Learning to Love Every Chapter

I often think about how I want to be the kind of person that enjoys every stage of life. Life goes way too fast not to savor each moment. Yet certain experiences come along and I think, “please just let this pass” or “I can’t wait until this is over...” I suppose that’s human.

Why were we given so many different feelings? There must be a reason why we each feel such a wide array of feelings - happy, sad, brave, fear, love, lonely, peace, broken, mended, calm, anxious, excited, bored, alive, numb, and on and on.

Throughout the last couple of years, I’ve been learning to sincerely appreciate the ability to feel. Can you imagine a life without feeling? What if we just went through tons of experiences but never felt happy or sad or any type of emotion? Borrrrring, right? Life would be meaningless without a heart that feels.

Every feeling can turn into a lesson from our Heavenly Father. My new album, Chapters of My Heart, tells a story of some of the lessons I’ve learned from what my heart has felt and experienced the last couple of years. For me, these songs were my healing process. Through the process of writing these songs, I learned more of the lessons God wanted to teach me about what I was feeling. I realize what you’re facing or what you’ve been through isn’t exactly the same as my experiences, but with all of my heart, I hope these songs reach you somehow.

Life is often a rollercoaster. All of our roller coasters are unique, yet similar - life often turns us upside down and takes us through unexpected loops. Heavenly Father has been teaching me to enjoy the rollercoaster - to be grateful for the ups and downs, to be grateful that I can feel so many emotions and that no matter what emotion or part of the ride, I can feel His grace helping me. 

In every "chapter" of my life, Heavenly Father has somehow shown me that He is there and that what it says in Romans 8:28 is true. All things can miraculously work together for our good when we love and trust Him. I really believe that and have seen it in my life.

PS  I created a Spotify playlist with some songs (including the title track to my album) that give me perspective and help me to learn from the roller coaster of life. You can listen to and follow the playlist here.

Chapters of My Heart is now available! iTunes: http://bit.ly/chaptersofmyheartitunes Buy a signed copy of the album: http://bit.ly/chaptersofmyheartalbum 50% of all proceeds from Chapters of My Heart album go to benefit Operation Underground Railroad. As you listen to these chapters/songs, I hope you feel motivation to never quit, to love where you are in your story, and to see God's hand in the chapters of your heart.

More Than A Fairytale

As a child I learned about Jesus. He was like this hero in the distance that for years I didn’t really understand. I wanted to believe and felt a love for Jesus, but I was so focused on getting good grades, playing soccer and being a kid that it felt like a fairytale. It hadn’t sunk into my heart yet why I needed to believe in Jesus.

I got to a point in my life where I felt stuck and pretty broken. I remember hearing one of my teachers tell a story about a man who also felt stuck and broken, but decided to change and to pray for Jesus to help him to change. I decided to get down on my knees that night and plead for the Savior to help me with my heartache and brokenness. As I continued to do that for a few weeks, I literally felt my heart become new. I felt my heart and my desires and my thoughts change from darkness to light. I felt free.

A couple of years ago I thought I was in love for the first time. Things seemed good and right. The relationship seemed to be everything I wanted and more. Then he broke things off unexpectedly. I felt pain like I’d never experienced. I remember sitting in my car with tears streaming down my face, and praying that Christ could make my heart whole again. I felt a strength and a peace come into my heart as I kept asking God for that help. I just chose to believe that help would come and it did.

It was truly miraculous to me. And real although I can't exactly explain how it works. The pain wasn’t completely gone. But it became bearable knowing that Christ died and experienced the weight of the world so that I could have help and comfort in times like this. I think without my Savior's help, I would have stayed broken and hurt for a long time. Instead I’ve been able to move forward believing with all my heart that God has a plan for me and that He is with me.

I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe He came for me and He came for you. I am living proof that a heart can completely change and heal because of Him. The Christmas story is no fairytale. It really happened. And it happened for a reason - because “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Do you believe in Jesus Christ? If you think you can’t or you think this is something that only works for certain kinds of people and certain kinds of situations, I can promise you that those things aren’t true. Keep trying. Keep praying. Keep studying the scriptures. Talk to people who believe in Christ. Take that first step. Shoot me a message if you want to talk. As we seek to believe when it’s the hardest, that’s when miracles happen.

This hasn’t been a one time experience for me. I’ve had that change of heart come many times. I've learned that I need my Savior every single day - and that is normal and human and wonderful! Because of what Christ did, every ache can heal and be comforted. Every broken, worn heart can become whole and new.

I recorded my own version of "I Believe" because it conveys how belief in Jesus Christ can transform from a fairytale into a firm conviction. As a child, leaving cookies out for Santa and waking up to presents on Christmas morning was always something to get excited about. It really felt like magic as a kid. But as years went by, I felt the meaning of Christmas change into something much more magical - the reality that Christmas can live inside us when we let Christ change our hearts.

You can listen to "I Believe" here. I pray this Christmas season that each of us can believe and let the Christmas story become much more than a fairytale - because it truly is.