Biographies are usually more information about someones life than anyone really wants to know. Well, grab your pants folks. You came to the wrong page if that’s you.
MISSIONARY KID: I was born four generations deep into a family of ministers and missionaries. Faith is pretty much in my DNA. I’ve lived across the globe: Israel, Thailand, the US, and Malaysia. I spent much of my childhood at a boarding school on the tiny island of Penang, in the Straits of Malacca. To say I have trouble identifying with a particular country or culture would be an understatement.
MENTAL ILLNESS: Bam. I have a mental illness. Most of my life I just thought I was seriously broken and I blamed myself. I don’t remember not being sad. By elementary school, crying was a daily occurrence. I was 13 when I first attempted to take my own life, and then again at 20. My first stay in a psychiatric unit was my senior year in high school. With each of these events there was little to no constructive follow up help. No diagnosis. No medication. No therapy. Just a lot of shame. Hiding. Internalizing.
FAMILY: I love my family. Unconditionally. I am responsible for the things I do. The decisions I make. And I have made a lot of bad ones that have hurt the people I love, regardless of what has been done to me. That being said, part of my healing process has been facing my past with brutal honesty. I suffered physical/emotional abuse and neglect growing up. But I choose understanding and forgiveness, not bitterness and stagnancy. It’s an absolute must. Otherwise the dark wins.
THE ASSAULT: In 1997, at just 19, I was attacked in an attempted sexual assault by a masked man I did not know. The kind of day that changes everything. Fire trucks, police cars, police search dogs, questions, physical pain, newspaper stories, television reporters. An indelible mark. The kind of day that most women do not survive. But I did. Somehow. And for years I wished I had not. I felt unworthy.
DRUG/ALCOHOL ABUSE: By 18 I had an ulcer for which I was given narcotic pain medication. And so began my long and secret relationship with pills that lasted until 2009 when I married my husband. Getting clean, sober and healthy is like having been blinded by a wet, heavy blanket. The real work starts when it is taken away. You are left to see the the wreck you have made of your life. And the hope of healing.
MUSIC: Singing has been a constant in my life, from massive crusades in front of thousands of Thai villagers as a child, to writing and recording in studio with some of the most amazing musicians. It has been a lifeline. An outlet.
FAITH: I am a christian. I love God. I love Jesus. Everything else is in process. For once in my life, this aspect is mine. I am learning to balance just being myself, my messy, sometimes foul mouthed, extremely rough around the edges, far from saint like self with the picture of the ideal church going righteous believer. My one certainty is that I have a beautiful relationship. Jesus is a part of every aspect of my life. I know, beyond anything else I have learned, without that, I would be dead.
NOW: I understand who I am. Finally. I am clean. I am sober. I am in therapy. I am on medication. I am a wife. I am a mother to two year old twin boys. I sing. I write. I blog. And more important than anything else, I try to live every day loving the way Jesus did.