Anna Claire Farmer // Contributing writer
In a house on a quiet street in Murfreesboro, Chris and Stephanie Teague, otherwise known as the Christian music duo, Out of the Dust, take time from their busy lives to talk about music, family and marriage to each other— the second time around. The two sets of wedding pictures hanging on the wall side by side foretell an improbable story of reconciliation and redemption.
Stephanie, a pixie-like woman with long blonde hair and kind eyes, sits curled into the couch. Surrounded by comfort colors and cushioned corners, a totally baby-safe environment, Steph is the paragon of a first-grade teacher. Her soft voice trills along as she brags on her husband, a consummate coffee aficionado. Meanwhile, Chris, tall and charismatic with dark curly hair, bustles around the kitchen, grinding beans and steaming milk to create his perfect cup of coffee. Steaming drink in hand, he settles in next to his wife.
The couple gracefully juggles parenthood of two kids under the age of two, along with their blossoming music careers and Chris’ job in sales.
“We couldn’t do it without our family,” Stephanie said, sincerity and gratitude written on her face. Musicians, parents, friends: these people are serious multitaskers.
While sipping at Chris’ hot coffee, a nearly unbelievable story unfolded.
“I was doing the things that boys in college around the music industry do,” Chris said. “There was nothing left, there was really no hope… but out of the dust God breathed life back into our story.”
Chris and Stephanie met and married young, both graduating from MTSU in 2008. But four years into their marriage, life took a sharp turn. Chris explained that he was searching for answers about life that led him away from his relationships with God and with Stephanie. Believing that his faith in God had been misplaced, Chris’ life fell apart, and he filed for divorce. The couple spent six months in “a place of hurt and brokenness.”
During their time apart, Stephanie said she felt frustrated and confused. She had never imagined that Chris would doubt God, or that he would doubt her. Needing a permanent reminder of her anchor during this painful season, she decided to get a tattoo. Written on her foot in the thick, bold strokes of Hebrew is a verse from Song of Solomon.
“I am my Beloved’s,” Steph explained. “It’s a reminder that this is what my identity is. It’s in Christ. It’s not in my circumstances. It’s not in my relationships or any of that.”
“The pain was like a mirror that showed me the truth of who I was and what I’d done,” Chris shared. “And it didn’t take long for me to realize that leaving Stephanie was a huge mistake. I heard a message more clear than any other I’d ever received from God that I was to pursue Stephanie again.”
Needless to say, Stephanie took some more convincing. She was reluctant but finally decided to meet Chris for counseling. After much prayer, they married again just over a year after the couple split. As their relationship was restored, Chris decided to tattoo the completion of Stephanie’s verse onto his arm: “My beloved is Mine.”
Just after their second first anniversary, Out of the Dust was born. Earlier this year, the duo released their first EP Lead Me Through with their producer, Joe Causey. Honestly written with a folk-pop sound, their music connects to listeners with its authenticity. Stephanie’s voice hints at singers like Ingrid Michelson and Joy Williams, while Chris’ sound evokes Andy Grammer. The combination of their voices and the acoustic instruments meld into a unique mix of The Civil Wars, All Sons & Daughters and Gungor. Their new single, “All That I’m Made For,” along with the rest of the CD, is available now on iTunes.
On a Friday evening as summer drew to a close, sounds of friendship filled a tight, warm coffee shop. Abstract art scattered the walls as people lounged in oversized leather chairs. The easy sounds of guitar and voices blended into the relaxed atmosphere. The Teagues stood at the front of the room singing and smiling at their family and friends. With Stephanie strumming on the ukulele and Chris accompanying on the guitar, the duo sang a cheery cover of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Sharing their love by performing for the packed room full of bobbing heads and easy grins, this couple truly exuded a happiness that no dust can obscure.
Check out their website where you can sample their CD and get more information at http://www.outofthedustmusic.com/.
To contact Lifestyles editor Rhiannon Gilbert email firstname.lastname@example.org