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This Valley

This_Valley

This past year I watched one of the most gifted and talented worship leaders that I’ve ever been around walk through an incredibly difficult pregnancy that resulted in a painful loss for their family. In the middle of it all I watched that same family demonstrate a resiliency and faith in God that is rarer than it should be. Most recently I’ve been able to celebrate with them the music and unexpected blessings that have come from this moment. What follows is a bit of his story. You can also check out the video and free download below!

 

Paul:

I watched you up close and personal throughout this entire process and I was amazed that you guys seemed to walk incredibly well through something that would have derailed most people. Where did that come from?

Ryan:

I realized early on that I didn’t have what it took to get through this valley. I had tons of frustrations, doubts, and questions. I chose to bring all those before God. That was the deciding factor in my journey: to lean into something far greater than myself. I needed to put God back on the throne of my heart and allow Him to be the Lord of my life, no matter the circumstances. It was terrifying to mentally release my control on the situation, but the truth was I never had control in the first place.

Paul:

I get how recording this album brought some closure for you and what you walked through for 26 weeks, but why take the step to put this on display for the world?

Ryan:

I knew that I wasn’t the only person going through a trial. People all around me needed to know that they weren’t alone in their pain. God revealed Himself to me, and I simply could not just keep it to myself. As a worship leader and songwriter, I felt my experience gave me a unique set of lyrics that would add to the conversations that is taking place in the modern worship movement and not just “add to the noise.” I hoped that people’s understanding of God would grow through listening to and singing these songs.

Paul:

Alright, so let’s lighten it up for a moment, here’s an easy one for you. What’s your favorite song on the album and why?

Ryan:

Gosh, probably Jetties, though it’s a tough one. Jetties was the first song idea for “This Valley” and was the inspiration that originally sparked the rest of the album. I had written several of the lyric lines about a year ago and then shelved them. When I began writing for the record, they resurfaced and I was able to complete the concept. The song revolves around the imagery of God’s grace wrapping around us like Jetties in a harbor: keeping the rough waters at bay while protecting the harbor. The song represents a moment in my life when I felt completely and suddenly overwhelmed by what forgiveness and grace really meant for me. It was a sudden moment of clarity. The first line of the song “silence speaks when words aren’t able” came to be because I had a very difficult time putting my realizations into words…I felt that everything I wrote trivialized the moment. I eventually found the right words and learned that sometimes silence says more than words…hence the ambient break right after the opening verse.

Paul:

What has the reaction been like so far to the album?

Ryan:

Many people have said that have been “waiting” for this message and music; that I have been able to voice their pain and express just how they have felt at some point in their life. God has definitely used it to touch the hearts of those needing hope. Listeners have been enjoying the musical diversity of “This Valley.” They love the energy of the upbeat, full band tunes, and the transparency of the more acoustic songs. It’s really interesting to hear from listeners which songs are their favorites. As We Go, Give Us This Day, and We the Redeemed have been well received by the Cornerstone community in our worship gatherings. There is something intimate about singing songs that came directly out of your community. They are testaments to what God is doing around you. I think it gives people a sense of ownership because they were a part of my experiences as I wrote the lyrics. These are not just my songs, they are ours.

Paul:

So what do you hope to see happen with this record?

Ryan:

From a business standpoint, I hope that this record establishes me as a songwriter and secures outside interest to pursue future recordings. I hope it gains the interests of booking agents, producers, managers, and labels who could help market my music on a greater level. I would love to hear some of these songs on the radio and support the record with some concert dates. I would love to share these songs with other worship leaders and churches outside of my sphere of influence. From a spiritual standpoint, I hope people find their strength in the fact that God is with us at all times. I want to spread this hope to as many people as I can. We must lean into the rock of Christ when the storms rage on. Our faith must not be contingent upon God giving us what we want. God showed up in a big way in my valley, even though things turned out differently than what I wanted, and I know He will for others who put their trust in Him.

You can learn more about Ryan by watching the EPK below or by checking out this link. If you want to pick up the album, it can be purchased on iTunes


Posted in Creative Arts

One Response to “This Valley”

  1. Square peg web June 26, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    I would love to share these songs with other worship leaders and churches outside of my sphere of influence. From a spiritual standpoint, I hope people find their strength in the fact that God is with us at all times. I want to spread this hope to as many people as I can. We must lean into the rock of Christ when the storms rage on.

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