Love Letters

Love Letters: The Story Behind "Walk With Me"

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WALK WITH ME

The second song on my EP, Love Letters, is called “Walk With Me,” and it features my friend Payton Epperson on the lead vocal. This is probably the most significant song on this album, and sitting down to write about the story behind it feels sobering. Words might not do this one justice.

Payton was one of my classmates in RSW last year. Despite our vastly different personalities, we somehow became BEST friends over the course of the school year, and when it came time to write a song for our songwriting class final project, we both felt led to co-write together.

A few months prior, I had gotten a prophetic word over my life about the stillness of evergreen trees. I was told that I’m like an evergreen tree, and the Lord’s presence and care and affection are like a steady soft falling snow - the tree doesn’t have to do anything to receive that. Since Payton and I had never co-written with anyone before and didn’t know where to start, I suggested that we write a song about evergreen trees.

We got together a few times to work on the song, and we just weren’t feeling it. Writing a second verse felt impossible. We kept trying to push through the lack of clarity and inspiration, but weeks went by and we just could not figure out what to do. We ultimately decided to scrap our song and start from scratch, even though we only had a couple weeks left until the due date.

We were very intentional about inviting the Holy Spirit into the writing process and getting out of his way this time. We prayed and surrendered our striving right off the bat. I then sat at my keyboard in the corner, took a deep breath, and started softly playing in the key of A flat as Payton got up and began pacing back and forth at the other end of my living room. I recorded a loop of a chord progression that was hittin’ me in the FEELS and just let it play. I took a deep breath and played a melody (which ultimately became the verse melody), and almost immediately, Payton started writing in her notebook on the other end of the room as I played various melodies over the chord progression loop.

After a few minutes of me playing a few different melodies and Payton prayerfully pacing and writing, she came back over to me and said “Can we talk about what just happened?” She showed me what she had written down. We sang through what she had, rearranged and refined a couple of lines, decided on a melody for the choruses, and the song was basically done. When we put it all together and sang through it all for the first time, we were FLOORED; literally, we couldn’t help but get down on the floor and lay there as we read the lyrics over and over. It felt like a love letter written straight from God to us… a letter that painted a clear picture of the Father walking with us through a beautiful scene with evergreen trees, rivers, blue skies.

If you’re interested, here’s a voice memo of the whole process. You can hear me playing different melodies at the beginning, and we discuss it and begin shaping the song in the second half of the recording:

We had no idea the impact that this song would have on our own lives over the coming months. Here are just a few of the many stories:

A week before our song presentation, we recorded a voice memo of the song to turn in for school. That same day, within a matter of hours, I started breaking out in hives so bad that I ended up in the ER. Payton sat with me in the waiting room and tried to distract me from the nerves. She pulled out her phone and we listened to the voice memo of our song, and it calmed us both down instantly. We both talked about how the song felt like a gift from the Lord to help us through the whole ER experience, and it was PERFECT timing that we happened to record it right before all the scary stuff started happening.

A few days after that, some crazy unexpected life changes happened all of a sudden in my life, and this song was what kept reminding me of the Lord’s steady presence and love during all of the craziness, uncertainty, and grief.

I listened to this song on repeat on the day I got baptized, which was by far the most significant moment of my life. (You can read about my baptism here)

The first line of this song is “there’s joy in waiting.” This summer was a time of painful waiting for both me and for Payton, and we both shared with each other multiple times that this song was a much-needed source of comfort through it all. It helped me to remember that the Lord was intentional and had something good in store for us during the waiting season.

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“Walk With Me” continues to be extremely meaningful for both Payton and me as we go forward into new adventures this fall. It keeps speaking into our circumstances strangely specifically and providing comfort and peace exactly where we need it. This song is truly a gift from the Lord.


Love Letters is a 3-song EP consisting of songs I wrote during my time in the Radiant School of Worship. Each song is written from the perspective of God.

