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Jaci Velasquez On Living An Entertainer’s Dream

The singer, writer, actress and fashion designer shares her struggles and triumphs with her career, faith and motherhood. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: We first met Jaci Velasquez when she was just 16.

Her voice stunned listeners.

Her first album, Heavenly Place, went platinum.

Since then, Jaci Velasquez has sold over five million albums

and graced more than 50 magazine covers.

Although she disappeared from the music scene,

Jaci's back, stronger than ever, with a brand new album

and a fresh outlook on life.

Jaci is back, and she's joining me now live here on 700

Club Interactive.

How great to have you here.

It is great to be here.

It's great to see your face again.

And I was telling you--

I told you before.

You just don't change.

Oh, you're very sweet.

You're just beautiful and always so kind.

You know, you came on the club when you were really

just getting going.

I was 16, I think, the first time.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Yes, and your voice just

knocked everybody out.

But your family sort of had a preview

that something was coming from the time you were young.

I mean, you didn't just hum.

I mean, you were a singer.

Well, I could sing before I could talk.

And my parents were pastors at the time,

and they were in a very small building at the time.

And I was in the nursery, and my mom

said that they were worshipping and everybody was singing.

And somebody said, be quiet; and everybody stopped singing

and they continued listening to me in the nursery singing,

(SINGING) Our God reigns.

Our God reigns.

Isn't that crazy.

Yeah, but I mean, I don't remember the story,

but your parents remember the story.

I was too little to remember, but that's what happened.

So by 16, it's one thing for someone else to say,

well isn't that great.

She's got a voice.

But by 16, that's very young.

You had a platinum album.

How did your family help you balance the swift rise

to that point?

Wow, thankfully my mom is awesome

and she was always traveling with me and taking care of me.

And she wasn't going to allow anything

to get too much to my head.

But you have to remember, I've been traveling since I was

nine, so I was home schooled.

So I wasn't even around my peers to know that was different.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: That was actually a very good thing.

I'm a fan of home schooling.

But in your instance, in particular,

it kind of protected you from some

of the junk that could have been a very negative influence.

You have an amazing resume.

I mentioned the number of hit CDs that you've had.

You've been in movies.

You've written.

Do you have a preference in all of that?

I know singing is where you started,

but sometimes that's not always your first love of someone

who does as many things as you do.

OK, well if you want to know my first love,

it would be Friday nights at my house with my boys

and my husband and my kids.

Oh, I like that.

JACI VELASQUEZ: That's my favorite!

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I like that.

Because then we get to watch a certain cartoon,

anything like--

OK, we're watching Despicable Me,

or what are we going to watch.

And we just sit there and it's pizza night,

and the kids can stay up as late as they want--

even though they stay up to 10:00 and they go,

oh my goodness, this is so late!

And it's just the cutest thing because they

feel like we're all together there

on the floor on their beanbags and Nic and I are--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: And you get to be part of.

I know sometimes when you're isolated in a good sense

and recognize that sometimes you just want to be part of.


TERRY MEEUWSEN: And that's so wonderful.

Tell me about your family.

Oh, my family.

Well, I'm married.

My husband is Nic.

He's the lead singer for the band Salvador.

And yes, super talented, super awesome, super handsome

of course.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: So he understands what you do.


And we support each other back and forth.

I try to always be there when he needs me,

like stay home with the kids or go with him if he needs me,

and vice versa.

And then we have our boys.

Zealand who is 9 and Soren who is 8.

And Zealand was born easy, super easy baby.

Soren was born and there's a reason we stopped having kids.

He was not an easy baby.

It's good when you didn't have number two first, because--

That's what I tell everybody.

I say, thank God Zealand was born first.

Otherwise, Soren would have been an only child.

But Zealand, you have found, is you say on the spectrum.

JACI VELASQUEZ: He's on the spectrum.

Zealand is autistic.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: How old was he when you knew that?

Well, we started suspecting something at about 19 months



There were some milestones he wasn't hitting just

like other kids.

And we got-- we weren't going to bury our heads in the sand,


So we got him tested and had somebody come to our house--

early intervention.

And they said, well, it's developmental delay.

We'll get speech therapy, occupational therapy.

He'll be right as rain.

Well, he wasn't-- it wasn't happening as swiftly as we

would have hoped.

