By age 30, I had more than arrived at a place of exasperation as the zillionth person asked me, “Why aren’t YOU famous?” Many of my young friends and co-Mouseketeers went on to become celebrities, including Keri Russell and Ryan Gosling the acting world. I will always be so happy for any former Mouseketeer’s accomplishments and successes, but for many years, I was wrestling with the issue that I didn’t join them along the road to fame. To have been in the limelight for so many years, to have been trained in live performance, TV productions, media, singing, dancing, acting (to even have a degree in drama!), having performed for the president and toured the world entertaining thousands, doing what I love…why wasn’t it enough for me? Why did the world’s demand for me to measure up to celebrity matter so much? What was this hole in my heart that nothing would fill?
Long story short, one day I knelt down and opened my heart to Jesus. Having tried pretty much every secular singing job I could think of, I prayed, “I want a job where I can sing for you, glorify you, and get closer to you!” Less than a month later, I was hired as a worship leader and music coordinator for a church in Florida, as well as a dramatic and musical minister at Trinity Broadcast Network’s The Holy Land Experience. I spent the next 3 years at an entirely new level of performance training! Everything I memorized, rehearsed, and presented was not only for the glory of God and the spreading of His gospel, but every step of production was prayed over, meditated on, and executed in the name of Jesus, with His strength and power! I grew in my knowledge of the Bible, in the strength of The Holy Spirit, and in my love for Christ. I learned how to pray for others, and how to work together as a unified team of performers to do so much more than just entertain. I can now lead people to Christ in worship!
Not only have I appeared as a soloist on TBN’s Praise The Lord!, but with “Namesake”, I recorded a worship album Let Your Rain Fall, available on iTunes, as well as sang with anointed worship artists including Donnie McClurken, Martha Munizzi, Carman, and Michael W. Smith. I even had the pleasure of singing at Dr. Timothy Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and being the vocal coach for Martha Munizzi (Grammy nominated, Dove/Stellar Award winning international gospel recording artist) on her album Make It Loud!
*LIFE LANDMARK: The most beautiful thing I experienced with God during this time was the emptiness being removed from my heart. I gave Jesus my full heart, including all the pieces that struggled with my identity and that were beaten down by my issues with fame. Once I gave up the dream of becoming famous, of needing that level of acknowledgement to tell me that I have a worthwhile purpose, God broke the curse of fame over my life! He defeated the LIES I was believing about myself, He dissolved the EXCUSES I was hiding behind to avoid my current situations, and He healed my wounds from all the DISTRACTIONS that had taken me off course from my purpose! What’s so cool is that God gave right back to me the opportunities to sing, dance, act, write songs, teach others, and even travel, but the difference was that Jesus became the center of my life and the validator of my purpose! The hole in my heart was gone!