Love Letters: The Story Behind "You Are Safe"

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YOU ARE SAFE

“You Are Safe” is the first song on my new EP “Love Letters,” and it is also the first song that I wrote while I was a student at the Radiant School of Worship.

Sometime within the first month of school, we had a 2-day retreat where our leaders taught us how to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit, write down what we heard, and make sure it lines up with scripture. They worked with us individually and guided us through it so well. By the end of the 2 days, I had heard the loving voice of God for the first time, and had a whole journal page to show for it. It changed the way I prayed, journaled, and spent time with God in general, which ultimately was a game-changer in my daily life.

One day, about a week after this retreat, I was spending time with the Lord in my loft early in the morning, and he clearly spoke words of love and identity over me. I wrote them all down in my journal. I remember crying a lot because I had never thought of God as a kind & attentive Father before, but the words he said were so full of gentleness and kindness.

I closed my journal and began to go about my day. While I was folding laundry and listening to instrumental music, a new melody popped into my head, and I found myself singing the words I had written down. I thought, “whoa, I think God is giving me a song.” I rushed to my guitar, opened my journal to the words I had just written down, and began to sing the words out loud.

Within an hour or two, the majority of “You Are Safe” was written. It happened SO naturally that I almost don’t remember the process I went through to write it. I jokingly tell people that I blacked out while writing it, and in a way I think that’s kind of true, haha. I quickly recorded it into a voice memo on my phone, and then spent a few hours that afternoon recording a real demo of the song. It was important to me to have a recording of the song so I could go listen to it whenever I struggled with identity or insecurity.

The song became a monument that I continually went back to, for months after I wrote it. I listened to the recording constantly, sometimes just having it on repeat in my car whenever I drove anywhere. It put me at ease every time I was anxious. Besides a few exceptions, I didn’t show it to anyone because it felt like a special gift from God to me, and I told myself I’d never release it publicly unless God told me to (which he later did; I’ll explain that in a second). But once in a while, he’d put it on my heart to share with specific individual people. I fondly remember one particular instance where my friend Audrey and I laid on the floor in her living room on a rainy fall day as I played the recording of the song for her, and it was such a wonderful peaceful moment.

On Thanksgiving, Cory Asbury and his wife Anna invited me and a couple other RSW students over to eat dinner with them (which is SO KIND and I still can’t get over that). After we ate, Cory took us to his piano and showed us a song he was working on. I ended up showing him and Anna my song, You Are Safe. Cory made some really great suggestions that I ended up using, like adding the word “here” in the last lines of the choruses and using that same line in the bridge. So, of course, I sometimes take advantage of the opportunity to tell people “I co-wrote with Cory Asbury once.” :)

The final stage of developing this song was recording it for real, which I did sometime in March or April. I made the decision to change the instrumentation to just piano, unlike the guitar-based demo. The soft felt piano sound that I used in the final recording was almost exactly the way Cory’s piano sounded when I played the song for him and Anna.

Deciding to publicly release this song was surprisingly difficult for me. At the time, it was the most intimate song I had ever written, and it truly did feel like a sweet little secret that the Lord and I got to share together. But after about 5 or 6 months of enjoying the secret, I felt the Lord start to put on my heart that a time is coming when the words of this song are meant to be shared. The thing that finally convinced me to do it was seeing the positive impact it had on every friend I showed it to. The song already had a few testimonies attached to it by the time I even considered releasing it - God was already using the song to speak to my friends on a deep level, which is so cool. It makes me excited to see how it might speak to others too.

You Are Safe will always remind me of those first few months of RSW - a time when my whole life was being turned upside down and I was experiencing the very real love of God for the first time. It’ll always remind me of the special moments with friends when I shared the song with them, and the moment with Cory and Anna when I played it for them. Most of all, it’ll always remind me of the first few times that I heard the voice of God, and how much it changed my life.


Love Letters is a 3-song EP consisting of songs I wrote during my time in the Radiant School of Worship. Each song is written from the perspective of God.