Jesus Culture's Chris Quilala has released his first solo project, Split the Sky and is speaking about how he managed to faithfully worship and praise God after suffering the loss of his newborn son.
Jesus Culture has been a community of worship leaders and musicians whose heart is to see a generation impacted by the presence of God since 1999. In a recent interview with CBN's Studio Five, Quilala talked about the making of his album and the tragedy he and his family faced that inspired a lot of his music.
"For me, I mentioned this on my last album, my wife and I, we lost our son, Jethro. He was stillborn in December 2014 and even in the hospital room we were praying that God would breathe life into him, and we didn't see that," Quilala said. "But we had to make a choice. We were going to choose to believe that God is good. That God is a miracle-working God. That God is a healer."
Despite the loss of his son, Quilala managed to pen songs of worship and praise to God on both his new solo album and Jesus Culture's Let It Echo album.
"The truth is that God remains the same and my response needs to remain the same. So, for me, writing songs was my way for me to remind myself that God is," he explained.
"It definitely is a choice. For us, during the loss of our son, I remember my pastor telling us, which in the moment spoke volumes: 'You can trust God with the mystery.' In the middle of pain, whatever circumstance anyone is going through there are always questions and they might never get answered. And it does take a certain level of faith and trust on our part to say, 'God, I don't understand but I trust you."
In a 2016 interview with The Christian Post, Quilala's bandmate and longtime friend, Kim Walker-Smith, shared how the loss affected them all as a group and church community.
"This past year and-a-half was probably one of the hardest we ever experienced as a Jesus Culture family. When you talk about your faith getting tested or moments of losing hope or feeling kind of lost — sometimes just feeling like God was so far away," she said.
However, their tight-knit church family stuck together and managed to be a support system for each other.
"Making that choice to move toward God when you feel hurt or you feel angry or you feel lost or you feel hopeless is a really tough choice. It's takes a lot of strength and it takes a lot of courage — and that's one of the beautiful things about having a church family and a community to walk through that with you," she added.