Rachel is a singer/songwriter that has to teach us how to pronounce her last name (I know that feeling). Once you encounter her, it will be unnecessary to have to figure out a clever twist to remember her and all that her music is.
Her music is more than a simple song. Her music is a story; her music is a message; her music is a string of melodies that have all tied together through the years to tell and encourage people, like you and me, to love Christ unashamedly, remember who we are and to be love to those we meet.
Her many songs are really one long love song that will continue to ring in the hearts of those who hear and take the time to listen. That’s why it’s a good thing that listening to Rachel is a pretty easy task as her wit and sense of humor draw you in, not only in song, but over coffee, over breaking bread and by simply spending a moment (or ten) to get to know her through her blog and at conference events.
As a young girl, she remembers giving herself wholeheartedly to the Lord when she was 5-years old–right after her brother told her she was going to hell. One might say that statement scared the hell out of her and she has been sold out to Christ ever since!
Growing up in a home where Jesus was loved, she was nurtured in her faith and the giftings that her parents saw in her. Coming from a family that cherished music, her parents encouraged her, not only to play and sing, but also to write. At age six, she did just that. She always loved writing over playing the songs that were given to her to learn–a songwriter from the get-go. That encouragement and upbringing as a young child has laid a foundation to the many things she does now as a grown women, wife to Derek, artist, writer, speaker, author, friend, former nurse…and even as a dog-mommy.
My first encounter with Rachel was several years ago at a songwriting retreat in Nashville, TN. What impressed me very quickly and distinctly when we first met was her heart to encourage others. When I told Rachel of this first impression her reply was “It’s funny to think that you consider me an encourager. I used to be so blunt, type A. I pretty much ran people over. It wasn’t intentional, but I just wasn’t great at noticing people, loving people, or caring about others. When a chapel speaker came to my High School and said, ‘You can’t love God unless you love people – because God is crazy about people,’ I was immediately convicted. I couldn’t get that Word of truth out of my mind. At the end of that chapel time I prayed and asked God to help me love people. To have compassion.”
Very soon after that cry to the Lord, God began using the circumstances of her life to mold her, to change her, and to give her a heart that was more like Jesus and less like her old self. Through the rapid decline of her health and increasing chronic pain, the Lord answered her prayer and gave Rachel a heart of compassion, empathy and genuine love for people, just as she had so faithfully asked.
Still, to this day, Rachel finds great joy in helping people move to a place of break through and into a place of surrender and obedience to God. Why surrender and obedience? In Rachel’s own words she says, “The main reason is because joy and surrender are directly correlated. The more I surrender to God the more joy I have in life. And I want others to experience this. It’s completely mind-blowing the joy and deep relationship God longs to have with us. But most people never discover it. In my sphere of influence or platform – whatever the Lord provides – I want to help people discover that. To experience deep down joy. To know what it means to love people outrageously, even when they don’t “deserve” it. Because none of us really deserve it.”
Her heart can be seen clearly in the songs she has written. From her album Finally Home, in the upbeat song “Let Yourself Be Loved” she tells the listener ‘There’s healing if you choose to let His blood wash over you. His arms are always reaching. C’mon let yourself be loved…Everyday every moment, you are treasured, you are chosen. He will never stop, never stop loving you.”
Off of the same album, the song “First Street (Wrap Your Love All Around)” tells of Rachel’s encounters with everyday people and the simple acts of compassion we can all share when we simply reach out to others in love.
The extra beautiful thing about the album, “Finally Home,” is the companion devotional that accompanies it. Rachel’s music is packed with powerful lyrics, stirring melodies, truth and insight. It’s more than an album it’s a whole Bible class if you take advantage of all she has to offer.
It is not surprising that her music is more than a simple album, but a full fledged ministry because of her passion and the things that get her moving each day in spite of her physical pain. Rachel is, “passionate about helping people have light-bulb moments with God.”
To her, “It’s not enough to pass out information. I want to inspire revelation so that it leads to transformation. I’m crazy about helping people get to know Jesus, to grow deeper, and to have their lives so illuminated and oriented by God that everything about them changes. I love to speak, to dive into God’s Word and use music, words, and laughter to make those ‘aha’ moments happen – fueled by the power and provision of the Holy Spirit.”
Each week, Rachel puts out #SpiritualNuggets, which are her ‘aha’ moments that she has almost daily as she spends time in the Word and then passes these revelations on to us to be encouraged and transformed.
Her heart for transformation is strong because she is one that KNOWS. She knows how God has transformed her and is continuing to transform and heal. In talking about her music, she shares, “Many of my songs are sprinkled with references to pain, suffering or depression. I think it’s in suffering when we start to hear God’s voice more clearly. Writing from this place has somehow allowed my audiences and tribe to connect more deeply to me, my music, and the God I sing about.”
Through all of her the music, the great message that Rachel longs to share with us, the listener, is this…that we know we are loved no matter what! Rachel states, “Life is hard. Don’t minimize your pain. Maximize your God. He is immeasurably more than all you could think, need, or imagine. And He’s waiting for you and wooing you. Just show up.”
On her latest album, Detour, one of the most powerful songs comes from Rachel’s heart for the Lord and his heart for His people to know who they are in His eyes, called “Says I Am”.
When I asked Rachel about her identity, her title or label as a singer/songwriter, speaker, blogger etc., her powerful response echoed her latest hit song, “Says I Am” and the message she shares so articulately.
“Titles are hilarious. Each week I think I try something new either out of insecurity, the Holy Spirit, or indigestion. I’m thankful my real identity doesn’t come from the hats I wear or try on. I’m simply a child of God. I just hope I can be that kid who invites the other kids to come play, to come enjoy God too.
The biggest phrase or truth that has shaped my identity is this: I am who the GREAT I AM says I am.
Sorry, but your opinion just doesn’t matter that much. I love you and want you to like me. But I’m far more concerned about who Jesus says I am. And I’m incredibly grateful my identity isn’t rooted in my failures, successes, or titles.
One of the key misconceptions of our culture today is that if we will just look within ourselves we will find ourselves. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is, the more I try to be ‘Me,’ the worse I get. However, the more I try to be like Jesus – the more I become the real me. Essentially God knows exactly how He’s wired us. When we lean into His viewpoint of who we are – we end up discovering and living into the best version of ourselves.
So yes I write songs. I write weekly blogs. I’m working on a book, which frightens the heeby jeebies out of me. But I do it in response to a call to be faithful and obedient. I don’t know what I’m doing, but God does. And He has every resource and contact at His disposal I am going to need to fulfill His purpose for my life. Basically it comes down to trust. If God is prompting you to try on a new hat, or a new title – just be awkward and go for it. It’s more fun if we all dive in and live awkwardly obedient together, don’t you think?”
Those are powerful words for all of us. Along with the continued pressing into writing new music, Rachel has been finding new doors to walk through as a speaker and is currently writing a 40 day/ 8 week Bible study on boldness. The Bible study is based on her already developed “BOLD” Retreat and Conference presentation. If you are looking for a conference speaker, you may want to strongly consider having Rachel at your next event.
I could go on and share so much more about Rachel, her music, her ministry, but we would be here all day. She is kind of like a fresh cup of coffee…you just want one more cup, but you know if you keep drinking it, you will be up all night.
But if you are up for an all-nighter, by all means track her down, follow her on social media and contact her for a great event. This recording artist, speaker, writer and most importantly Child of God is ready to head your way!
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