Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessings, by Laura Story



The real story behind Laura Story (from her website):


There’s no denying some of the blessings in Laura Story’s life. She wrote the No. 1 worship hit “Indescribable”, recorded in 2004 by Chris Tomlin, married a handsome athlete named Martin Elvington the next year, and began working in music and women’s ministry at the 4,000-member Perimeter Church in Atlanta. Her 2008 national debut won a Dove Award and earned Laura two consecutive nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year—all blessings, indeed.

But amidst that success, a brain tumor hospitalized her husband in 2006. The faith Story sang about was put through the unexpected fires of fear and loneliness; most young newlyweds don’t imagine being kept alive at one point by breathing machines or having to find their way through significant post-operative vision and memory loss. Would faith grow or be lost in such a life-altering struggle?

“Life is filled with things you don’t expect, but the Bible tells us to respond by trusting God and continuing to worship him,” Story begins. “Martin hasn’t received complete healing—and that can be hard at times when we view God as all-powerful and all-loving. But here we are now saying, ‘Yes, this is how faith works.’ God has proven to be faithful. We have been truly blessed out of a circumstance that at first didn’t seem like much of a blessing at all.”This is a chance to share the gospel.”

“Don’t get the wrong idea. It hasn’t been easy,” Laura admits. “Everyone wants to be a mature and equipped follower, but would I have signed up had I known what it would take? God has grown us up, deepened our faith, our awareness of our great need for him as a savior, daily. We knew it before, but we didn’t see it. This is a good place to be.”

Story likes a quote by martyred Christian missionary Jim Elliot: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

“The world supports an idea of self-centered living because ‘I just have this one life,’ but we need to look at it the other way,” explains Laura. “We only have one life to give to God. I don’t want to have held anything back. I want to give with abandon, to be spent, to truly give my life away for the cause of Christ.”

Yet Story knows firsthand the journey to surrender gets complicated—that it sometimes involves having to redefine what God’s “blessings” could mean, a spiritual wrestling match she perfectly encapsulates on Blessings’ breathtaking title track and first single:


What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life

is a revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?

“The song shows that we still have more questions than answers,” Laura confesses. “But there’s a decision that I find God is asking us to make: whether we are going to choose to interpret our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God, or whether we’re going to judge what we hold to be true about God based on our circumstances.”

Laura and Martin’s circumstances have magnified the blessing of marriage. High school sweethearts, they faced the strong chance their long-awaited bond might last just two years.

“Once you’ve rallied through a life-threatening illness together, the rest of it is like a surprise; every day is a new gift that might not have been there. It’s not as big a deal now if he leaves his socks on the floor,” Laura says with a smile.

“People ask how we’re doing, and I like to say: ‘We have a faithful God.’ Every promise he’s kept, every need he’s met. Without a doubt, blessings abound in Laura Story’s life. Offstage, she and Martin love to be outdoors, riding bikes or trekking their way through the book 50 Hikes in North Georgia.


Lyrics:
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is too way too much to give us lesser things.


Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?


What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?


We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.


All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.

And long that we'd have faith to believe.


Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?


What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;

We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home.
It's not our home.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of a greater thirst that a world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;

Are Your mercies in disguise?


Supporting Scriptures:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1 :2-4

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1 :12

"As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy." James 5: 11

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1: 6-7

4 comments:

  1. I love this song, because it speaks into the heart of every true christian. There are things that the Lord allows in our lives, which we cannot understand, and that's exactly where our faith gets tested. It's easy to say that I love you Lord when everything is okay, but how harder it is to say the same thing when it's otherwise. I know from experience that there are situations that God puts us into, in which no one can help us but Him. In these situations we indeed come to know Him and his love. No wonder in Isaiah 55:8-9 says, " For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways my ways... As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Nonetheless, He delivers the righteous and rewards the one who stood to the end. I can't wait until I see my Lord, because He is the One who had been with me thought all the valleys of my life. I'm 16 alomst 17 and there is nothing I treasure more than the fact that I tasted His goodness. I live or die, it's for Him. GOD BLESS U ALL. We're all on the same path to heaven...:)

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to share this young couples life as christians, trusting God in very hard circumstances.
    beautiful poem in the music.

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  3. What a wonderful post to hear the story behind this wonderful song that has comforted so many. I read that Laura was very careful to pray about these lyrics as she knew she would be putting words into peoples mouths. I know you aren't writing anymore on this blog, but I do hope you'll keep open what you've written so others like me who stumble on it will be blessed. I will share this post with my friend who is praying her 30 year old son through a brain tumor at this time. ~ Abby

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  4. My favorite song!

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