“Sometimes it’s a slow miracle…
I’ve known what I wanted to do with my life since I was seventeen. Everything about me has been wired to make music, and by the time I graduated from high school, I was touring, booking, writing songs, and teaching lessons professionally.
At eighteen, I moved from the rural midwest to Los Angeles after writing this mission statement: “Make great music that brings hope and healing to those who need it most.”
Music has been there for me in my dark times—it’s helped me feel less alone. It was my truest expression and my deepest connection to the world, and I was determined to make a career out of reaching others with song.
…like a flower unfolds...
I landed a college tour, found an investor for an album, and began a career as an indie artist. I traveled often, singing across Asia, writing in Nashville, and living my dream to a large degree.
I pushed hard and often forfeited sleep for the sake of creating and sharing my music. I refused to get a side job or have a backup plan. I didn’t really make time for dating or calling my family. It’s hard to imagine a hippie musician that sleeps till 10 in the morning being a workaholic, but honestly, I think I was.
…Dark nights in the silent struggle…
At 24, my health suddenly started failing. Numerous mysterious symptoms, from rashes to stomachaches to heart murmurs, appeared. I stopped in the middle of a tour and flew to my parent’s home—Vietnam to Kansas—to try and fix my body.
It would prove to be a longer process than I had imagined; I ended up being down for the count for two years. We found out I had a serious internal infection, and some chronic autoimmune conditions. Oh, and possibly an incurable, debilitating bacterial disease.
There were many heartaches, but my deepest longing was just to sing again. There weren’t a lot of answers from the medical professionals about how to get better, so I was glad to be friends with Someone even wiser than them. I began to pray, my family began to pray, and I made a decision to believe that there was a way to get better—that a door would be opened for me, somehow.
…make great stories untold….
Interesting things happen in one’s heart when the future is uncertain. I learned to let go—to hold my plans loosely and care more about living out my values and growing my character, and less about accomplishing tasks. I stopped caring about who heard my songs or followed me online; I realized I am complete apart from my work.
…You never know what your heart is growing…
Before, I worried too much about impressing people; I attached others’ acclaim to love. It had never even dawned on me that I was worthy of love even if I was never able to produce a single song. But now that I was inhibited from creating the very thing I once found my value in, there was a special kind of peace and freedom that came over me.
I’d always wanted to make music that brought hope and healing, but now I had the opportunity to cling to hope and fight for healing like never before.
…or what fears are growing old…
Hope can only be ignited in the face of hopelessness; you don’t need it when things are going your way. You can only watch a miracle unfold when there’s a need for one.
So, I wrote songs and didn’t know if anyone would ever hear them. I wrote purely because it’s part of who I am. And I loved it.
After a couple years, my voice started coming back. I had more energy, more often. The pain in my hands went away enough to play guitar again. I moved back to LA and started booking some local shows. But I knew I would never stand on a stage the same.
…Till you look back one day and see…
I have a new bravery now—almost like an unofficial credential to teach on hope and healing.
…a slow miracle.”
Andrea is a talented singer and worship leader who recently released the single “All Over Again.” Her favorite TV show is Portlandia. She enjoys turning thoughts and ideas into stories and songs.