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“I don’t have a big enough heart for all this love!” I groaned to my roommate Kelsey as we crossed the street. It had been yet another amazing night at Wild Ones, the youth program I’m currently addicted to. Last night we had a rooftop pre-4th party complete with lights, BBQ and dance floor. As per usual, as long as the music was blasting- I was dancing. But this time I was dancing with girls that I’ve been getting to know and love over the last 9 months…and my heart was now spilling over.
I came out to LA to pursue a career in acting. Which ended up looking more like behind the scenes production work. Which turned into music. Which turned into music and Muay Thai. And now…now this. Something so much better than I could have ever imagined. (Though I’m still into music and MT) Before moving to LA my wildest dreams looked like Broadway, a concert tour, travel, adventure, and performance. What I have now is love, hearts, and home. Every time I walk into that youth room- or the “Underground” as we like to call it- and a girl sees me and lights up, my heart surges. Every time I sing on that stage and see one more teen experience a moment with their good Father, I can’t believe it’s real. I thought what I wanted was a stage, but every new heart I discover God’s artistry in is worth a thousand stages and a million spotlights.
In the last 9 months I’ve fallen in love with a group of wild, wonderful, and purpose-painted young people. I still write songs, I still love to perform, but now it’s for more than an audience, it’s for a family. I could care less about nameless masses who know my face if I can’t know their heart. I want to know, and experience and love the people I pour my art and soul into. The stage holds an electricity, but an individual heart pulses lightning.
I’m so honored to get to know these youth, and now I get to help some of these beauties get to camp! I wish you could meet each one of them! Yohanna has the most beautiful smile and her eyes are like a soothing summer night. Every time I see her my heart sighs. She truly has an elegance about her that breathes mystery. She and her best friends Imani and Mia all got baptized together a month or so ago, and I captured a moment after they emerged from the water. In the middle of the mayhem of other people preparing to be baptized and youth leaders singing, I saw these three in a long embrace. It was as though time stood still and heaven was dripping light onto them- mingling it’s gold with their water and tears. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. Together they declared to the world that they are undeniably and irrevocably daughters of the King.
Then there’s De Ana. She has extraordinary talent, but you’ll find a lot of that in this town. What you wont see a lot of are motives like hers. Wherever she goes she relentlessly pursues the heart of her King. She loves music, dancing and theater, but she’ll have none of it if it’s not leading her to a place where she can love people and make the name of Jesus famous. I cried the night she played her beautiful song at the Wild Ones gathering. And when she was done I ran up and nearly lifted her off of her feet. I’m so proud of this girl and can’t wait to see where God takes her!
I wish I could tell you stories of all the girls I’ve gotten to know, and hold, and thump with pillows over the last few months. I’m going to do my best to introduce more of them to you as the days and weeks continue, because they are becoming my life and they are dazzling my heart. For now, I hope you enjoy the snapshots of my last 9 months in the video.
In a city like LA, so many youth don’t have both parents in their lives, any parents in their lives, or loving role models. I’m so honored to be a part of a program filled with leaders that genuinely love these youth and sacrifice time, money and love to make sure they know how valuable they are. And I’m so excited to spend 3 days with them at camp!!! If you decide to invest in our team- in these wild ones that I love- I thank you with all my heart. All my everlovingheart!!!!! And I will personally record a ridiculous thank you video just for you, and post it for all to see! Haha.
But regardless, I’m honored that you took time to take this glimpse into my adventure.