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2013 Songwriting Award Winner: Stacey Gbeklui

Meet Stacey Gbeklui (bek-lee), the Canadian songwriter behind "I'll Worship (Despite)". Her worship song took second place in the 2013 DeoSound Christian Songwriting Awards.

This song is ultimately about letting go and letting God 'be all'. As with many Christian songs from the heart, it is not just "a song", but a testimony in the making.

Stacey explains the background: "My church's theme for this year was "The Lord's Goodness", which is based on Psalm 34:8. Yet, this was definitely a tough year for me. I had to learn that God's goodness doesn't always mean God giving me what I want or expect. But His goodness is also about Him allowing me to grow, to get through obstacles and deal with situations wisely, to develop strength in weak areas, to be able to learn how fight spiritually."

It is so often when we are in the hard places that God can reach us. Stacey is in her final year studying psychology. "I was stressed out and fed up with the things going on at the time. I went to the music rehearsal room on campus, and just let God speak. He gave me the song to let me know that I'm not in this alone, and that I shouldn't forget Him, but let my heart be light and just rejoice in Him being who He is."

Lessons of faith

Stacey observes that as Christians, we're certainly not exempt from life's issues. Even in them we are required to go to God, and lift up our hearts. It's not easy, but she sees that is where faith and humility come in. "This year God has been teaching me about having faith, and ultimately what it means to be humble. And let me tell you, humility is no easy lesson to learn! David said at the beginning of Psalm 34, that he would praise the Lord at all times. I had to ask myself if I could do that too."

The song was very much born out of her personal experience, and how God has been challenging her to deepen her own faith. Stacey's desire is for this song to touch someone who has felt like she has, and for them to know that the victory is in our worship, our acknowledgement and trust in Christ as gracious Lord over everything.

Future directions

As with all entries to the Songwriting Awards, Stacey chose to put her song under a free Creative Commons license. This helps to fulfill her desire of allowing God to reach others through her song, because now it can be freely shared for non-commercial use.

Since ministry is the main focus of her music, she may consider using simple Creative Commons licenses for all her worship music, and avoid her songs getting tangled up in regular commercial licensing.

Songwriting and university studies might seem enough to keep anyone busy, but Stacey also finds time to serve as a youth leader, worship leader, and a piano accompanist too.

Music and worship are clearly Stacey's passion. As she wraps up her studies this year, what is next? "I believe music and worship is how God has called me to spread His word. Unfortunately, it took me until my third year to realize that I really wanted to pursue music!"

She may consider further studies or even a second degree in music down the road. She would also love to do some professional recording too.

Right now, Stacey is loving the many music opportunities God has already provided. And she plans to use her DeoSound scholarship towards keyboard and vocal lessons, so we hope to hear more from this talented songwriter in years to come!

Meet Stacey Gbeklui, and hear the story behind "I'll Worship"

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