In life, hearts get broken. It is inevitable that something goes wrong. Not everyone is living in the “Happily Ever After” part of their stories. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” It isn’t the trouble that meets us, that makes us who we are. What we do in response to our challenges creates a bigger impact on who we become. Jesus encouraged his followers, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). There is a saying that we cannot avoid the storms, but we can learn to dance in the rain…or sing. Stories about songs born out of heartache strike a chord. The song can touch others and be an inspiration. There are so many songs out there with amazing stories about how the songwriter and artists were moved in the creation process. Plus so many more stories tell of a listener hearing the song at just the right time to make a difference in their day or their lives. The songs’ messages can speak to our souls. Noted here are just a few stories about songs—some old, some new.
In ~1779, Amazing Grace by John Newton: Newton said only God’s amazing grace could take a rude, rough, slave trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. He was talking about how God changed him. “…that saved a wretch like me…”
In 1855, What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph Scriven: Joseph experienced the loss of his first fiancé the day before their wedding due to an accident. The next person he loves also died before they could marry due to pneumonia. He wrote the hymn to comfort his mother. “We should never be discouraged—Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
In ~1862, Jesus Loves Me poem by Anna B. Warner was put to music by William Bradbury. Based on her sister’s request, Anna had written the poem to bring comfort and peace to a dying child. “Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.”
In ~1876, It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio Spafford: The hymn was written after a tragedy in which his four daughters drowned when the boat sank on a transatlantic voyage. “When sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
In ~1886, Standing on the Promises by Russell Kelso Carter: Athletic in his youth, Carter was diagnosed with a critical heart condition at 30 years of age. Felt God healed him and Carter lived for 49 more years but did suffer with many health issues. “When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail.”
Recorded in 2002, I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp: This was the first song that God gave to Jeremy Camp after his first wife passed away. “I still believe in your faithfulness, I still believe in your truth, I still believe in your Holy Word, Even when I don’t see, I still believe.”
In ~2014, There’s Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey: The song is about journeys people go through when it feels like the rain storms will not end, but God puts little pieces of hope in front of you leading you to the light at the end of the tunnel. “…up ahead there’s a big sun shining, right then and there you realize, You’ll be alright.”
In 2016, Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family: The song was written by Hillary and friends after a much wanted pregnancy ends in miscarriage. “I don’t wanna think, I may never understand, that my broken heart is a part of your plan.”
In 2017, Broken Prayer by Riley Clemmons: Written from a feeling that you have to have yourself together to go to God, like your broken pieces are not good enough. “Every scar and every fear, You want all I have, with no holding back.”
Prayers that you will always have a song in your heart that lifts you up when you are down.