“So I will trust you when I cannot see
When the storm rages, you’re my clarity.”


21st February 2018.

Honolulu, Hawaii. Waikiki, to be exact. That’s where I am at the moment, and I’ve been listening to the final mixes of this song Lachlan has sent me.

Finally, this song is ready to be properly heard.

I started writing this song around Autumn 2014. I was 21, and at that time I was searching for clarity around my life direction. I had completed two years of Bible College, interned for my worship pastor – but what now? All my peers were headed to uni and were seemingly moving ahead with their lives, whilst I felt like I had come to a seeming standstill. In addition to that, I believed I had a ‘call’ * that I perceived to be for ministry, and in particular, worship ministry – perhaps to be a worship pastor even - but how that would come about, I had no idea (nor did it occur to me at that time how narrow that particular view towards ministry was, but how that notion unravelled and was reinvented is another story). I also remember wanting direction around what relationships I should pursue and what I should do right now if this ministry dream didn’t come about in the timeframe I wanted it to. To sum up the general life vibe of 21 year old me: cloudy.

I knew one thing for sure: I didn’t want to be stagnant. To be honest, looking back, I don’t even think I was stagnant (and interestingly enough, you can feel this way whilst still kicking goals and making progress – so don’t trust everything you feel).

But I felt stagnant. And stagnation is an interesting transit point to arrive at, because you never usually plan to be there. It’s like the forced stop at some out-of-the-way, dodgy fuel station. This location offers two choices. The first one is certainty. Certainty because you know that if you just keep doing the same old things, you’ll get the same results and it’s safe: the emotional or spiritual equivalent of your steady 9-5 job.

But if you’re a creative soul like me, you know it’s what you moonlight as which brings the most fulfilment. The romantic ideal of stepping out into the unknown and creating the journey you wish to pave. To be like Hemingway, Kerouac, or any of those other mid-century writers working from late night into the wee hours of the morning; pouring out your heart, essence and talent into a passion-project, an artwork (thank you Midnight in Paris for over romanticizing this concept).

The second option at the stagnation stop is uncertainty. And whether it’s some idyllic Hemingway scenario or daring to walk into your God-given calling, you’re going to meet uncertainty. Uncertainty of whether you’re going to realise the God-dream, of whether you’ll make the cut, or even which steps you need to take to get “there”.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s another group of people who end up on the uncertainty route. Not because they sought to escape stagnation, but because life brought them there. They’re there because of pain, hurt or loss, unexpected circumstances, perhaps through some process of humbling – or take your other pick from the myriad of options.

We’re all theoretically in the same uncertain boat, seeking to cross to the other side of this seemingly unending lake.  And the storm begins to rage: the winds blow, the rain beats down, the waves begin to ravage the boat. And we crave to see.

Where will we go?

How will we get there?

Who will come with me?

Who will be with me at the other end?

How long is it to the other side?

Why am I here?

Can’t you show me the reason for all this?

And we can feel blind. Or hazy at the very least. Perhaps we’re on life’s mission and we can see the end destination, but suddenly a storm has interrupted our regularly scheduled programming and plans.

Pause analogy there.

It’s now 2018. I’m 25, finished my first university degree and now find myself blessed to be the Creative Director at my church. In many ways, the conundrums I was facing when I was 21 have been solved or simply blown away through a process of travelling life’s journey, divine providence, seeking counsel from wise mentors and advisors, making mistakes and making up for them and journeying with friends along the way. Some questions have been answered; some answers are still to come. I’ve succeeded at some things and didn’t meet my expectations for others.

Yet I still find myself seeking clarity for some of the similar refrains in my life – they’re just on a different plane from the scenarios I faced when I was 21. I need direction for where I lead this motley crew of creatives. I need direction for other career considerations. I need clarity for where I’m going to invest, save and spend my finances. I still need direction for the relationships I pursue.

So what’s really changed in these last four years then? I’ll let the story of the song explain it for me.

I always intended this song to be my first single. I had vision for it the moment I finished my first draft. I always knew I wanted Hannah to sing it (because she’s incredible!). But it’s been a loooong time from first draft to final release. It’s gone through rewrite after rewrite, revision after revision, producer to producer.

