Christian singer Danny Gokey's shares how wife's death tested - then strengthened his faith
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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
2/19/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Singer Danny Gokey, who came in third place on season eight of "American Idol," has gone on to a flourishing musical career. The 34-year-old Christian singer shared how the unexpected death of his wife Sophia, a few weeks before his national television debut, rattled his beliefs to their very core - before it ultimately strengthened them.
His wife Sophia's death did not immediately call Danny Gokey's faith into question, recalling the moments of darkness that he said crept up during the healing process.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 34-year-old singer, who has just recently released an album entitled "Hope In Front of Me" was a truck driver. Gokey says his first wife encouraged him to pursue his first love, music.
Just weeks before Gokey auditioned for "American Idol," Sophia died unexpectedly during a routine heart surgery.
The 34-year-old Christian singer shared how the unexpected death of his wife Sophia, a few weeks before his national television debut, rattled his beliefs to their very core - before it ultimately strengthened them.
"It caused me to question everything, because you're taught in church that, you know, God is this - he's a healer, he's a helper, he's a refuge," Gokey shared in a podcast.
"And then I go, and I pray and I believe God, and she's praying and I'm praying that God would heal her, and that doesn't happen. And so, it called everything that I believed into question."
Sophia's death did not immediately call his faith into question, recalling the moments of darkness that he said crept up during the healing process.
"You know, at the time, you're in a terrible, emotional state, and you're just wanting God to use it because all things work together for the good," Gokey said. "But, then as you're kind of sitting and you're walking through it, and the questions come and the dark times come and you're by yourself, and you're not on a high moment, you're in a valley.
"You know, you're trying to figure out, 'Well if you're so good, why did you not do this or that? And how come I feel like you abandoned me in the moment I needed you?' And so . that loss caused my faith to come into question."
Gokey believes the "grace of God" that delivered him through the pain. Taking to the "American Idol" stage four short weeks after his wife's death, he captured hearts with his story and progressed through the bulk of the competition, finishing in third place.
"When we live in our own towns and cities, we have our own connect group, you know, whether it's through our church, our family - your world is that," he said. "When I was taken from that and put on a world-stage, my world became bigger, so my perception of my situation became smaller, and so at that moment, the loss didn't have such a[n] effect at that point. But it has its ebbs and flows."
Remarried and has two small children, Gokey continues to honor the memory of his late wife through an organization called Sophia's Heart Foundation, a nonprofit he founded that serves the poor in both Nashville and Milwaukee.
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