My songs have been born out of heartbreak.
I dated my high school sweetheart for 4 years. I thought I was going to marry him. He was the one who picked out my first guitar, Stella, and taught me a few chords. Then he broke my heart and shocked my friends and family when he got another girl pregnant, while I was away at college. It was my guitar that brought me solace when nothing else could. I penned two songs in my dorm room at the time.
Six months later, I rebounded into a toxic relationship, and it took me down a road I never thought I’d go down. I lost myself, my faith, my friends, and my identity. It was the worst two years of my life. But I never forgot my guitar. I wrote many songs about him that ended up on my first album in many years to come.
It was at this rock bottom pit that I started to look up and found God. My salvation was a two-steps forward, one-step backward progress. I decided to stay single for awhile and find my worth in Jesus. It wasn’t easy for me because I wanted a tangible love I could hear, see, and touch.
All this happened before I even graduated college.
After college, I entered the real world with a banged-up heart full of dreams that were quickly trampled on. I worked a retail job – long hours and low pay – and it sucked my soul dry. I knew I wanted to be a singer-songwriter, but I didn’t know how to get there. I wrote most of my songs behind closed doors, but I didn’t have the guts to share them. I often wondered if I would ever reach my dreams.
At 25, I experienced a quarter life crisis, and I knew I needed to do something drastic in order to pursue my dreams and make them a reality. I moved to Austin on a whim to pursue music, but I quickly found it hard to find time for music now that I was paying rent. I was homesick and broke, but again, this led me closer to God.
I started to learn that nothing except God could fulfill the desires of my heart. I longed for a husband, a family, a perfect career, but all these things seemed to allude me. While in Austin, I met the man of my dreams… but then he married someone else. And then I lost my 3rd job.
Heartbroken and broke, I moved back home to recuperate financially and emotionally. I was now almost 30 and living with my parents, single, and I still hadn’t pursued my dreams of music. I felt like a failure in every sense, and I wondered if my life would ever look the way I hoped.
In December 2012, a month before my 29th birthday, I decided to face my biggest fears and perform at my first open mic. I was extremely shy and nervous, but I knew I needed to do this if I wanted to live my next decade differently. I approached the mic and performed three songs, which all made it onto my first album. The audience LOVED it- I couldn’t believe it! The reaction was so positive, I wanted to keep doing it again and again.
And so I did.
Since I didn’t have a husband or kids, God gave me the freedom to pursue my music wholeheartedly. And I pursued it with a vengeance. I felt like I was catching up on lost time.
I still worked a full time job, but on evenings and weekends, I was performing across town at coffeeshops, churches, festivals, and wherever else I could sing. I performed in a Christian talent showcase called AMTC and found my first record label, Tate Music Group. In 2014, I released my first album Left Unsaid full of all the songs I wrote about my breakups, chasing dreams, and finding God.
I started a band. I dated my guitar player (bad idea). He was an alcoholic, and it was a tumultuous relationship. We went through a very hard breakup. I experienced alot of anxiety, thinking I was going to be alone forever. I decided to give my love life to God and focus on my music.
I ended up recording my 2nd album Back to New in Nashville, my heartbreak and disappointments fueling a whole new slew of songs, but this time my love songs started to sound differently… my faith was starting to find their way into the lyrics. I’d learned alot in my 20s, and I wanted my 30s to be better.
I started praying for my future husband, and a couple months later, I met him. Or I re-met him, I should say. He was a crush I had in high school, and we really hit it off. We got married 11 months after we started dating on Nov 5, 2017. I was 33 years old, much later than I hoped.
Sometimes we don’t understand God’s plan, but He always has a redemption story. Sometimes we’ll find it on this side of heaven, and sometimes we have to wait for the other side.
If you’ve ever experienced heartbreak and broken dreams, you’re in good company. Through my music, I hope you find your own stories. I want you to know that you’re not alone, that there’s others with dreams that are left to be fulfilled. God always has a plan. There’s hope in the waiting. There’s a better love out there. There’s a redemption story.
I’d love it if you gave my album a listen. These songs were written with heart and soul and with the intention of helping others feel less alone. I hope they help you the same way they helped me to get through the dark times.