I have been fairly transparent, on this page, regarding my journey through 2016. In that, I have touched a little on how the band Hillsong United has been a part of that journey. To other people this may sound a bit ridiculous as they are a band and I do not actually know them. It all began with a very broken Sunday morning in church, and a song whose lyrics seemed to dig into my vulnerability in a way I had never experienced before. Through a discussion with a friend, and a chain of events which unfolded from there, I ended up resting my aching, tired spirit to music from Hillsong United. Through each leg of the journey, this year, a new song would reach me, balm me and grow me forward.
I had a very selfless, special friend who had really helped me out and I wanted to do something for her so I bought us tickets to see Hillsong in Boise, in May. I was in a very raw time, my youngest had nearly died from alcohol poisoning, 2000 miles from where I lived. My marriage was at it’s lowest point and while my tendency would have been to feel hopeless about the future, I found myself content to rest exactly where I was. Things could not have been more uncertain for me, and yet for the first time ever, I was ok with whatever were to happen.
I walked into that show, excited to hear the songs performed, which had meant so much to me. I left that show moved in ways I could not have imagined. Things had been said and spoken on that stage, and within the crowd, which led to personal healing and grace (from me towards myself and others in my life) like I had never experienced. I did not walk out those doors, on that starry night, the same person who had walked in them.
A few months later I was able to give tickets to a reader, and see them again in Chicago. While it was a different experience, it was no less meaningful.
Earlier this week I was honored to get to have a phone call with Taya Smith, of Hillsong United. While yes, I am a huge fan (and do follow her and several other members on various forms of social media) I also really admire and respect her as a person. Over the years I have sat across from many celebrities, interviewing and talking, but where Taya is concerned, it felt completely different. My respect for her is more human and less celebrity awe. I think a lot of this, honestly, has to do with their transparency as people. Anyone who has seen them perform, or who has even seen their documentary, can tell you that they aren’t performers as much as people living their passion and loving others. There is a difference…
My call with Taya was a really great, and fitting end to this leg of my journey and the part that she has played in my growth and healing. I would love to play the audio for you so you can hear the sincerity in her answers. Instead, on Monday, I will post the write up of our conversation. I really contemplated a series of nine questions and knew that, while I would not have time to ask her all of them, I could let it flow organically and go to the questions which seemed to naturally flow. I was able to get in three. Much to my daughter’s sadness, I did not get to ask the Justin Bieber question that she believes her future/marriage/and happiness were riding on. (Oh well, Next time.)