A couple of years ago I joined the Twitter community. Actually twice. The first time burnt out quickly. Then God spoke to me with a plan. He opened the door to minister His love through Twitter – nothing more than prayer and love. The perfect emanation of His image. I was waiting for an opportunity to do His work and it had come to me. A person’s heart is seen through the eyes of their soul To see this, brings tremendous compassion. God blessed me with the ability to see vulnerable, honest, and humble hearts. He told me to pray for anyone whose heart came upon my heart. So I did. It has been a blessing.
Near the beginning, and I don’t remember exactly how, I came across Julie Bernstein – her testimony, her music, her heart. I became immediately attracted to the music she wrote as it contained so much of her testimony and was a style of music I liked. This marriage of experience and music taught me true soul in ministering to people through music is born of our experience in the Lord. I have since often felt Julie and I are kindred spirits as I see her heart,humble and vulnerable, through music with such clarity.
Following are questions I asked her as I invited her into this community of loving believers -ever-growing. It is a blessing she agreed to do this. My hope is to convey that music is not notes from a string but worship to God from our hearts filled by God, Himself. Julie shows this to be true. Kindred spirit, loving sister-in-Christ.
Her website is: JulieBernsteinMusic.com
My conversation with Julie
1) In your ‘About’ section of your website it said you watched clouds and listened to the wind. Those are heartwarming descriptions of your childhood. Do you believe your passion for music and, more importantly, life itself began to grow in your heart with your keen sense of the world around you early on?
My parents (and family and others) have described me as sensitive … as feeling things really deeply, and this translated into everything. According to my mom, if there was something that was concerning me, I would shut the world out … I was so involved in what was concerning me. … and I would reach a ‘depth’ that they (my parents) didn’t know how to ‘touch’ or ‘reach.‘ They couldn’t reach my heart by talking because I would completely shut the world out. Playing music would sometimes help with that, talking didn’t. I would hurt for me, I would hurt for others, but I also experienced great joy & elation when things were going really well! I had a really happy childhood! I loved growing up in a large family! But I just felt certain things really deeply.
Music was something I wanted to do from the beginning, from as early as I can remember. I wanted to take lessons, I wanted to learn, I loved listening to beautiful music, and I loved making beautiful music. I loved excelling and doing well for my teacher. And it just genuinely felt good on the inside to be good at something! I knew from an early age that my life would be in music. I didn’t know what it was going to look like, but I remember just knowing at an early age that that’s what I would do.
I do think my sensitivity affected my interpretation of the world around me early on. I lived in the country, so there were lots of different sounds than what you’d hear in a city. And I loved it. I was a really happy kid, I laughed a lot! But I also loved to just go outside and ‘watch the world’ and ‘listen to the world,’ paying attention to the littlest of details of the biggest of things. Including music.
2) Did you believe at that time there was a perfect life waiting for you?
I don’t think so. I didn’t look into the future so much.
3) Did you have a good idea in your heart and mind who Jesus was at a young age?
I knew the ‘Jesus’ from stories and pictures, & hearing about him but I didn’t know him as Saviour until much later. I definitely felt His presence at 2 marked times in my childhood, but I didn’t know what to call it. I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit could actually be present in the ‘now.’ The first time I felt His presence was on a day where I stayed home from school and was reading the bible (I was in early elementary school). I was reading the Psalms and Revelation and I remember reading verses like “I will praise his name in the great assembly” and other verses about loving the Lord with my whole heart. I said to myself, “I was MADE for this. This is what I was meant to do!” And immediately the presence came (of course, I didn’t know what it was) but it completely filled the room. I didn’t want to leave! I didn’t want it to stop! It was amazing!!! So I just kept reading the Word and enjoying His presence in that moment.
4) Did playing music bring a comfort to you like daydreaming watching clouds and listening to the wind? In other words, was (and is) playing and listening to music more than just sound and notes with feeling? Is feeling something in music the same as being passionate about it? Or, are they the same?