decided to pursue this calling with a new intentionality. I started to move beyond my fear of failure and began to walk by faith, trusting that God doesn’t want perfection, He simply wants my “yes." After months of prayerful consideration, I applied to be a Worship Resident at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. I was offered the position in February 2018 and we made the decision to move back to Texas from Seattle soon after.
Matt and I are excited to see what this next season holds as we seek to connect creatives to the Creator. Learn more about the Austin Stone Worship Residency here.