Alexandria (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
JJ's music has been a lovely accompaniment to my life the last few years. Her voice is one of the most calming I have heard. I have dealt with severe anxiety, depression, and scrupulosity (a religious form of OCD that involves repeated confessions of sins you haven't really committed and a feeling of constant condemnation).
I was a straight-A student and accomplished classical pianist, and had to drop out of school to be hospitalized my senior year of high school (just one form of treatment in the course of many over the years). Finally, a treatment has been helping and I am really beginning to heal.
I feel a close connection to JJ's song "What Love Really Means." Although I grew up in a loving Christian home, my scrupulosity made it so I could NOT experience God's love. Her song poured water into the cracks of my soul, and God has begun to redeem my view of Him the last two years. JJ's songs about her children are so tender and make me excited to one day have children of my own.
Beautiful things are happening in my life now, but as I was walking my dog the other day, my heart was heavy with grief over years lost and dreams buried from my mental illness. "Braver Still" came on, and it was like JJ was speaking my story and infusing it with hope, too. Giving weight to the sorrow while beckoning me to be brave in His love and keep looking for the bright futures that will come.