Hello! My name is Julie Tarroja Rohrer. I’m a missionaries wife, singer/songwriter, inspirational speaker, advocate for women & mental health, and a lover of all things beautiful! I send love and light to all of you as you take time to read this.
I grew up in a Christian family, the eldest of three. I have two younger brothers. My parents were in full time ministry before I was even born and they still are up to this day. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior at 4 years old. I was blessed growing up in a home where Jesus was upfront and center. I know that helped mold me into the woman I am today. Growing up a Christian didn’t necessarily shield me from pain and trials. In fact I believe God purposely allowed painful thing to happen in my life - to teach me and to make Himself known to me in a personal way. You see growing up, I knew Jesus, in my head but it took me a while to really know Him intimately in my heart.
As a young woman, especially during my early teens I started struggling with my identity and self worth. Even if I was surrounded with love inside my home, there was a battle going one within. I struggled with a deep longing for validation, acceptance, a sense of true belonging. There was a lot of pressure for the outside world and my peers to be perfect. It was difficult for me to talk about how I was feeling to anyone especially to my family. Being the eldest child, I felt a need to always put up strong facade and not show weakness. I know now, this was shame masked and fueled by my pride. "Pride lies to us, daring us to wear masks and put our best foot forward even when we feel like everything is falling apart." (Jorden Lee Dooley).
This was the enemy’s tool to start planting lies like, “you are not good enough!”, “you are unaccepted and unloved!”. Having no-one to talk to about this war waging inside of me, led me down a slippery slope. The rest of my teen years up to my early 20’s was a frantic and desperate effort to take control of my life. To find temporary band-aids to fill void I knew I had inside of me. I fell into lust and sought the “validation” I thought I needed in relationships. All of which ended up in heart-break. I had to be humbled. because of my stubbornness and pride,God used my pain, and what the enemy meant for harm to teach me about who He is. That He is good even when I am not. That there was no wound too big, no past too messed up, no heart too broken for Him to heal and restore. He also used my family to show me real unconditional love who patiently prayed for me in times I strayed far from home. I learned the hard way. God has to show me that is was impossible to find love, affirmation, acceptance, wholeness in someone else other than God.
In the midst of it all, music was a constant companion. I knew early on that music was my passion and calling. In my stubbornness and pride, God still pursued me and found a way to speak my language. He spoke to me through music. God’s words of hope echoed in the songs He enabled me
to write. Music became like a balm that God used to heal, comfort and call me back to Himself. Every opportunity I was given to sing and tell my story felt like a step closer to home. What I didn't know was that He was doing something even greater! As music poured out, those who listened identified with the stories behind each song. In effect people were touched and encouraged. They too were getting glimpses of God’s hope and love. I felt humbled and honored at the same time that He still chose to use me, broken as I am, to be His mouthpiece. God lead me to this verse.
The Ashes To Beauty will Blog will also be launching soon. This will be the avenue to reach out to those who cannot make it to the events. Resources like devotionals, art and other things to help people in their journey will be available for download. Eventually we want to be able to be equipped in mentoring and counseling. To help people dealing with emotional and mental health issues. We will do this by partnering with organizations and professional counsellors that will assist in nurturing the community.
A God-sized dream is possible only by His grace, provision and power. I am honored to serve God along-side my husband Paul. He is in full-time
ministry with Every Nation Ministries as a campus minister and missionary. Together we have the opportunity reach out and share Gods love to this generation and the next. Do keep us in your prayers as we continue pursue Gods call! We speak blessing upon you and your families!
Love & Light
Julie Tarroja Rohrer
"There is BEAUTY in acknowledging the struggle & the scars.
There is HOPE in seeing the triumphs of others when being in a community.
There is COURAGE in the knowing that you are not alone. "
It started with this song.
I know I tell better stories through songs. Music is like a second language to me, it really is universal & I believe is one of the most powerful gifts given to man. Time & again I have seen how it has radically changed lives in ways other things couldn't. For myself I can speak for, & I can say it definitely changed mine. And I have learned most of my life lessons with music by my side like a best friend, I wouldn't have lived, learned (w/c I still am) & wouldn't be here to tell the tale if not for the power of music. The healing, the comfort, & often times even rebuke that it brings. But a gentle rebuke that it. That's the gift of music, it can soothe one's soul even in the midst of deep pain. It can cut across the noise & the sham. It holds you in the tension & stays with you there until rest can be found. I can go on about this, & will be doing so in my next posts. For the meantime, I do want to share with you this particular song in my new album (ASHES TO BEAUTY). In the record, this song in was well arranged decked out with a full band, horn section, vocal harmonies - the works! - which was all great because I did want to put GRIT & let the emotion of the song emulate into every element of the production. This arrangement though (see video above), is the other side of the song. It's the soft center. In it's original & raw form - which is how it was written. I share this with high hopes that the message behind it would be heard louder this way. Without the noise. Just words, the melody & a heart that reaches out in song. The song is really about choosing to come clean, undone, no frills or fancy & to stand up to embrace your own story & know you do not have to go through it alone. That even in the midst of your mess, there is hope. That your ashes can be turned into something beautiful.
I stand and I smile like I"m strong
And I hide behind this curtain of light saying to myself
I am where I belong as I bear myself in this song
You hear who I am, would you care to sing along?
Do you feel you're in a desert place
And everything's unknown
No comfort in what used to be
Nothing feels like home
Quiet is your scream for help
Fear may have set in
But understand you're not alone
I can hear you from within
And I don't mind as long as I find
One familiar feeling
Here I stand letting you know
There is someone else here who is healing
Will you stand with me as we face this fire
Let this burning truth let it purify
Every part of me & in the end we'll see
That all of these Ashes will be turned to Beauty
We've fallen for less lovers oh so easily
Believed in all their promises that turned out to be
But mirages in the distance blinding our eyes
From seeing the One who can truly satisfy
Now all that's left is buried in the sand
But I believe what is to come
Is already beautiful before it can begin
A new dawn is near at hand
- Ashes To Beauty (music & lyrics by Julianne Tarroja)