I grew up in Hickory, North Carolina. Iím one of uh 12 children. Iím number 7, actually of 12 children, right in the middle. So, it influenced me just simply being in a crowded family like that, you know, the entertainer kind of came out of me just because I wanted to get attention. I wanted somebody to know who I was. That kind of developed over the years, and I found that God had given me a gift of music that I didnít really know I possessed until later on in life. So, I went from doing music in just my home and in my church to actually playing for other people and I thought maybe there was something there, so I actually left home in í96 and moved to Hollywood, California, where I ended up homeless for about a year and half. And things didnít go the way I planned. I was really ill-prepared, to say the least.
But during that whole process, God really used that to allow me to grow, to depend on Him. You know, when I was in the position where I didnít feel like I had anything, I didnít know where I was going to sleep, I didnít know where I was going to eat, I didnít know any of these things, and so it drove me closer to God. And I believe thatís why my faith is so strong now is just because of that desert experience that I had there in California.
I think a lot of times people believe that Christians donít deal with the same type of experiences that go on in life, but Iíve lived it, but Iíve lived through it because of the grace of God, and Heís given me strength to get through it. So, I want to tell people that side of it. I want the people to know the realness of it, but I also want to give people hope at the same time, because there is hope. You know, thatís why Iím here today.