Surrendering Your Dreams to God

with Laura Story | November 18, 2019

Christian singer and songwriter Laura Story talks about the song, "Indescribable," that launched her career and tells how she's found joy in her circumstances. Laura's husband, Martin, whom she's been married to since 2004, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lives with memory deficit.

Christian singer and songwriter Laura Story talks about the song, "Indescribable," that launched her career and tells how she's found joy in her circumstances. Laura's husband, Martin, whom she's been married to since 2004, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lives with memory deficit.

Surrendering Your Dreams to God

With Laura Story
|
November 18, 2019
| Download Transcript PDF

Bob: When singer/songwriter Laura Story's husband, Martin, experienced a traumatic brain tumor more than a decade ago—things got very challenging on a practical level.

 

Laura: It's been a challenge, also, with our faith, trying to understand how a good and—a God, who loves us and has a good plan for our lives—why He would allow such hardship and why He wouldn't answer our prayers necessarily the way—you know, we've been praying for complete healing for Martin for 13 years now and have not seen that yet. We still believe God's capable of it; but we're learning what it looks like to trust His timing/to trust His plan above our own.

Just because He's not working the way that we think that He should, it doesn't mean that He's not at work in ways that are best for us and that bring Him the most glory.

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, November 18th. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson; I'm Bob Lepine. We'll hear from Laura Story today about how she learned that sometimes blessings come from raindrops. Stay with us.

[Interview in front of FamilyLife® staff] And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. This is a little different for us today because we have a live studio audience joining us. [Cheers and applause]

Dave: Wow; wow!

Ann: That's a good audience.

Dave: It is.

Bob: You haven't done one of these recordings with an audience; right?

Dave: I'm sort of liking this. I think we should do this every day. [Laughter] What do you think?

Ann: Would you join us in the studio every day?

Bob: Here's the reason why we brought a live studio audience in—because we have a very special guest joining us. She is a Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and the former bass player for Silers Bald. Would you welcome Laura Story?

Dave: There you go! [Cheers and applause]

Laura: Thank you guys. Thanks so much. [Laughter]

Dave: You didn't know he was going to pull out the bass player; did you?

 

Laura: No, I did not. That was a long time ago.

 

Bob: We should also say you're responsible, pretty much singlehandedly, for launching Chris Tomlin's career; right?

Laura: I don't know if you can say singlehandedly. [Laughter] You're giving me a little more credit than I deserve.

Bob: You wrote a song—what was it?—2000 and—

Laura: It was back when I was in college, so it was 2000-something; and yes, Chris found my song, Indescribable, and recorded it. It was his first radio single.

Bob: So, we've got to keep order. Would you play and lead us in Indescribable?

Laura: Sure!

Bob: Okay, let's do that.

Laura: [Playing piano and singing Indescribable] [Applause]

Indescribable I wrote—I really was just driving down the interstate near Asheville, North Carolina, one day—and just beautiful sunset. It was this gorgeous landscape I was looking at. I was reminded of, you know, in the Psalms, where David says, “The heavens are declaring the glory of God.” I was really awestruck by the beauty. There were no words to describe the beauty I was experiencing right there. It was a reminder to me of the fact that He truly is indescribable; He's an indescribable God.

Bob: As I've talked to people about you and known you—

Laura: Oh, no.

Dave: Uh, oh.

Bob: —I've just found myself telling people: “Laura Story is one of those people, who has faced an unusual amount of adversity in her life, and reflects joy every time I see her.” I just want to know how you do that.

Laura: Bob, thank you. Man, that was overwhelming. We've known each other for—

Bob: —a while.

Laura: —quite a while now.

The adversity that Bob refers to—so, I've been married to my husband, Martin, for

15 years now. Within the first two years of our marriage, Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The plan we had for our life/the plan that we had so graciously—

Ann: —planned for God.

Laura: Yes. [Laughter] We had drafted it up; we just needed Him to sign off on it. [Laughter] Very quickly, we realized that this was not the plan. This was not what our lives were going to look like.

Martin—you know, we have a wonderful life; four fantastic kids; but Martin still lives with a disability. He lives with a vision deficit and a memory deficit. It's a challenge to us; just in daily living, he faces a lot of challenges. And it's been a challenge, also, with our faith—trying to understand how a good and—a God who loves us and has a good plan for our lives—why He would allow such hardship and why He wouldn't answer our prayers necessarily the way—you know, we've been praying for complete healing for Martin for 13 years now and have not seen that yet.

