by: Erin Keller
Exhuberant, joyful, enthusiastic, fun: those are all words that describe Darla Kilhoffer. Darla may be young in years, but she is mature in her faith in Jesus and in her desire to chase after Him with all her heart.
Darla grew up in a Christian home, the middle child of five. She says that her Dad’s family was all musical, and he would sing around the house. The kids all picked up that habit, and one friend said, “It’s like walking into a Disney movie when I come over. You all just burst into song!”
Life was not all sunshine though. Darla’s Dad passed away when she was 15. She says, “That’s how I came to know who the Lord is in a really, really, real way, because it changed everything I believed about who God was. When my aunt came in to tell me he had passed away, I immediately thought, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m fatherless now.’ Even before I finished it in my head, I heard God say, ‘I’m your father.’” Darla started writing songs to help deal with all the emotions, sad, sad songs at first, but over time the songs changed to reflect the things that she was learning about the Lord. “Dad dying made Him more real because I spent a lot more time with the Lord. As real and hard as grief is, He was even more real in being able to comfort me. If I hadn’t gone through all of that, I wouldn’t know God to be a faithful father and counselor, who counsels us through all the feelings we don’t understand. My favorite verse is ‘You’ve turned my mourning into dancing. You’ve taken my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.’ He reminds me that I’ll always have joy in Him if I choose to hold on to it or receive it. He reminds me that I have freedom in Him, and that joy is a promise for those who want what His heart wants.”