CCM: Does the writing process help you discover how you feel about some of these things we’re discussing?
AT: Sometimes. It depends. With the big things that I’ve faced in life, in terms of loss and illness, I feel like music is something that’s kept me going. With losing someone, there’s never something that truly makes it all okay, of course, but music is something, whether as a writer or listener, that is such a comfort. The beauty of a song and the memories that come with it can be so beautiful. At my father’s funeral, we played all of his favorite songs that he loved by Karen Carpenter and Chicago, all those old favorites.

When I am sitting down and writing worship, that’s probably the time that something like that would happen most. That’s where the Lord really provides an answer or really reveals things. If I’m just processing life, it’s a comfort and you’re processing what’s happening. I try to be vulnerable and honest about how I’m feeling and what God is doing and I hope that’s more helpful than stepping lightly around hard topics. I’d rather approach it with all I’ve got. But when I’m writing worship, it’s such a time of learning for me.

CCM: Do you have an example?
AT: There’s a song on the record called “As It Is In Heaven.” I remember sitting in the room with two other writers—one of them being my worship pastor, Michael Farren, the other writer was James Galbraith—and it had been a rough couple days for me. I’d been standing in the hallway, tears streaming down my cheeks, because I’d been dealing with a lot of pain. The songwriters laid hands on me and prayed and then we split off into our groups. Then started writing that song.

Alisa Turner, CCM Magazine - image
I guess I always thought of heaven as some far away, one day we’ll get there, kind of place where all this wonderful stuff happens. Yet we’re stuck here for now. Through the teachings of my worship pastor and our study of the word, it was exciting to learn that heaven is a place where all of that is true, but you can bring heaven down to us in the here and now. The Lord will bring heaven to you—all of the wonderful things that heaven holds like freedom and healing and beauty. Those are things the Lord wants to bring to you right now.


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