My Harp Testimony
My journey started in 1992, when my mother and father-in-law suddenly died, the same week, and through unexpected circumstances. Having had a close relationship to both loved ones, I experienced severe depression at this low point in my life. Shortly after, my dad, seeing my pain and grief asked me what might help me to feel better. I exclaimed, "I want to play the harp!" Even though music had been a part of my life since childhood, I knew nothing about the harp or how to even obtain one. I recall seeing small folk harps in a town in Georgia and told my dad I’d like to have one. At that point, he pursued finding that harp and ended up having a gentleman make a special one just for me. It was a Christmas gift given to me a year later.
A few years later, at a dental appointment, my dentist shared that he had gone to a Christmas party at a friend's house and said, "this lady had a room full of harps!" Amazingly, this lady became my first harp teacher. After taking lessons for a while from her, I came to realize that in order to make greater advancements on the harp, I would need a full pedal harp, which was quite expensive! I rented one from my teacher for several years and finally told the Lord, "God, if you want me to have my own pedal harp, I know you will provide one for me! And oh, by the way, Lord, when You grant me my own big harp, I want to name her 'Grace' because of Your Amazing Grace!!"
In 1999, someone locally told me about a full-size pedal harp for sale. Even though my husband, Doug, and I were in the middle of building our dream home and funds were tight, I went to see this harp. The lady, a concert pianist, was most gracious....and her name was Mrs. Cross. Her deceased husband had been a minister. Mrs. Cross and I connected instantly! I came to learn, that two other people were already interested in purchasing the harp, but had to work out financial matters in order to buy it. Mrs. Cross said to me, "I feel such a connection with you....I really want you to have it! I asked her if she had ever named her harp and she replied, "Why Yes, I named her Grace!!" I instantly knew God was telling me that harp would be mine, but alas I didn't know how He would work out the financing. I only knew that what God promises, He fulfills! Doug also knew this harp was destined to be mine. After praying about the matter and feeling led by God to tap into special savings, "Grace" found a new home with me. As it turned out, the other people interested in the harp ended up changing their minds, so it was left for me to purchase. God indeed met the desires of my heart!
Within a year of purchasing this harp, I attended a harp conference. God used this time to speak to My heart again. He began putting a desire in my heart to play in hospitals. Praying continuously about it, God opened a door at a large local hospital that had a Healing Arts Program. I knew a colleague on staff there and I shadowed her as she ministered on the harp to hospital patients. Observing this gave me a true sign that I was being called to minister to the sick and dying as well as their family members and staff. Knowing that I needed a much smaller harp to play bedside music, I began praying that need would be met. Again, God provided faithfully! After visiting Lyon and Healy Harp Factory in Chicago following another harp conference, I found a small lap harp that was perfect for bedside playing! I named that harp "Gracie" (little Grace). Playing for over a decade in 5 different hospitals as well as ministering to hospice patients and families has been extremely rewarding and a true blessing from the Lord!
Wanting to learn even more, I completed my harp therapeutic certification in 2005 by graduating from Music for Healing and Transition Program. This education has given me even greater knowledge in how to best minister to patients in various illness situations. In the meantime, playing the harp for others began to heal me of my own depression. I felt like a new person!
Around 2003, God used many people to speak to me about recording my first CD. In the fall of 2005, my first CD, "Rest for Your Soul" was recorded and released. The peace and comfort this CD has brought to people has been an answer to prayer! A thousand CD's sold the first year and have circulated all over the world. While I was recording this CD, God spoke to my heart and said more CD's would be forthcoming in recording. I realized my calling from God and had a great desire to see people's lives changed through my testimony and heartfelt music. My second CD, "Gift for the Giver", a Christmas Collection, was released in the Fall of 2006 and then the following year, 2007, "Silhouette of Strings" was released that includes many favorites most requested by her listeners. My CD's are available for purchase in a number of fine home decor shops, hospital gift shops and on this website.
In 2004, God once again spoke to me to take my business cards to a special Tea Room. Feeling God's strong leading to go there, I soon obeyed. The following week, a lady inquired of my services to play for a special Christmas luncheon. Again, a heartfelt connection was made by phone and the lady shared that she was on the Board of Directors for a Music Conservatory and they had been praying for a harp instructor. Little did this lady know that God had been speaking to me about teaching harp. I had been a piano teacher for over 30 years with a B. A. degree in Piano/Vocal Music Education. Even though I had never taught the harp, I knew it was a very difficult instrument to master and teaching it would be quite a challenge. I related my experience to Moses being told by God to speak on behalf of the Israelites to Pharaoh! Committing this in prayer to the Lord seriously, God gave me complete peace and told me in His Word that He would "instruct and guide me on how to teach and provide me with every need." In April, 2004, I started the first harp program at St. Andrews Music Conservatory in Sanford, Florida with a full load of students and taught not only harp but piano lessons as well in addition to my own private home studio. Today, I teach children ages 6 to adults and love every minute of it! I have found my true passion.
God continues to minister through me as I play for weddings, receptions, banquets, corporate functions, parties of all sizes, ministering in churches, sharing my testimony and encouraging others to find their true calling and passion.