Grammy-nominated worship leader Kari Jobe shared with The Christian Post the intimate details surrounding the tragedy and healing that led to the release of her new album, The Garden.
Two years before Jobe's new album release, she found herself in a season of celebration. She had just gotten married to her husband, Cody Carnes, and shortly after got pregnant and moved to Nashville. Both she and her sister were pregnant at the same time and she said everything was really "fun" and exciting, until tragedy struck.
Toward the end of her pregnancy, Jobe's sister had to give birth to what Jobe calls a "sleeping angel." Her sister's baby did not survive and it devastated the family.
"She was already back with Jesus before we got to meet her," Jobe told The Christian Post. "Just navigating those emotions in that difficult season, while being pregnant and also still having life growing inside of me was uncharted waters. So it took me a season to get the air back in my lungs."
Jobe remembered being so overwhelmed with sorrow and filled with disappointment and questions.
Jobe and her family, being people of faith, were praying that the outcome would be different but when their prayers weren't answered the singer said it forced her to take a minute and ask God what His plan was in all of it.
"You have to turn your why into something. You can't just sit in those questions because it just causes more questions," Jobe explained. "I just began to pour my heart out in song. Praying that God would meet us in that place of pain and speak to us."
The 35-year-old said she had to fight a lot of fear before the birth of her son because the cause of her sister's loss was not determined. She took extra precaution and put herself on bed rest. She stopped flying, changed her diet, and quit working out.
"I think I went to the ER about three or four times out of fear. I just wanted to hear his heartbeat," Jobe explained.
While writing and creating The Garden, Jobe went on to give birth to a healthy baby boy named Canyon.
"Canyon has brought a lot of joy and a lot of healing to our family through it all," she said. "It's just one of those things that's uncharted but God walked us through it."
She turned every step of her journey into songs on The Garden and the music is built to reach the heart of God and the souls of people who are willing to surrender their pain to Him, as Jobe did.
Although the pain was intense, Jobe said God was with them every step of the way.
"At the same time there was such a sense of God's presence, of His goodness surrounding us. Looking back, I sensed His presence so strong and my sister was just so gorgeous walking through it. She would call me and just tell me, 'I can't wait to meet your baby, I'm so excited,'" Jobe shared.
As Jobe turned to prayer and her album to cry out to God, she offered advice to the many people in her generation that are hurting over the current condition of the world.
"Honestly, if I was sitting in a room with millennials, people of my same age and younger, I would just say, 'OK, stop whining and stop being fearful and get on your face and pray. We have to pray. We have to take it to prayer before we take it to social media," she advised.
"We're so surrounded with sharing our feelings and making sure our opinions are put out there because we know people are listening and watching so we feel like there's a responsibility to say something, but I'm trying to be careful to not say something before I've prayed it."
She admitted that like others she can also find herself being fearful and not praying at all if she stays on social media and watches the news all day.
But then she asks herself, "'What's the perspective of God?' It comes back to some of the stuff that I just wrote for this album. God, you knew this was gonna happen before it happened, nothing surprises Him."
She said instead of stressing out she just decides to walk in peace and pray Scripture over her life.
The Texas Native echoes the posture she hopes for people to be in with hit single "Heal Our Land." Jobe referenced 2 Chronicles 7:14, which instructs people to humble themselves and pray.
"It's pretty strong language from God. Pray, but not just pray - Seek Him as well! That means taking time to really hear the heart of God," the songstress stated. "I think it would really change what people are saying. I think people would be talking a little bit more out of faith than fear."
Jobe said her song "Speak to Me" is her favorite on the album.
"That's one my favorites, and I think I love it because sometimes we just need to sit and wait," she explained. "Because of social media and the way that our culture is now we're so quick to share everything. Sometimes I think we just need to create space again to wait on God and not be in a hurry."
She challenged people to examine whether or not they make space for God.
Now married and a mother, Jobe said she has to make space for God and her family in the midst of her busy tour schedule.
"I have learned to put my phone down and be fully present, take deep breaths and not be in a hurry," she said of spending time with her son. "I don't want to look back and regret missing anything because I was busy."
The worship leader ended the interview by talking about the importance of praise.
"We all are created to worship and we all worship something even if we're not worshiping God. The fruit of our lives will speak for what we are worshiping," she maintained. "For me personally, worship music is something that helps me pray and say things to God that I haven't been saying. Or it helps me connect to Him."
Jobe doesn't believe that worship should be put in a box and said sometimes she finds herself worshiping to songs that aren't what standard "worship music" might sound like.
"There's some Lecrae songs that I'm like, 'That's incredible. I wouldn't have thought to say that in that way.' But if it catches something that you've been needing to say to God, I think that's worship," she concluded.
Her album, The Garden, is now available and Jobe will be touring for the record on "The Garden Tour." She will also be offering worship workshops in certain cities specifically for people who feel called to lead in worship.
To get the album or for more information, visit her website.