Thoughts of a garden often cause people to think of spring and new life, but it’s a springtime of the spirit that Christian worship leader Kari Jobe had in mind when she wrote her latest album.
The Grammy Award-nominated, Dove Award-winning singer performs Saturday night in Waco as part of her “The Garden Tour,” the concert supported by Baylor University and Premier Productions.
Jobe wrote the songs comprising “The Garden” during an emotionally painful time in her life. She was four months pregnant with her son Canyon when her sister Kris, in her seventh month of pregnancy, lost her child to a miscarriage. Her sister’s tragedy devastated Jobe, a sadness deepened by her excitement over her child’s impending birth.
“It was one of the hardest seasons of our lives,” she said in a recent phone interview. “Intense loss can cause you to question a lot of things.”
The Dallas native found herself working out her questions and emotions by writing songs. She found answers in a renewed sense of God’s presence and comfort, answers that shape her album “The Garden” and her current concert tour. “I wrote this album for my sister and I’m grateful that it has helped her . . . There are more good days than hard days now,” said Jobe, known for such albums as “Majestic” and “Where I Find You” as well as her work with Gateway Worship.
Revisiting that emotional territory on a regular basis on the concert stage isn’t easy and Jobe recalled a concert where she saw a girl in the audience the same age her sister’s child would have been had she lived. “It can be very emotional. You get back in the mindset of where you were when you wrote the song,” she explained, adding that she’s found many in her audiences resonate to her experiences.
“A lot of people are coming who’ve walked through something similar. They are as real and raw as they can be,” she said. “I go deep, talking about the questions I had for God and what I found, that God is real and cares about us . . . It’s more like a church service than a concert at the end.”
Jobe’s Waco appearance will be a family affair. Her husband Cody Carnes will open for her, as he’s doing for “The Garden Tour,” with a solo album of his own set for an upcoming release, and their son Canyon is accompanying them. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Jobe, who was born in Waco and grew up in the Dallas area. She has family in Waco and remembers regular summer trips here and visits to Lions Park.
Lions Park isn’t on the itinerary for her Waco stop, but another place is.
“I’m so glad I get to do (the Waco concert) — and go to Magnolia that day,” Jobe said.