Integrity Music artist Sarah Kroger, who previously released “Your Time,” “Hallelujah Is Our Song”, and “London Sessions,” returns with a new collection of personal and corporate worship songs on May 17. “A New Reality” is the singer-songwriter’s first release in four years and a testament to not only the enduring power of worship but the prophetic calling of God.

Sarah Kroger image courtesy of Integrity Music.

Songs like “Still Yours,” “Glory Be” and Communion” help accomplish Kroger’s goal of creating a “life soundtrack” that listeners can use during normal day-to-day activities or personal prayer time.

“It’s a fun vibe and you’re driving down the street or you’re washing dishes,” she said. “It’s kind of meant to be a soundtrack for just life. So, it’s kind of a mix, which I was hoping for, and I feel like we actually kind of accomplished that.”

A Collection of Her Own Psalms

Kroger says that “A New Reality” feels like a collection of her own psalms, varying between moments of total trust and surrender, full of faith, and then calling out to God in the pits of despair: “I’ve recognized in the past couple of years as I’ve been walking through my own ups and downs of faith and wrestling with faith at times for the first time in my life that it’s just the journey of faith and there’s no shame in it.”

Music has not only been a backdrop but also a lifesaver for the singer-songwriter. As a young girl with parents involved in worship ministry, Kroger always had a love for music, but faced intimidation and harassment from bullies at school.

“Music was like a gift to me,” she says. “It was precious to me. And because I was bullied, it was one of those things that I just kind of started building a wall up around it to protect it. I didn’t want them to tear that down like they had torn me down. And so, I hid that for a long time.”

Connecting With God Through Music

The catalyst for Kroger’s musical debut was in response to a conference she attended in high school. Growing up on the classic liturgical music of the Catholic church she attended, the event was the first time she had ever encountered contemporary worship music. She remembers it being like a “prayer that captivated me in a way that nothing else did at that point.”

Beyond the music, the event taught Kroger how to connect with God in a personal way for the first time, culminating in a prophetic moment where she felt directly addressed by a speaker onstage.

“He said, ‘If you have a gift from God and you’re not using it, you’re denying the glory of God within you’,” she remembers. “I felt called out. I felt He was tapping me on the shoulder and speaking right to me, inviting me to step out in faith and courage.”

Soon, Kroger returned to her church and began volunteering, overcoming her fear through leading worship until other churches started extending invitations.

“Things just kind of snowballed from there, but it all started because of that conference, in that moment,” she says.

God Still Calls

For someone too intimidated to sing in public to a renowned worship leader, Kroger’s story is proof that God still calls people, regardless of experience or confidence, to a life of ministry and service. As she prepares to tour in support of the new record later this year and early 2025, she continues to pour herself out musically at a local church where several other worship leaders take turns leading each Sunday.

“It’s really simple, just me on a piano and the same with the rest of them,” she explains. “It’s really sweet and lovely and small and kind of perfect.”

Speaking of the new project, Kroger hopes that “A New Reality” gives hope and comfort to listeners at whatever stage of the journey they may find themselves in.

“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.”

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