I grew up in a Christian home in Northern California. I’ve sung in choirs ever since I can remember and began playing the cello at age 10. I always loved Sunday School, being the first one to spout out scriptures and always eager to show the teachers how well I knew my Bible. Arrogant and prideful, I thought I was the epitome of the “perfect little Christian girl.”
At 12 years old, my faith began to be tested by Lord. My family moved an hour from my childhood home and began attending a new church, the Rock of Roseville. A few weeks after we moved, my dad came down with an undiagnosed disease which plagues him to this day. We later learned this unknown sickness had damaged my dad’s cerebellum (the part of the brain which controls motor movements). His movement was consequently affected and he was often dizzy and became very unstable. That year, between countless doctor and neurologist visits, he progressed from cane, to walker, to wheelchair. I remember both of us having to lose our pride as, when we went in public I had to support him as he walked. Now I would give anything to have him back at that stage.
The emotional turmoil of having a perfectly healthy father become an invalid with no explanation was devastating. His sickness spun me into a depressed, suicidal, bitter world where it seemed that heaven was brass. I would hide away in my own mind and my personality drastically changed during those years while I tried to find my identity. I had few friends in those days and my voice and cello became two of a handful of consolations.
As my 18th birthday approached, I felt the Lord leading me to do an internship at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. At IHOP, I was thrown into a world of Christians unlike I had ever seen before: a people who loved prayer and had God as their #1 priority. It was there that my heart was awakened to prayer as a lifestyle and I was finally able to believe, in faith, that God was a near God who wanted to heal my father. When I came back home, I became an intercessory missionary at my local house of prayer (RHOP). I was on staff there for 5 years. I learned how to use my voice and cello as prophetic instruments in a prayer room. I learned that prayer is the most powerful tool we have on this earth (we can petition the God of the Universe as a child petitions their father, for crying out loud!).
In 2009 I married this amazing man of God. We were in the prayer room together for 3 years, but every season has its end, and ours at RHOP came in January of 2011. Our prayer room had become a place that first acted, and then prayed. But God has His ways, doesn’t He? He uses all things for good and now I can see what He was doing. In July of 2010, we started going to a “thing” called community group. Those Friday nights were the most refreshing thing I had experienced in a long time. We just fellowshipped, lifted each other up, were free to take ownership, and all sought Jesus together. And we were sincere! And just working normal jobs!
And we still are. Thank God for Christian communities. Thank God for The Table. And mostly, thank God for His grace.