“God was good on His word. He came to me in the valley,” TobyMac recently said.
The Christian artist, who is releasing his first album since the tragic 2019 death of his son, Truett McKeehan, later this week, knows the depths of human despair.
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The singer, a fixture for decades in the Christian music world, has long inspired fans with his music, but he has been on his own journey to seek peace and restoration after losing Truett, who died of an accidental overdose at the age of 21.
TobyMac’s new album, “Life after Death,” is set to release on Aug. 19. He shared a statement with CBN’s Faithwire about how he navigated pain, processed loss, and emerged with a collection of music is both cathartic and sure to inspire his followers.
“As I started working on the songs that make up the ‘Life after Death’ project, I had no idea where this dark valley would take me,” TobyMac said. “I’ve always written songs from my own experiences. My life. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it.”
Losing his son was a deeply painful experience, different from anything he had previously faced. Despite writing songs to honor his son and process his pain, he found himself asking, “How will my family get through this?”
As the months progressed, TobyMac explained how his heart was broken and how he continued processing his pain through music. He began to wonder whether he would forever make music from his pain rather than from triumphs.
“‘One day,’ I thought to myself, ‘I guess I will write songs from my sadness for the rest of my life. Sure, there’s no lack of faith in them, but I don’t think I’ll ever write another up-tempo song,'” he recalled. “‘It’s just not in me anymore.'”
But the singer suddenly encountered a Scripture proclaiming, “God is rolling up His sleeves.” The verse, found in Psalm 98:1-2, helped transform TobyMac’s perspective. It reads:
Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders! He rolled up His sleeves, He set things right. God made history with salvation, He showed the world what He could do.
“I couldn’t get the imagery out of my mind,” he said. “And it began to take root in my soul.”
Then something incredible happened: he wrote the song “Help Is on the Way” a few nights after finding that verse — an upbeat tune. What TobyMac thought was impossible was suddenly a reality, and he did it much quicker than usual.
“I looked up after the smoke cleared, and I had written an up-tempo song, it felt almost miraculous… because I did something I thought I would never do again,” he said. “It wasn’t joyful. It was more brewing and intense. But it wasn’t a ballad. It wasn’t sad. There was hope in it.”
That scriptural discovery, though, didn’t just spark a musical breakthrough; it was also an infusion of hope.
“I actually began to believe that help is on the way. That God is rolling of His sleeves on ‘my’ behalf,” he said. “I didn’t just write a song; I actually began to believe it.”
He continued, “God was good on His word. He came to me in the valley, and He showed me that He’s good, that He’s kind.”
As CBN’s Faithwire previously reported, TobyMac has openly discussed the loss of his son Truett. In a video published by JOY-FM, he said he hadn’t thought deeply about eternity before his son’s death, but that the monumental loss led him to imagine it more fervently.
Read more about those comments here. And find out more about the music on “Life after Death.”
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