Music review by Luchae Williams
American singer and songwriter, Alisa Turner, released an album better-described as her musical autobiography, titled Miracle Or Not, in 2018.
With a life story marred with loss and pain, the Tennessee-based worship leader is determined to fight, choosing to put her hope and trust in a God of miracles, despite doctor’s reports that tell her she will forever be riddled with pain and hardship due to Lyme disease.
“Though I have a story that is marked with some sorrowful chapters, I’m not a singer of sad songs…I am a singer of songs that declare that through all of it, His love for me is unfailing.”
With songs that are fuelled by hope, it’s hard not to pick up the sheer determination and vulnerability that Turner pours into each track.
“I want this record and these songs to remind people that everything He has ever dreamed for you is still in the works,” says Alisa. “This is a moment. Hopefully, it will pass while we are on this side of eternity. Just put one foot in front of the other, however, that looks, however small of a step it may be, and you just keep going. You keep going, and that is part of being hopeful, and having faith, and believing and trusting that He is who He says He is.”
Songs of hope
Album opener, Lift My Eyes, is a song of resilience and determination, written from Psalm 121 that talks about lifting your eyes to the hills — where your help comes from.
After reading Alisa’s story I found myself deeply appreciating the songs that spoke about believing for a miracle. She does a fine cover of Chris Quilala’s Miracles, which I thought was a fitting addition to the album.
I also really love the title track, Miracle Or Not, that is really well written with a catchy contemporary melody. The song is a raw, vulnerable heart cry, with a chorus that begs: “As long as it takes for my heart to find its song/As long as it takes to know I‘m still not alone/At the end of the day/I will stand right here and say/I know that You love me/Miracle or not.”
All of Turner’s songs point you directly back to our capable, trustworthy God, who is present even “when darkness rolls in like a flood”. Good examples of this are worship songs Safe and the passionate Not Even Now, that says “Not even now are You defeated /Not even now are we alone/Not even now are You less than Almighty God/Not even, not even now.”
The almost folksy feel found in Only My Jesus gives the song an extra element of sass, as Turner and songbird Leslie Jordan boasts of the steadfast love of the Lord. This is such a great congregational song!
Other must-listens include the highly emotive Loved, that speaks about the overwhelming, unrelenting love of God.
My absolute favourite track on the album has to be the album closer titled Psalm 13. The song is written from a place of uncertainty, where all you have is the hope that God will pull you through. The chorus reminds us about the power of surrender and trust in the Lord. “I will give praise for all of my days/You have been good to me!” Yes and amen!
Alisa Turner’s testimony shines beautifully through each of the songs on this album. Her resilience and unwavering doubt in the goodness of God makes the listening of each track that much more profound and you find yourself being drawn into our Daddy’s embrace, as the seeds of her revelation are planted deep in your heart. This album is beautiful and I would highly recommend it either for your intimate worship sessions or if you’d like to find the perfect gift for someone who is hurting. Simply stunning!