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“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.” –Tim Keller, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering (buy).

Worship artist Alisa Turner sings with passion and vulnerability. Her songs capture something almost mystical, yet deeply rooted in the hard stuff of the “now and not yet” grit of the everyday. It’s the lilt and innocence in her voice and the heartbreaking, but hopeful truth of her story.

That story, which has been highlighted on a recent video from Integrity Music, shows a tapestry of grief, suffering, hope and redemption for which there is only one appropriate response: unfettered, unfiltered worship.

“I’ve always written songs about what I’m going through,” says Turner, who in her early twenties played coffeehouses and colleges and once drove nine hours and played to what turned out to be a completely empty room. “It all comes from the same place, that thirteen-year old sitting at the piano in the bonus room, writing 90-second songs, playing her heart out for the joy of it, for the hope of it.”

For the joy, for the hope… These are not small concepts for Turner. These are hard-fought battles, choices made when her faith was just a whimper in a dark corner of the room.

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