Joy Will be Yours.

        My life isn't really happening the way I planned for it to.

         I was supposed to be a broadcast journalist. I was supposed to stand in front of the camera and tell you about the game or sit in the director's chair and manage 12 people with different tasks while we were going live on television.

        And it's no secret that I'm not doing either of those things.

        I am speaking to people all over the world and I am making music.

        It was never my plan to share my words, thoughts, and lessons I've learned with the world. And then God called me to by the opportunities set before me. It wasn't my plan to lead people in song day in and day out...and it's the most beautiful thing I could have ever dreamed about being a part of.

        I wake up in a beautiful sort disbelief every day about what God has unfolded for me every step of my young life so far. I am humbled and blessed to do the work that I do, and I am humbled and blessed to share my newest project with you.

        Late one night, I was reading a heart-wrenching testimony of one woman's loss on her blog. She was sharing some of the deepest places in her heart, and spoke of one of her greatest moments of darkness and desperation in her life. She said that in that moment of overwhelming and crippling  fear and darkness, in a place she felt she would never know joy again, she felt Jesus lean in close and whisper, "Joy will be yours."

         I went to bed shortly after and woke up in the middle of the night with a song in my heart. I went to the piano and wrote it out. It was and is a song for this woman and for all the hopeless in the world.

                "This dark night will end as He brings forth the dawn....

                                Sorrow will be no more as He sings over you, joy will be yours....."

        I don't know that the woman will ever hear it; perhaps I was supposed to write this song just to reach one soul in the world. And whoever that soul is, I can only hope they feel Christ speak to them in those words...Joy will be yours. Joy is ours because Christ won the victory on the cross... He pulls us out of our dark places and brings us to Him, brings us to light, brings us to peace. It is really the most beautiful reality.

         The other song that I've written on my new project is called "Cling to You." For a period of my life during prayer I would see myself in the scene on Calvary, holding tight to Jesus on the cross, holding on for dear life in sorrow that He had been crucified. This song is about that image, that picture, that prayer, and what my heart cries out to Christ in that moment.

         I am grateful to have been able to record Oceans for so many who asked me to so they could pray along with it. I am also grateful to have recorded Doxology. For those of you who have never heard it, the words were written by Thomas Ken in 1674.  The doxology is a widely used hymn, and many do not know that is the last verse to a beautiful and longer hymn he wrote called "Awake my Soul and with the Sun." Lastly, Beautiful and Yours is a song written by my friend Pete Buncher. It is based on Psalm 23, and speaks of our identity...that each of us belongs to Christ, through and through, no matter how many times we may fall or how far we may stray from His love.

            "You define me, Lord, beautiful and Yours. And though I've fallen short,

                                              Your love is still moving through my heart..."

         I am thankful to God for giving me the gift of music and giving me a means to share it with others. I pray that anyone who listens to my music would have an encounter with the Christ who calls us all to bravery in sharing what He gives us to pour out into the world.

Photography by Natalie Duke.

Photography by Natalie Duke.