Sarah Kroger

As a worship leader and songwriter, Sarah Kroger’s focus has always been an authentic portrayal of her relationship with God. It came easy, sharing her intimate thoughts and worship of a God she knew in a tangible way. But while writing songs for her latest Integrity Music release, A New Reality, Sarah found her relationship suddenly difficult to define.

Like most artists, Sarah’s calendar was wiped out when COVID hit in March of 2020. With one day’s notice, her busy life slowed to a crawl. Without the noise of a full schedule, Sarah was surprised at the heart-deep questions that began to surface. “That time of slowing down forced me to take a really hard look at my life and the vocation of being a music missionary,” Sarah shares. “Do I still feel called to this when there’s no one to share my songs with? Is this still what I want to do when there’s nothing happening? It was a very big shift.”

To ground herself, Sarah took long daily walks with her husband around their neighborhood. “I walked through all the seasons in one year. It saved me in a way, rediscovering the presence of God and the wonder of God at work around me,” she says. “His presence was undeniable, a life force sustaining the world around me, so much bigger than me and my problems in my little corner of the world.”

While the quiet opened Sarah to a renewed sense of awe and wonder, it also amplified questions that had sprung up in her spirit. “I started wrestling with big questions about God,” she says. “I’ve never struggled with doubt in my faith. I’ve always felt His presence close, but suddenly there was only silence. I found myself in a new reality I never anticipated. I wasn’t given a handbook for how to navigate faith when the questions are heavy and the silence of God is deafening.”

Sarah poured her questions and doubts into A New Reality, allowing herself to be rock bottom honest, even when she knew some might not understand. “I can admit I have questions that I might never get the answers for. I’m convinced more than ever that doubt isn’t something we should be afraid of. We should embrace it. Of course there is mystery with God, but it seems that He created us to be curious. I don’t think we’ll get all the answers…but you can’t find any answers if you don’t ask any questions.”

Instead of running from her questions, Sarah spoke truth to the longings of her heart, calling on Scripture and naming her doubts instead of shying away from them. The result is a lush, prayerful, and ultimately uplifting collection of songs for anyone who’s ever felt less than perfect.

The album’s first single, “No Filter,” perfectly encapsulates Sarah’s willingness to question while still holding firm to the belief that God has her and has never let her go. Her beautifully delicate vocals paired with raw, unflinching lyrics give definition to an undefinable ache. “This song puts the rest of the record into context,” Sarah says. “It encapsulates what I’ve been walking through. I hope it allows space for people to bring their questions and not be held captive to fear.”

“Still Yours,” a response to the questions presented in “No Filter,” is a hope-laced reminder that God is still who He says He is. “This song speaks to the history of my relationship with God and falling back on that history, ‘ Sarah says. “That’s the beautiful thing about relationships, having a history of experiences with each other that a foundation of love is built upon. This is me saying, ‘I’m still fighting to choose You because I believe it’s worth it. Our story isn’t done yet.’

A New Reality also features songs fans have come to expect from Sarah like the worshipful “Glory Be,” a prayer she’s prayed since childhood, and “Communion,” about relationship. “This song is about wanting intimacy in your relationship with God,” she says, “it’s an honest prayer to know Him, not who other people have told me He is or the narratives I’ve made up in my head about Him.”

Deeply personal and introspective while also basking in awe at the mystery and wonder of God, A New Reality is Sarah Kroger at her most vulnerable while also standing firm in her belief. “I hope people hear the faith in this record along with the wrestling. I hope people feel encouraged to bring their imperfect, questioning, doubting selves to God,” she shares. “I want people to be reminded of the beauty of His presence in the world. He’s more real than we can comprehend. The truth this project continues to reveal to me is that despite the ups and downs of life, I can choose to believe that I’m still His.”