How Losing His Sight Affected Blessing Offor's Faith

How Losing His Sight Affected Blessing Offor's Faith

How Losing His Sight Affected Blessing Offor’s Faith

Blessing Offer hopped on a call with Justin and Kim and he was such a joy to talk to! He talks about how he found joy in the midst of suffering even after losing his eyesight as a young boy. Find out which Christian artist has played a major role in his life, both professionally and personally.

And you’ve heard that song Brighter Days on JOY FM. He also shares how he can say that with confidence… things are going to get better!



View this video with Blessing Offor, and other interviews with JOY FM artists videos on the JOY FM YouTube Channel.


Kim:

We cannot wait for you to see our interview with Blessing Offor. It was amazing. He’s such a great guy.

Justin:

He talks about how he found joy in the midst of suffering even after losing his eyesight as a young boy.

Kim:

Find out which Christian artist has played a major role in his life, both professionally and personally.

Justin:

And you’ve heard that song Brighter Days on JOY FM. He also shares how he can say that with confidence, that things are going to get better.

Kim:

So let’s jump into the interview with Blessing.

Justin:

We are so glad to introduce you to Blessing Offor.

Kim:

Woohoo.

Justin:

Hey, hey, how doing man?

Blessing Offor:

Hey, guys.

Justin:

Now, if you watch The Voice, you may recognize Blessing. You got a four chair turn, what was it? Season seven? Is that right?

Blessing Offor:

Season seven, ye old season seven.

Kim:

Oh my goodness. What did that feel like?

Blessing Offor:

You know what’s really funny. I think they edited this out, but secret of The Voice is you don’t hear the chairs turning as it’s happening so after that happened, the crowd was like, “Whoo,” so in my mind, I’m like, “Okay. Something good happened because I’m obviously not seeing them.” Then after the hubbub was done, Adam was like, “Dude, you must be excited.” I’m like, “For what?”

Kim:

Well, we’ve read that your parents sent you to the US from Nigeria at six.

Blessing Offor:

Yes, ma’am.

Kim:

For medical treatment and training. Could you really comprehend what your life would look like or what was in store? That’s a big move for any child.

Blessing Offor:

I tell you guys, my concept of America, this is going to be a surreal thing. I think about it all the time and it blows my mind. I, as a six year old, thought that America was up. Because in order to go to America, you needed an airplane. In my mind, America was somewhere up, you know what I mean? Not like heaven, but in the sky, for sure.

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Kim:

That’s amazing.

Blessing Offor:

Because you needed – and so in my mind, the airplane would take off and park somewhere up there in America.

Kim:

That’s awesome.

Justin:

Now was the medical treatment you were coming to the US for, was that for the eye condition? Because-

Kim:

Yes, sir.

Justin:

You were born with what was it? Congenital glaucoma?

Blessing Offor:

Yeah, look at you. Congenital glaucoma.

Justin:

I can say fancy words sometimes.

Blessing Offor:

Yeah. Yeah. You did great.

Justin:

How did that impact you? Because I’ve even heard you say as a kid, you would pray for your vision to come back and-

Blessing Offor:

Yeah.

Justin:

When that didn’t happen, how did that impact you and your faith down the line?

Blessing Offor:

It’s funny. Yale, to their credit, did a great job, saved the eye, the good eye. Then the accident I had when I was towards the end of elementary school is what took the vision in the good eye. I always say to people, actually, I just did an interview where I’m careful when I tell my story as it were. Everybody says, “What’s your story?”

Because a story is way more fun to tell after the fact. When we tell the story, it’s like we’re tempted to make it look really cool and simple but it was a confusing thing as a kid to all of a sudden lose the vision that you thought we had saved. You know what I mean?

But at the same time, it’s one of those things where when you deal with something that makes you come to grips with what makes you you and what makes God good, you know what I mean? These big questions that I think most people don’t ever get to think about and struggle with. Struggling with it at say 10, 11, 12 is an interesting time, but when you get the answers and they are satisfying and they’re good, and you find that God is up to that challenge, it’s a really grounding, beautiful thing that I wish I could give to everybody.

When you find that your faith is up to the challenge and in fact grows from the challenge, man, it’s a kind of joy that nothing else can really touch.

Kim:

Man, I love that. You seem like a very joyful person. I was reading that you love to surround yourself with people who are not believers because it’s important to be able to hear what they’re going through and what they’re thinking about faith. You specifically said, “I like to listen and challenge them to question, because you should question if you’re going to stand on something.”

Blessing Offor:

Yes. Oh man. I think we’re … Believers, we all are, some of us, I should say, are afraid of, we think questioning is bad. Listen, when you’re 11, 12 years old and you’re losing a bunch of vision, you can either pretend you’re not questioning and your head explodes- Or you can question out loud. I grew up in Connecticut where it’s … Connecticut is a really, really great place to grow up, I would say. It’s not culturally super Christian, the Northeast, and so to question, there was no one telling me to stop, like “Don’t question,” and no one was giving me the, for lack of a better word, the platitudes. They really let me question because it’s okay to question.

Because if we believe in what we think we believe, then God can handle some questions, even the hard ones, especially the hard ones. He wants us to question and because when you find that there are answers to your questions, it only strengthens you and grounds you deeper in what you believe. I’m a huge advocate of asking questions.

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Kim:

I love that. That’s great.

Justin:

Well, the first time I heard of Blessing Offor, I got to be honest. I didn’t see you on The Voice. I was listening to Chris Tomlin and Friends, which is predominantly a country album. It’s Chris Tomlin with a bunch of country artists and then you get to the last song-

Kim:

This ray of sunshine.

Blessing Offor:

And then bam.

