Rachel Zello is a fun and passionate woman whose zeal is obvious and contagious! She reaches out for life with both hands, and is not afraid to speak of her journey of faith as well as the struggles that come with, and how that journey has led her to where she is right now. She’s made bold steps borne out of her belief of what God has said to her, and her personal testimony is breathtakingly inspiring. Rachel took the time to visit with TBAP and talk about her faith walk and her journey in music. Take a look!
Miranda ~ Hello Rachel! Lovely to have you visit TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Rachel: I love cats, coffee, Jesus, worship, and my family. I’m happily married to a marine and we have one cat. My hobbies include long bubble baths and fostering bottle baby kittens through our local SPCA. I have one younger brother and I’ve lived in Virginia for the majority of my life. However, I grew up as a missionary kid and have traveled to over 25 countries. My favorite colors are turquoise, burgundy, and black. I love nature documentaries and basically anything but horror. Unlike most, I actually love cold weather and love rainy days.
Miranda ~ How did you come to know Jesus?
Rachel: I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was a little girl, but to be honest, I don’t really remember it. That being said, at kid’s camp, church, etc., I would always “re-ask” to be in a relationship with Jesus, not realizing I didn’t have to do it over and over again. It wasn’t until I went through a traumatic situation when I was 14 that I experienced God’s love on a level I never had before. I began to read the Bible all of the time, fell in love with God’s character and began to discover my identity in Him. He met me in my brokenness and I had a hope I could cling to until I eventually found myself totally healed. Jesus was the only one who understood what I was going through because He never once left me. He has continued to be reliable and faithful throughout the years and I couldn’t live my life without including Him in every part of it.
Miranda ~ What led you to music, and, when did you know it was time to go professional?
Rachel: I’ve always enjoyed singing and was involved in worship teams for years, and led in music overseas on mission trips. I enjoyed karaoke and playing gigs at local establishments. It was actually never my goal or even a dream of mine to pursue music as a profession. It was more of a hobby and something I knew I was gifted in. After high school, I studied hard to go into the medical field. I got accepted with a full ride to nursing school, and two weeks before my classes started, a ministry opportunity opened up and I began to not have the same peace about pursuing nursing for that time in my life. I took a step of faith and can honestly say that I haven’t regretted that decision once. It wasn’t until about a year after that doors opened to pursue my music ministry professionally.
Miranda ~ In light of faith, how would you describe the journey of God delivering His promises in your life, even as you wait for other promises?
Rachel: My faith has definitely strengthened throughout the journey of God fulfilling His promises in my life. I had to learn to wait well and trust Him. I believe God’s promises are true, but I definitely don’t think they always come to fruition overnight. However, there is a good reason for that. All throughout Scripture there are waiting periods where faith is tested before He fulfills His promise. God wants to know that you trust Him fully with the outcome even if you may not understand it. He created time and is not confined by it. His timing is perfect, and personally, that makes it easier for me to trust Him in my waiting. I have control of how I wait. I’ve learned that waiting is active: Actively spending time with God by reading Scripture, seeking, surrendering, praying, serving, and worshipping. He has proven Himself to be faithful in my life. I’ve waited many times on knowing what step to take next, on healing, on instruction and guidance, on prayers to be answered. God has never failed me. It’s been very hard at times, but I have to go against what my flesh wants: to doubt, feel discouraged, unseen, uncared for and unheard. Instead, I have to remember to actively wait and trust God. Trust that His timing is always perfect and His intentions are always pure, and that He is never against me.
Miranda ~ Your love for fashion is obvious! When did you embrace this part of yourself, and, when did your journey with personal fashion begin?
Rachel: As a kid, I was such a tomboy. I remember when my mom would garden, I’d ask her to find worms for me to play with. You’d always find me outside making forts and getting dirty. I hated pink and purple, and style was never something I personally practiced. However, I’ve always been very creative and appreciated when something looked put together. For example, instead of playing with the barbies, I would dress them all up, set up the entire scene and decorate the house, but would never actually play with them. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I began to find more interest in fashion. Pinks, purples and dresses became a bit more acceptable in my mind, and not just for Sunday morning church. When I was 11, my dad took me on a father-daughter date to NYC to see my favorite musical, “Phantom of the Opera”on Broadway. It was there that I received my first professional manicure and pedicure, and got my first professional haircut and style. I loved it. As I got older, I began to dabble in makeup and found that it allowed me to use my creativity. Now, I love fashion and dressing up, but I also have no shame in showing up at Walmart in PJs and no makeup.
Miranda ~ Tell us a bit about your personal love story. We’d love to hear it!
