Small but Important Beginnings
This journey of worship, music and song-writing began for me when I was 6 years old in the little piano room of Mrs O’Connor of Balheary, Swords, Co.Dublin. Every Wednesday after school my older sister Alison and I went for our weekly piano lesson. I wish I could say I absolutely loved it. The truth is that I tolerated it.
There were times when I reckoned I got on better by not practising. Many weeks I chanced my arm and arrived for my lesson unprepared. I remember, on a couple of occasions my granny stating “Ruth never practises!” I didn’t exactly feel a passion inside me to be playing scales, classical pieces and doing sight-reading. Despite all that, I managed to get through the exams hoping that it would get easier and that my teacher would become less strict! Nothing changed over night.
A Glass of Club Orange and a Club Milk Bar
I think my favourite time of the year was the last piano lesson before the summer holidays when we got a glass of Club Orange and a Club Milk bar. That was definitely the highlight! I knew then I was free for a number of weeks and didn’t plan on visiting the piano until the last week of August.
Many times I wanted to give up but my parents pushed me to keep going and as hard as it was I am grateful now. I am living proof that we should not despise the days of small beginnings!
Turning a corner
Eventually, in 1997, I began to turn a corner and for the first time enjoyed playing. I think I was on grade 5 when I felt a real desire for it. I began to sit and play for myself at home and soon enough discovered a love for writing songs.
When I was in my final 2 years of secondary school we had a music teacher called Mr McKenzie. I’m not sure we covered much of what was on the curriculum but we did write songs week in, week out. From time to time we played the songs we had written at a concert he arranged.
I began to write worship songs
A couple of years later I began writing worship songs inspired by my journey with God. Through the ups and downs of different seasons, the waiting times and the periods of not knowing what was ahead I held onto God and wrote what He imparted to me from His own heart . I was inspired by my encounters with Him. Sometimes I composed through tears but He always uplifted me and continued to pour new melodies into my spirit from His.
Studying Music and Creative Arts at Hillsong
In 2007 I went to Australia to study Worship and Creative Arts at Hillsong International Leadership College. It was there that I further developed song-writing. I also learned that to be led by the Spirit in worship is key to truly connecting with God. It is easy to just sing songs out of routine, but it is a totally different experience to be moved by His Spirit into a life-changing, face-to-face encounter with Him as we worship.
I have seen that those kind of encounters bring many manifestations of healing, comfort, peace and restoration because God responds to those who are hungry to meet with Him. We cannot be in His presence and come away unchanged.
This Present Season
Today I am passionate about leading people in worship in a way which allows them to have deep and impacting encounters with God. He wants to connect with His people. We come to give Him praise and thanks but He always gives back to us in worship. We get on our knees before Him and bring an offering but then we find Him on His knees willing to wash our feet.
Worship is giving and receiving, a beautiful expression of our love relationship with the Father. I love the uniqueness of celtic music and believe that Ireland holds a sound that will bring healing and restoration to many lives. This is what I desire to develop as I dig deep into the ancient celtic sounds and bring a contemporary twist. I still feel as though I am very much at the beginning of this journey of digging for the treasure He has for His people in this nation but I am excited as I anticipate what will unfold as we raise up an age-old foundation of beautiful and unique sounds.
I hope you are truly blessed and encouraged as you join with me in worshiping our beautiful and loving Saviour, Jesus. He is the planter of desires, dreams and passions and the One who joyfully and supernaturally brings us from our small beginnings to a wonderful, extraordinary and magnificent completion!