Justin:

Which is Tin Roof and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, who is this?” And no offense to Chris Tomlin but when he sings the second verse, I was like, “Dude, can you hush? I want to hear more of Blessing.” That was my first experience hearing you and no lie, dude. I cranked that song so loud so many times. It is beautiful. If you haven’t heard Tin Roof, go listen to it. But what has Chris Tomlin meant to you personally and musically?

Blessing Offor:

Dude. First and foremost, Chris Tomlin is a good man. Anybody who’s been around the music industry will attest to the fact that oftentimes what glitters isn’t gold, but Tomlin is as good as you would hope somebody of his stature would be and that’s the best you can ever say about somebody is he is that guy.

He lets me make the good, good father jokes, which is really awesome. I say he’s my fairy good, good father because he literally just came along and plucked me out of obscurity. I was in Nashville for a long time and nobody cared.

Tomlin goes, “Hey man, I like the song. I’d like you to sing on it.”

Blessing Offor:

I said, “Chris, I’m a Christian obviously, but I’m not like a worship leader in the traditional sense of the word.” I didn’t write Tin Roof for are Christians, I wrote Tin Roof for humans going through hard times.

Because all humans, believe it or not, want hope and I think the thing I do when I write music is I don’t think, “This is for a Christian audience,” I just think, “All people deserve to know this.” If that means that I write it and … Paul says, “I was a Greek for the Greeks and a Roman for the Romans and a Jew for the Jews.”

If that means I have to change my vernacular and make it more accessible to everybody, then that’s my personal joy is to be able to be at a bar and play Tin Roof in a writer’s round and have people of hear the song and hear the heart behind the song and hopefully be moved because that’s what we’re supposed to do.

So Tomlin was like, “Dude, I just want you to be yourself,” and that was the best thing I’d ever heard because up to that point, everybody was just trying to fit me into a box of some sort, so I’m grateful to that guy beyond words.

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Justin:

Well, I’m also grateful. While I love the version with Chris Tomlin, that you now have your own version where you sing the second verse!

Kim:

I can’t wait. Brighter Days people in St. Louis are loving it. It’s such a great song. It’s so encouraging and uplifting. What does that song mean to you as … You write for humans so what does it mean to Blessing Offor?

Blessing Offor:

Hmm. Brighter Days was Blessing Offor trying to say to as many people as possible, hopes dashed, dreams not realized, pain, all these things are normal and kind of promised through life. Nobody’s going to get out of life not being hurt.

Before I tell somebody, “Hey, they’re going to be brighter days,” first I have to be willing to go, “Here’s my example of my not so bright days, the bad days, the painful stuff,” because it’s only with that kind of honesty that anybody wants to hear what you have to tell them because if you’re just walking around sharing kind of cheesy hope, you know what I mean? Shallow happiness, that dries up really quick because as soon as you hit a bump, it’s all gone, it’s all out the window.

But if you can give somebody a deep, deep joy and hope and foundation, then they’re ready. You can’t say to somebody, “Everything’s going to be great.”

Then they’ll wake up and things aren’t great and then you’re a liar.

But if you say, “Hey, you’re going to go through hard things. I’m so sorry about that, but it’s going to be all right.”

Then you’re not a liar because they are going to go through hard things, but it is going to be all right. That’s what Brighter Days is for me.

Justin:

I think that’s why you can have confidence when you say it because the chorus says, “I know there’s going to be brighter days.” Because you’ve been through it, now you’re on the other side of it. Man, I know Kim had a battle with cancer, now she’s on the other side of that. I went through divorce, now I’m on the other side of that. We can stay with confidence that brighter days are coming and I love the message behind that song.

Blessing Offor:

Yes, yes.

Kim:

And if not, He’s still good.

Justin:

Yes.

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Blessing Offor:

Listen. Even if He doesn’t save your eyesight, He’s still good. Even if, He’s still good. Yeah. I’m a huge fan of reality and reality is so messy and it’s only in embracing all of that, that joy really feels like joy because-

There’s a storm outside right now. That’s reality but that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t shining or won’t shine again. I think God shows us reality all the time, we like the cheap high sometimes instead of the real, real, real stuff.

Kim:

Yeah. It’s true. Your music video, the portion I saw was you’re outside with the piano and the people around and-

Blessing Offor:

Yes.

Kim:

You come in, it was just so sweet. You commented how you were really excited to highlight the cast of the video.

Blessing Offor:

Yes.

Kim:

I would love to know why. Tell me what that’s about.

Blessing Offor:

That’s my first music video with a budget on a label and Brighter Days being what it is I was like, “Man, I could do a video of just me but this song is not about me.” This song is my testimony so to speak and there are more stories than mine and I’m always really careful not to glorify my story or not to make it sound like, “Oh, look at the happy ending,” because there are a lot of people in the middle of their story and there are a lot of endings that aren’t cookie cutter happy. There are a lot of prayers that people pray where God answers them in a way that you didn’t expect or you didn’t see coming.

Kim:

Yeah.

Blessing Offor:

For that video, I just wanted to tell stories of people going through different things and where the ending isn’t like, “Oh, we won the lottery and everything’s awesome.” Although that would be nice. Again, joy isn’t joy unless it’s real and unless it’s based off of what the world is.

Justin:

Blessing, it’s been so cool talking to you. I know right now you’ve only got one song on JOY FM, but I think the next time we connect, we’re going to be talking about many more.

Blessing Offor:

Oh, man.

Justin:

The JOY FM audience has heard and has sung along to and it’s been encouraged by. It’s been such a treat man, hanging out with you for just a couple of minutes.

Kim:

Thank you so much.

Justin:

We really appreciate you.

Blessing Offor:

You guys, thank you deeply. Thank you, JOY FM family, and you guys, listen. I’m telling you, believe, check that song out.

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