This super talented Country Christian duo has been on my radar since I saw a live recording session that was posted on Facebook of them singing. Since then I've had the pleasure of seeing them perform at numerous places around Colorado and Wyoming. I knew that they loved God and have a passion for loving on people and sharing Jesus so I was sure that they both had amazing Brave Stories to tell. Make sure to look them up on Instagram @the_damsels and follow them on Facebook. Here's Miss Keenie Word and Aubree Bullock's Brave Story!
Standing on the shore...
Aubree: I was blessed to have been raised in a loving Christian home with my three siblings by our wonderful mother and father. I came to know the Lord as my personal Savior at a very young age during Vacation Bible School. It was then that I asked the Lord to come into my heart. I am thankful that I have grown up knowing that God loves me and is there for me always. A few other factors that encouraged me to grow in my faith were growing up in a Bible-based church, attending Christian schools and being part of the praise and worship team at church. My mom and dad were, and still are, wonderful examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ. I can say I am truly blessed to have such wonderful memories of my childhood because of both of them and the many sacrifices they made for my siblings and I. My mom and sister are my best friends and are both wonderful Godly examples of how to be a woman of God in todays day and age. They have both showed me over and over again through how they continue to trust God and look to Him in the small details of everyday life, even when they have had major heartbreaks and challenges in their lives. I hope one day to be half the wives, moms, sisters and friends they both are.
Keenie: I was raised in a Christian home by wonderful Godly parents. I remember accepting Christ as my personal Savior when I was 6 years old with my grandma while driving down the road. Although I loved God and knew I needed Him in my life, I didn't fully comprehend how badly until I turned eleven and my dad passed away. The summer of 2006 my dad was killed by a horse and my world and everything I knew leading up until that point was completely shattered. It was then I decided to get baptized and truly have a personal relationship with Christ. There comes a point in everyone's life when they'll have to decide that they choose to follow Christ because it's what they want to do and not what their family or friends might insist on. For me, it's so humbling to know that no matter what, God will never love me anymore than He does right now in this moment. I don't have to work for His love.
He calls my name...
Aubree: When I was 16, I was riding one of our young horses and got bucked off and broke my L-1 Vertebrae. Thankfully, there was no permanent damage although as a 16 year old I was devastated that I wouldn’t be able to compete in cross country anymore and could only wonder if I would be ready for tennis season in the spring. During this time a friend of mine gave me a card that said, “God Never Wastes a Wound.” Little did I know God was going to use this time to “clear” my schedule and have me focus on one thing…my singing. Up to this point I had been singing at my home church, coffee shops, and local talent shows but I hadn’t truly pursued it beyond that.
Keenie: I think throughout my life I've experienced a lot of pain when it comes to the loss of loved ones and for me it's reassuring to know that God sent His only son to die for me and my sins so that I too can spend eternal life with Him. That's a love like I've never known before. Every time I think I have a problem I have to remind myself of the scarifies that were made for me and that the God I worship has also experienced pain far greater than anything I can imagine, but He did it for me.
Stepping into the waves...