Rachel: Jordan and I had both just gone through breakups and started attending the same Bible study group, having absolutely no clue that we would be married a couple years later. I definitely wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but man did I think he was cute. We chatted for a bit and life went on without much communication. I actually messaged him on Facebook a while after, inviting him to church and slipped my number to him then. Now, I think it’s quite funny and say that I technically “made the first move.” He is definitely introverted and the quiet type, and if anyone knows me, it’s clear as day that I am the opposite. Toward the beginning of our friendship, I definitely forced him into being my friend. For example, one of the first times we hung out, it was late at night and my girlfriend and I showed up at his house (with his permission of course) and told him we were taking him to Cook Out, a local restaurant. It was probably 2am by the time we drove him back home (now I think, “oh man…poor guy), but we talked for hours about everything in life…okay, I talked mostly and he listened (again, poor guy). Oh, how I love that so much about him.
We continued to hang out in groups together until eventually the group got smaller and smaller and we began to become better friends. We call this stage our 4 months of “flirtationship.”
We have very different love languages, so it took a few months for us to know each other well. Eventually, we were both totally healed from our previous relationships and in spending more time together, we truly became best friends and fell in love with each other’s character. In time, I began to see more of his selflessness and integrity through his actions and word, in how he treated me, my family, his own family, friends, and anyone he encountered. People who knew him only had wonderful things to say, and as the onion continued to peel back, I began loving every layer more and more.
The most difficult time for me in our relationship was when he got deployed overseas for a part of the summer with the Marine Corps and we couldn’t communicate. However, it was then I realized just how deeply in love with him I was, and how I didn’t ever want to live without him. Little did I know, shortly after he got home (by surprising me in coming home a week early), that he bought a ring.
Over the past 6 years, my family and I have spent Christmas (which is also my birthday) and New Years in a home that rescues children from human trafficking. I have relationships with these kids because we go back every year, and they are very close to my heart. In 2018, after dating for about a year and a half, Jordan came with us to India for the first time. The first day there with all of the children around, he proposed. I was in total shock, but I had peace and excitement in my heart. The kids also fell in love with him instantly. Five months later we said, “I do.” With every day that passes, I’m so much more in love with him and grateful to learn and grow by his side.
Miranda ~ What more should we expect from you after the Within The Mystery project? And, do you have other interests besides music that you plan on venturing into professionally—dance, film, cuisine, cosmetics etc.?
Rachel: I plan to continue progressively releasing songs from the album digitally. Every month or two, I like to put out a song. This helps give focus to each specific song from the album, because, I truly think that each one has a unique sound and specific message. I will be in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on tour for two weeks at the end of February into the beginning of March. I have other events lined up as well and hope to continue booking more. I’ll also continue being present and active in building relationships via social media. I have no idea what God has planned for the future, so I just will continue saying “yes” to the next step He puts in front of me. I love the medical field and actually enjoy studying (I know, I’m such a nerd). If I were to pursue any other field, it would most likely be medical. I also love hair and makeup as well, so I’ve considered cosmetology school. In reality, my vision for the future is to grow our family and see what life holds when that happens.
Miranda ~ What advice would you offer someone waiting on the promises of God, and by your experience, when do they know it’s time to venture into one?
Rachel: It’s super important to keep your heart in the right place while waiting on God to fulfill His promises in your life. My biggest advice to someone waiting on God’s promises would be to stay in the Word of God. How do you know what God’s promises are? Through reading His Word. It’s easy and natural to base your faith on your feelings, but feelings will always leave you unsure, confused, unstable, and questioning, because feelings change all of the time and are very situational-based. Truth is truth despite how you feel. Base your faith on truth so that even when your feelings don’t line up, you know who you are, Whose you are, and what to do, even while you’re waiting. God’s timing is perfect. So, when you actively seek Him, surrender, and listen in your waiting, you’ll have peace no matter the outcome and strength in God’s provision and guidance.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This the way; walk in it.’”- Isaiah 30:21
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”- Psalm 37:23
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5
This or That (The Fun Qs!)
Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Coffee
Dresses or Pants? Pants
Boots or Heels? Heels
Vegetables or Fruit? Fruit
Books or Movies? Movies
Juice or Smoothie? Juice
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Cooking or Cleaning? Cooking
About Rachel Zello
Rachel Zello is a contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter from Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has performed across America, in India, Uzbekistan, Israel, Guatemala, and toured with Aaron Boyd (formerly BlueTree), Dove nominated writer of the hit worship song, “God of This City” in 2018. In 2018 she caught the attention of the Recording Academy and was placed on the ballot for two Grammy considerations (2019). Zello’s debut single, “Set Me Free,” released on August 10, 2018, is inspired by her personal story and Psalms 34:18. Working with multi Grammy and Dove Award winning producer Glenn Tabor III (Elevation Worship, Matt Redman, and dozens of other notable clients) Zello has crafted an exceptional debut that showcases her heartfelt vocals and meaningful songwriting. She completed her full length 10 song album in 2019, “Within the Mystery” with songs being released progressively.
“I don’t want others to just be entertained and observe when I sing,” Zello said about her performances. “I also want them to participate and encounter a personal, loving God who identifies with them in every way, and who cares about every detail of their lives.”