On the night of August 27, 2003, a young woman, with cancer, was listening to some music in her home; a few hours later, with her headphones still on, she passed away. A couple of years later, her young daughter came across the CDs that she had been listening to that night and took a liking to them. That woman was my mother and, I, her young daughter. At that time, even though I was baptized into the Catholic faith, I wouldn’t have called myself a practicing Catholic or Christian. My mom was usually the parent who made sure we were all dressed and ready for church every Sunday, but after her passing, my family went to church sparingly, and when we did, it never felt meaningful.
I was probably around nine or ten when I found those CDs but they didn’t draw me any closer to God. In fact, despite my admiration for worship music and some church attendance, I ventured even further from Him. What little faith I already had in God’s goodness and existence had almost entirely diminished by around junior year of high school. Two significant events, however, happened around the time I began high school: teaching myself how to play guitar and going to a family friend’s church youth group.
I got my first guitar for my tenth birthday. Often, I would try to teach myself, but to no avail. I’d start and quit and start and quit and start and quit until one day, I ended up breaking one of my strings. I didn’t touch it again until four years later during my first year of high school. Somehow and some way, the guitar and I hit it off. It was exciting to finally be making progress and soon chords were sounding like they were supposed to and so I began learning simple fingerstyle songs. About a year into all of this, I was invited to attend the church’s youth group.
Although I was not excited at all to be going, I thought it’d be a good reason to get out of the house. I felt so closed off from the world and I’ve never been much of a social butterfly. Thankfully (although God had probably planned it this way), everybody was so nice and caring. They made it easy to say what’s on my mind and to have a little fun. I must’ve started enjoying it because I’d keep going back. And I’m really glad I did because a couple of years later, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and was baptized again with a more resolute and firm belief in God’s love and existence.
At this church, I met two musically gifted people, who were part of the core staff for the youth group. I still don’t know what they saw in me because I didn’t think I was that great at playing guitar, but they saw something I did not. Ever since, they have become awesome mentors and even more amazing friends, teaching me how to serve alongside others in a band and guiding me in being able to lead worship on my own. Not only are they musically talented, but they also have such great passion for God and His Word. They have definitely been a big part of the deepening of my faith just by being able to support me in all aspects of life, teaching Scripture, and encouraging me through prayer.
It’s been such a long journey. From starting off as just a listener to being able to play, and now I’ll be leading my own worship team soon! It’s been so amazing to see and reflect on how God has been moving in my life, especially in relation to music…it’s all just surreal to me. The Father’s love is so deep for us and his faithfulness is great. He can be so unexpected, but I definitely can’t wait to see and experience what he has planned for me and my music.