Aubree: So, at my moms urging I decided to record my first “official cd” titled Heartfelt. During this time, I learned a lot about not only my voice but about the music business as well. I then began to sing at many local cowboy churches and events throughout Colorado. Shortly after, I was introduced to an organization called ICMA (Inspirational Country Music Association.) I attended a conference they held in Nashville and met so many wonderful and Godly people who encouraged me and guided me through my next steps. I then recorded an Inspirational Country album in Nashville called “That’s Life.” This lead to being named Female Vocalist of the Year for King Country Agape Fest and being voted top five for Female Vocalist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year through ICMA. After I graduated high school, I toured with a Christian Evangelist, Tommy Brandt and his family and sang at various Cowboy Churches and events with them. Tommy and his family were very instrumental in helping me continue to develop and pursue my singing as a career. A year later, I received a Facebook message from Billy Aerts, who was friends with a musician who had played on the cd I had just recorded. Billy Aerts was a producer out of Nashville and had been working with a girl from South Dakota named Keenie Word. He was looking for a female singer to put with her to make a girl duo. Later that month I meet up with Keenie and her mother at Cheyenne Frontier Days. We sang Amazing Grace over the phone to Billy. From there it is all history. Keenie and I became “The Damsels.” That fall we recorded our first EP titled “Trucks Are For Girls.” Since then we have recorded and written many songs and have been blessed to have had numerous and wonderful experiences and opportunities. We have had the opportunity to open for big names such as Martina McBride, The Band Perry, LoCash Cowboys, Neal McCoy, Josh Gracin. We also performed for the PBR and sang ten nights during the NFR finals at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We are beyond blessed to have many wonderful sponsors come alongside us through our journey and help keep us looking stylish! This past year we were honored to be part of the Wrangler National Cowgirls Tour. Keenie, Billy Aerts and I, along with three other past rodeo queens and Rob Powers of American 300, traveled to three US Military Bases throughout Africa. Keenie and I sang for our troops and we were all able to see what the troops went through on a daily basis and spend time connecting with them. It will for sure be an experience I will never forget and one that will always impact my life. I now have even more respect for those serving and those who have served in our military and their families.
Keenie: The first and probably the hardest step I had to take in my walk with the Lord was surrendering all to Him. This isn't a one time struggle, I wake up everyday and surrender to God and hand Him my worries, insecurities and doubts. It's a never ending process and it seems like God deeply enjoys humbling me each and everyday.
Don't look back...
Aubree: It’s always scary to step out and take the first step no matter what you are doing. I have had many new experiences and adventures so far in my life. Each time I come to a new step on my journey it’s just as scary as the last. From the first time I stepped on the stage and sang in front of a crowd, to making a cd, to the first time traveling to sing places without my mom (who had never missed seeing me perform), to starting a new venture with The Damsels, to flying across the world to Africa… God for sure knows how to get us to step out of our comfort zones so He can show us that HE alone is our comfort zone! I am naturally a shy person and have been the type who is afraid of making the wrong decision or not being good enough. I have come to find that if I just ask God to guide me He will open the doors He wants me to go through and shut the ones I should stay way from. What a great feeling to know that God knows what is best for me and I don’t need to worry or be fearful!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “
Keenie: I think my greatest fear would have to be worrying about living a Godly lifestyle. I pray everyday that God will take the gifts and talents that He has given me and use them for His power and His glory. As hard as I try not to mess up in life I've determined that it's inevitable. I'm a sinner by nature but I'm saved through Him.
Reaching for His hand...
Aubree: I have learned many things so far in life… but the best piece of advice I’ve had is to, “Let go and Let God.” I am still nowhere close to knowing what God’s calling for my life is or where I am going to end up. However, I am so glad that I trust in a caring and loving God that has my life planned out far better than anything I can ever imagine or dream of on my own. Yes, there will be many bumps and bruises along this road we travel called life, but with God by our side we have no reason to worry if we just give our lives fully to Him to use for his glory and purpose!
Keenie: Looking back now there's not one thing that I would change. Everything that has occurred in my life has happened for a reason and it's brought me to a place where I'm able to tell my testimony and share with others the love and grace one can receive by accepting Christ as their Savior.
Aubree: Life becomes so much easier when we begin to learn and see that God is God of all. He doesn’t owe me an explanation or reasons to His plans. Even though it’s hard sometimes we have to remember, “When we can’t see God’s hand, we must trust His heart.” Let me tell you, it is so worth it to step out and let God take you where He has planned for you in life. I have had so many wonderful experiences and memories and am so excited to see what the rest of my story holds!
Keenie: Since accepting the Lord into my life I can definitely say it's changed for the better. There will always be trials and tribulations that I'll have to go through but no matter what I'll never have to go through them alone