What if we wrote a song about the faithfulness of God?” The idea came from Meredith Andrew’s friend and fellow songwriter Mia Fields back in 2011. Funny, because we met Mia back in 2013 when she came to speak at Shattered’s first women’s event. So when we met Meredith at the Evangelical Press Association’s conference in California, we marveled at how the past year had led us to meet the voice that gave life to the song and knew we had to learn more of the story behind it.
Learning in Reverse
While many songs tend to be inspired by a life experience, just the reverse happened with this lead single, “Not For a Moment,” from Meredith’s fourth album, “Worth it All.”
The idea of showcasing God’s faithfulness resonated with Meredith and her husband Jacob when they heard Mia’s suggestion. “We just started talking about the faithfulness of God in every circumstance and how He’s seen us through, even when we didn’t see it, even when we were unaware of the presence and the provision and the faithfulness of God. It was still available and abundant to us,” Meredith said.
As Meredith’s husband Jacob began to play a melody on the piano, the lyrics started to come alive, and in that sweet moment, the tears began to stream down Mia and Meredith’s faces. “And in that moment, we knew that this song was special,” Meredith said. “When we left, we were going, ‘Lord, thank you for that.’”
When Her World Fell Down
But Meredith had only just begun to realize the power of the song’s inspired words. Meredith would soon find herself clinging to that very song in the months to come. They wrote it in August of 2011, and in December, Meredith’s family began to walk through a hard journey with her youngest brother who had decided to make some bad decisions in his life that affected everyone around him.
“It was really hard to watch,” Meredith remembered. “I was home for Christmas, and he walked out. We didn’t know if he was going to come back. He was raised the same way I was, and I know my parents’ hearts were breaking, just going ‘Where did we go wrong? What do we do now?’ You just feel so helpless when your child is turning their back on the Lord and on their family and choosing to go their own way.”
Needless to say, it was a devastating time for Meredith’s family. But it was only the first heart wrenching moment they would find themselves facing that holiday season.
“Two days after Christmas, we were packing up our car to go visit Jacob’s cousin who was in the hospital and was supposed to deliver that day. As we were in the driveway, we got the call that the baby had no heartbeat. It was 40 weeks. We didn’t see it coming,” Meredith vividly recalled.
“We walked into that room, but it’s like, what do you say to someone who’s going through that? Her whole family was there, so we were all in the hospital room, and she asked us to sing ‘In Christ Alone.’ Then two days later, at the funeral, we sang ‘Not for a Moment.’ And that was the song that carried us through.”
Filled with words of the steadfastness and hope of the Lord, Meredith and Jacob would remind one another of those truths and sing the words to each other. “At my hurt, at my worst, when my world falls down, not for a moment will you forsake me.” They were words of healing and comfort, a balm for their broken hearts.
The Provision of His Presence
But Meredith knew the questions that tend to arise out of crushing moments like those she experienced with her family, questions like, “If He knew, then why didn’t He stop it?”
“He’s not cruel. He’s faithful. We live in a broken place, in a fallen world, so He gives us provision through those hard things. He said, ‘In this world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world.’ That’s the promise that we have, that He will never leave our side, even in the midst of tragedy and heartache and valleys. The provision is really His presence; it’s just Him with us, knowing that He carries us when we can’t walk any more. He sustains us.”
Through their journey, Meredith began to realize that the one constant source of assurance wasn’t so much the song itself, but the God who inspired the song, showing them more of who He is and reaffirming His presence through the words they sang.
“It’s amazing to me; there have been lots of songs that God has given to me before I knew the fullness, the weight of what I was really saying, and why I needed to know it, and how it was going to play such a role of such encouragement, and reminding me what’s real and what’s true in hard things,” Meredith said. “I think it’s the kindness of the Lord to go, ‘You’re going to walk through something hard; here’s a song to remind you of who I am, and that I’m not going to leave you in the midst of it, and that I actually have a purpose.’”
Believing God is Good
For many going through times of struggle, though, it’s hard to immediately find comfort when we hear seemingly trite and insensitive phrases like “God is good.” And as Meredith admitted — sometimes we do tend to just throw those phrases around. “But,” she said, “when you really analyze that statement, the thought that God is good at His core, that is His identity. That’s who He is. He’s good in all His ways, in all His thoughts towards us. That doesn’t change, even when our circumstances do.”
And still, we all have moments where it’s hard to believe it. Meredith explained, “I had to recognize that even in what seemed like something so cruel and something so hard, that didn’t change the fact that God is so good even in the midst of it. How is that possible? It’s just the fact that God is holding it all together. He’s holding us, and He shows His grace to us.”
In fact, Meredith sees a purpose for going through those unforeseen moments in our lives. “I think that if we didn’t walk through hard things, we’d be more prone to rely on our own abilities and capabilities and capacities, saying ‘Oh, I’ve got this covered, thanks Lord.’ But it’s when we are pushed, and when we are squeezed, and when we come to the end of ourselves that the Lord just reveals himself to us, saying ‘I’m the one you need. I’m the one who’s holding you. I’m good, even when your circumstances aren’t.’”
Does it eliminate the pain we experience in those times? Of course not. Meredith’s own story attests to that. But these reminders of who our God is serve as our rock when the world around us seems to come crashing down. And that’s a really good thing, according to Meredith.
“He has to break down our walls and break down our facades in order to really get to our hearts and show us His kindness, and His goodness, and His grace, even in the hard things that shatter us.”