I may have been the sole lyric writer, but there have been plenty of people involved in this song’s formation and maturation over the last four years. And interestingly enough, the lyrics of this song haven’t wavered: they’ve weathered. They possess even more weight for me now than when I first wrote them.

For example:

“I have learnt to testify
of your goodness through the night

Because you come through every time”

That’s the story of the last four years (and my whole life really). It’s been a mix of mountains and valleys, calm seas and wild winds. But no matter what the circumstance was, God has proven himself faithful every time. Rain, hail or shine, He’s turned up. Whether He miraculously intervened or waited with me through the long and dark night, He’s been faithful. And my soul is better off for it.

He hasn't wavered. I’ve just weathered a little.

I too have learnt to echo David’s words from Psalm 92:2:

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night” (NKJV)

It’s true. His love, mercy, peace and kindness will dress you in the morning – even when you don’t feel like getting out of bed. His faithfulness will be the pillow you rest on, even in the darkest and lonely night.

Even in the uncertainty, even in the absence of clarity – the one certainty you can rely on is the faithfulness of God. He will keep pulling through for you every time. He’ll keep in step with you every time. He promises to order the steps of those who love Him and to never leave or forsake you (Psalm 37:23; Deut 31:6).

The pursuit of clarity itself is an empty chase – whilst we’re still here on this planet, we only see as if in a fogged up mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12). It’s as if you were searching for glasses on the rocking boat back in the storm: even if you found your glasses, you’d perhaps be only seeing the storm itself clearer!

However when we pursue Jesus, He becomes our clarity. When our gaze is locked tight on His, He’s the one who is faithful to break us out of the storm and captain our ship through to the other side. And a by-product of that is clarity for our circumstances in the right timing. Sometimes clarity looks like divine wisdom in the moment, the right whisper in a riot or the benefit of hindsight.

Certainty. It’s kinda overrated. Actually the older I get, I grow less certain of many things, except in the surety of Christ my Saviour. It’s in His hands where everything finds its rightful place, either in this life or the next, and if I keep my gaze on His, I trust that everything will eventually be alright (Matthew 6:33).

And to conclude, there’s something that trumps both certainty and clarity: victory. Because in Christ, we’ve already won. Regardless of whether we’re deemed “winners” by spectators or even ourselves in this life or not. Because right now, we are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:31-39) and in the end, everything will be made right and new, every tear will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4-5). The victory isn't ours to win, we're already in it.

I find it fitting to finish with this quote from a man whose faith never seemed to waver, who ventured from this life into the next on this day I’m writing:

“I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s going to turn out alright.”
- Billy Graham

Words by Mark Dunlop


When the road is long and dry
And there is no end in sight
You refresh my eyes to see what you do
I have learnt to testify
Of your goodness through the night
Because you come through every time

So I will trust you
When I cannot see
When the storm rages
You’re my clarity

When my sight fails me
And all is black and white
You change the lens within me
And illuminate my heart
And now I see in colour
My vision brighter than before
Every step walked in purpose
Because you paint my world with hope

I catch a glimpse of your light
It glows bright around me
I catch a glimpse of your light
And you’re all I see
All I see (now)

You’re my clarity

So I will trust you
When I cannot see
When the storm rages
You’re my clarity

Horizons clear before me
As we break out of the storm
You’re my victory

© Mark Dunlop 2018

Thank you to Sam McClean, Lachlan Holmes, Dan Bourke, Josh Burnett, Ben Whincop and Hannah Trotter for making this song come alive – and to my friends and mentors for listening to the seemingly endless revisions of this song over the last 4 years. 

Model: Jessie Swinford
Photography: Nick Bradley
Artwork: Alice Crockett Cousin

You can listen to 'Clarity (ft Han)' here.



* Call: a word that implies the person saying it believes God has personally planned for them to be in a certain sphere of life. For an actual in-depth explanation of what it means to be “called”, see


Matthew 14:22-33

Mark 4:35-41

Psalm 37

Proverbs 16:9

Mark Dunlop