For those who read this memoir, it is my desire that you read with hope in your heart, and appreciate it’s candor and honesty.
As I said throughout, it is a reflection on my life with the Affective Mood Disorder, Manic-Depressive Illness, or Bipolar Disorder as it later came to be known. More importantly, it is about the profound faith that evolved through struggle, healing and the gift of music. It is a resurrection story.
When speaking of my faith, I have frequently been asked by Christians if I have been “saved,” or if I am “Born Again.” My answer is simple. I tell them,
Raised a Catholic who has been blessed with more than one Christian faith environment along her journey, I know that there have been numerous defining moments on my Christian walk. How could there be just one?
Looking back on my life and the devastating hardships along the way, I can say with confidence that I have been saved on a daily basis, and that every day the Lord gives me is a chance to live and be born again in Him. There is not one regret that I have of the walk I’ve endured. Afterall, how could I regret the path that led to a richer faith life?
Having experienced loss the way that I have has been a blessing in disguise, though one I could not see until I was driven to my knees. That hole in my heart was Jesus’ way of showing me how to fill it with Him. For this, I am truly Gra†eful.
Excerpt from the PROLOGUE
Throughout this book you will still read about struggle, but there is more to me. Those poems I spoke of earlier were replaced with meaningful scriptures. I began to write more of God’s Grace and Mercy, the beauty of music in my life and a renewed faith in the One who gave me this great gift that brings me closer to Him. He never let me go, even when I couldn’t feel His presence, back when there was only one set of footprints in the sand. He never let me go, reaching into my life and touching me while I was at my lowest.
Over the years, the only thing I have done consistently is make music, and I did it even when I could do nothing else. It became my therapy. Ironically, the disease brought a deep heart and introspection to the music I sang, and that which I wrote. Odd as it sounds, I am Grateful for my unbearable highs and devastating lows. For years each episode I lived through left scars, but more importantly, a determination to overcome, and a new dedication to my faith.
I learned to pray all over again and with a new direction. I grew closer to Jesus, inviting him into all aspects of my life. He is my savior, my healer, my teacher, and my provider. I am forever grateful for the joys and sorrows that have called me to seek Him in all that I do. For every tiny step that I took toward Him, He took twenty giant steps toward me. It was He who removed the negative people from my life, people that He knew were no longer good for me, people who could only see my disease and not the person within. He blessed my soul and my craft. This is what I hope you will take away with you as you read this book. For this and so much more, I am truly Grateful.