And then the change started to happen where the younger

brother, who's 14 and a half months younger,

was easier to understand and understood things that big

brother couldn't.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: And developmentally

almost moving past.

Yes, exactly.


TERRY MEEUWSEN: So Jaci, talk to me about that as a mom

though, because all parents, I think--

one of the things I think you say about a child

is that their dream is unfulfilled.

And you're waiting to watch milestones met and markers

in school and things.

So what went on in your heart and how did God deal with you

with regard to that?

Well, I think the day that we were sitting there--

because they had to give the official diagnosis,

and he was in second grade.

And I remember this room of just people--

vice principal, principal, superintendent,

all these people.

And they put the word autism--

now that word had been thrown around before,

but it was not in black-and-white in front of us

until that moment.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: This what it is, bottom line.

The label, the label.

And no parent wants their kid labeled.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Of course not.

So that was difficult. I remember I cried and--

not because of what I felt, it was

just more like I don't want him to feel challenged in life.

I don't want him to feel different--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Or to be labeled and named by other people.

JACI VELASQUEZ: Or even if anybody would ever

laugh at him because he doesn't understand what they mean.


Because he is perfect.

He's perfect.

And I went through some tough times.

I had to go through a bit of a mourning period.

I know that sounds weird because--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: No, it doesn't.

Not at all.

I had to kind of mourn the dreams that I had for him;

but dream new dreams.

It took some time.

And there are some days where I still kind of go, oh man.

Like when he comes home from--

first day of school just happened.

And he came home and I said--

I asked little brother, Soren, so

did you make any friends today?

And he goes, yes!

And he [TONGUE TRILL] goes on and on.

I asked Zealand, I go, Zea, so did you make new friends today?

He goes, excuse me.

I do not memory their name.

And I said, oh bud.

Well, that's OK.

Tomorrow just pay attention and try to listen for their names,


TERRY MEEUWSEN: Walk the journey with him.


And you know one of the things I

think that happens when God puts a challenge in front of us,

a wonderful challenge like Zealand,

is that it deepens what God's called us to and almost opens

a new door of ministry and opportunity.

I'm looking at your newest release and the title is Trust.

There had to be a lot of lessons in that for you.


Trusting is-- you have to do it in marriage,

but it's something that is fragile.

Trust is fragile.

And when it comes to logically we know that we trust God.

He has everything under control, and we

know that because we read His Word and we feel His presence--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: But it's easy to say that when

nothing's challenging that.



Or when something is challenging it.

You're like, why am I being challenged!


That's not fair!

Come on, man!

Because of this!

Because you have a message that God's

sending to others through you.

And I guess, if nothing, when it comes to the special needs

part of things--

And I believe that in life, all of us will face,

have faced, are facing--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Need to face.


That we're going to have to trust and be on our face;

and feel like we're drowning to truly push past and meet

God, and have him meet us where we are; and trust in Him.

But, for those that are parents that might have special needs

kids, I remember when I found out officially,

I kind of felt totally alone.


And maybe this all of this is to also help others

feel like hey, you're not alone.

And we're going through this together.

And I promise I'm scared sometimes.

I don't have all the answers.

I have to research and Google stuff

that I don't know what it means.

There's all these big words and what are they talking about?

He's just a little boy!

And even though we're going to go through it together,

we're not just going to survive.

We're going to thrive.

JACI VELASQUEZ: We're going to thrive.

Because of who our God is.

I want people to have a chance to hear

just a clip of one of the songs off of your new album.

So let's take a look at that.


Rocks are falling, broken calling to the God who

moves the mountains.

Yeah, oh!

My earth is shaking, the weary waking to the God

who moves the mountains.

The God who moves this mountain.


Thank You, God.

We thank You, God.



Wow, God who moves the mountains.

There is a powerful message there because of a life

being powerfully and well-lived girl!

Thank you!

No, thank you.

Really and truly.

Jaci's CD is called Trust, as I mentioned earlier.

It's available wherever CDs are sold.

You want to get a hold of it.

Every song has a message that will lift you and inspire you.

We also have an exclusive interview

with Jaci for our social media followers.

She is going to be praying for viewers,

so you'll want to check that out.

You can watch by going to our Facebook page which is

Thank you again.

Thank you so much.

It's great to see you.

You're awesome.

Thank you.



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