ELEVEN22 WORSHIP BLOG

Behind the Song: What Grace Did For Me

"What Grace Did For me" is a very raw and vulnerable look into my walk with the Lord. As a raging introvert, my struggles with fear, self-worth. “Am I good enough?" really dictated my relationship with Christ for years. My tendency to run in the opposite direction of the Lord in my hard times was so opposite of most people but it was always my reaction. I was journaling one day and thought I would write down all those struggles I had, and then I started writing how God has been present in all those things and really, the opposite of all of them. Each line has a story that I can specifically tell of how God carried me through some crazy time in my life. "I fall apart, You pick me up"... "I lose my mind, You put it at ease"..."I'm terrified of almost everything, You tell me that I'm under Your wing"...all those are lines have such powerful meaning to me. I battled anxiety and some depression after my first child was born. I tried so hard to fix it and realized I couldn't do it by myself but through Christ and my amazing husband, whose walk with the Lord is so strong, I was able to say, “Ok, I don't have it altogether. I am human and I need help.”  I have always felt inadequate as a singer and worship leader and the fear used to be somewhat paralyzing.  For some reason God uses me and my only desire and prayer every time I step foot on stage is to be a conduit to help others enter in a very personal time of worship with Jesus. 
 
After I wrote all those things into my journal and started making it more poetic and lyrical, I just looked at it all and it seemed to make sense that, wow, I finally could see what grace did for me!  It became exciting to put it all together.  The third verse is really my favorite. It was more of a response to the phrase, "I finally see what grace did for me".  Now,  I could look past myself and see My Savior for what He is all the time and not for what I need Him to be in my specific circumstances. Isaiah 41:10 says, "Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand". Verse 13 says, "For I the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you 'fear not, I am the one who helps you".  It is the Lord who has shown me grace and saved me from myself!  
 
That is what this song is about for me. I really hope that it will be a comfort to others as they walk through their faith and give the Lord their struggles one piece at a time.  
 

- Gretchen Martin // Worship Leader & Songwriter of "What Grace Did For Me" 

>>> Listen to the song "What Grace Did For Me"

Behind the Song: God Above

"If we were to be honest, we often think that God lives somewhere in the sky and unemotionally watches us as we go about our lives, uninterrupted by His commands and saturated with our own agendas. We choose to stay uninterested in His grand plan for humanity and we all suffer for it.  Maybe by some miracle we might interact with God, but it is usually at a distance. We never really graduated from the garden, where we think we can hide from God, even when we know somewhere down deep that He knows us. I suppose we’re afraid to face the reality that He is everywhere and is in everything. I guess it’s a little scary to think that you’re not a mystery to Him. He has counted every second of your life and knows every thought that you have had, even the ones you never acted on. In the book of Jeremiah, God poses a question: 'Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? (Jeremiah 23:24) Hebrews tells us:  'And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.' (Hebrews 4:13)
 
Our human instinct is to try and hide ourselves from God, but the truth is, we cannot hide from God. He is above us, below us, beside us and even in the very air we breathe. He holds the universe together and still has the capacity to be intricately involved in your world. So how should we respond to the idea that we have no secrets when considering our relationship with the Lord? How do we live our lives knowing that He is beside us in every good decision and bad? How do we align our lives to be aware that God is everywhere and in everything? I believe we choose to align our lives to the truth of God’s word and invite God in every area of our being.
 
St. Patrick wrote a prayer in 433 A.D. called St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The breastplate referenced the military armor used by soldiers and it was the centerpiece of the armor. The prayer is a desperate cry for God to penetrate every corner of St. Patrick’s life. St. Patrick realized that in order to live in the Holiness God was desiring him to live in, he had to have Jesus in every thought, in every decision, in every action:
 
I arise today, through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
 
Sometimes you have to decide to align yourself to the truth of God and stand firm in the knowledge that God is with you and not against you. You must believe that He controls all things and still, with all of that power and glory, wants to be with you and care for you. Can we have the confidence to align ourselves to this kind of prayer? In all things may we have an awareness of the presence of God? Can we choose to recognize God in every moment? Can we make decisions in our lives as if God was right beside us? This song is an invitation to allow God to be ever present. That even though we know, even though we stumble or fall, that God never leaves us. He is always near. We are as far away from God as we choose to be. I hope this song helps you invite the manifest presence of God into the secret places of your life, so that He can be glorified and you can finally find peace that passes all understanding."
 

- Pastor Ben Williams // Worship Pastor & Songwriter of "God Above"

>>> Listen to the song "God Above" 
>>> Lyric Video
 

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