From Blue Hands to New Hands! It was an era of new birth and fresh beginnings in Australia. The early 80s saw the emergence of shoulder pads, big hair and lycra…and amidst this fashion disaster I was born! Not long before my birth my parents experienced their own rebirth; they became Christians as young adults: born into new hope, new purpose and a whole new life. They hadn’t been part of a church before that, but the family environment at the local church saw their new faith flourish. I grew up in this faith community, and I was just a regular Aussie kid who was really blessed to know about God’s love.
What many people don’t know is I was actually born with something wrong with my hands. Every night as a baby they would swell up and turn blue, because the skin around my wrists was too tight for the blood to flow. This impacted my ability to move my hands properly. I was booked into hospital to have an operation to fix it- a distressing prospect for my new parents. The night before the operation my parents went to church, and after the service they mentioned that I was booked into hospital the next day. One of the men there said “have you prayed about it?” Surprised, they said “no...can you pray about that stuff?” “Absolutely!” he replied. And so together they prayed that God would heal me. Nothing visible happened that night however, and after the prayer my parents took me home.
Well the next day my parents couldn’t believe their eyes because I woke up without swollen hands! They thought ‘what’s going on, that’s weird!’ Mum actually thought “Oh great! Of all mornings to have healthy hands…now the doctors will question the problem!” Never thinking I was actually better, they took me to hospital for the scheduled surgery and the doctors looked at me and said that the problem was totally healed! My parents realised with amazement that God had answered their prayers! I never needed the operation and my parents took home a healthy baby. For mum, this was a defining moment where she understood that God really cared for them in a personal way.
My dad said he knew from that moment that my hands would belong to God, and that God would somehow use my hands for His purposes. In the years that followed I started learning music, began writing songs, and was encouraged to play at church. Over many years, this has now grown into a full time music ministry, taking me across the country to play at many churches, conferences and events, doing training with church musicians and releasing several albums. My latest album saw a dream come true for me, working with Grammy-nominated producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Amy Grant and Kari Jobe) in Nashville, USA. I believe music is a powerful way to minister God’s love, and I play keyboard and guitar today for His glory with totally healthy hands!
God’s purpose for me has unfolded over many years, from childhood to adulthood, shaped through times of both blessing and adversity. As the journey continues, I hold to the words of Ephesians 2:10 “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” What a wonderful thing it is to belong to Him, and to know that the Creator of the whole earth has a purpose for each one of us. He makes all things new: new life, new seasons, new spiritual birth, new hope, new purpose…and in my case, new hands!
- To hear Bel’s latest song, click here
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