We still believe God's capable of it, but we're learning what it looks like to trust His timing/to trust His plan above our own. Just because He's not working the way that we think that He should, it doesn't mean that He's not at work in ways that are best for us and that bring Him the most glory.

Ann: Did you ever go through a time that you struggled with that?—with what God was doing?—like, “God, what are You doing?”

Laura: You're saying that in the past tense? [Laughter] Oh, man; we're always struggling with that on some level.

One of the neat things about the Scriptures is that they actually give space for that. I love the Psalms because they remind us, as believers, that we don't have to always have this tidy put-together faith. You see a guy like David—one of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 13, where he says: “How long, O Lord. Will You forget me forever? How long are You going to hide from me?”

I was so comforted to see, not just that David said that, as a man after God's own heart, but that God included it. However that worked, with Him compiling this God-breathed Scripture together, that He includes a guy, who shows doubt/that is honest about feeling forsaken.

What I love about David is that he ends with this volitional decision: “I will trust in Your lovingkindness. My heart will rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to You because You've dealt bountifully with me.” He's saying, “I've looked back on Your track record of faithfulness in my life; and even though I don't understand what You're doing right now, I believe that You're a good God; and I'm going to continue to praise You.”

Bob: Think about this—that's not just a song that David wrote out of his own personal experience, but it's in the hymnbook of Israel.

Laura: Oh, yes.

Bob: So they say, “Everybody, get out your hymnbook and let's all sing—

Laura: —“about David's bad day.” [Laughter]

 

Bob: —which is our bad day/which is what all of us have gone through. The invitation that God gives us to lament is part of God acknowledging: “I know you're frail. I know you're feeble.” And in the process of being honest about what you're going through, you're going to find strength and even joy. You've been able to find joy in your circumstances, even when it's been hard.

Did you think?—no, of course you didn't. [Laughter] You couldn't have thought, in the midst of dealing with Martin's adversity—I know that songwriters often find their greatest inspiration in the midst of their deepest pain. But you couldn't realize: “There's a Grammy award in the midst of this circumstance right here.” [Laughter]

Laura: Well, it's interesting how—you know, God's timing—because that's something that I've had to learn—to release my timetable and follow His. One of the things that happened to us—within 48 hours of Martin being diagnosed with his brain tumor, I was offered a record deal, which is just—

Dave: Really?

Laura: Yes; we had been going along just fine for however long, and I had submitted some songs; and no one seemed to like them; and then, all of a sudden, this one label called. It was this thing that I'd been praying for and really hoping for; and then all of a sudden, Martin gets this diagnosis.

I immediately had to say to them: “Thank you,”—and I can't believe I'm saying this—“but no; I'm not able to do this. I really need to focus on my husband's health right now.” They came back, probably three months later, and then six months later, and then nine months later. Finally, about a year later, they came back and I was kind of irritated. I remember saying to them: “We are more broken than we've ever been. I'm also this worship leader at my church, and we're walking through such a hard time.” It was really tough getting up there and singing the How Good Is Our God songs when my life was falling apart.

I remember my wonderful record label saying: “Laura, those are the songs we want you to write. We want you to write songs, not about how to worship God and praise Him when everything's going well, but “How do you keep worshiping Him and following Him and pledging your life to Him when it's falling apart?” It was kind of an epiphany to me and I thought, “Well, I'll try it.” [Laughter]

Bob: —“give that a whirl.” [Laughter]

Laura: “I'll give it a whirl.” And it was amazing just to see that it was a part of my processing what we were walking through—was writing songs. The more people that would hear those songs—they'd say, “Yeah, that's where we are.” I started to realize that so many people are living in that—

Ann: —pain.

Laura: Yes; in the midst of the trial rather than on the other side. And maybe even: “That's where faith happens. That's where praise needs to happen,”—not on the other side when we see this wonderful ending.

I grew up, thinking of giving testimony to God, as like a “Christian saved by the bell episode.” [Laughter] “Here’s this problem, and then God intervenes, and everything's great now. At the end, we can sing some fun song for the finale.”

Dave: —“in 30 minutes.”

Laura: Yes! “All of it resolved in 30 minutes!”

I think that's kind of what I thought about worship; that's what I thought about praise. And that's what I thought about giving testimony to God's goodness. The truth is: “No, it happens in the midst of it; it's in the midst of that trial.” If my faith requires the tidy bow or requires that ending, then I'm not quite sure if that's faith. Faith is praising Him when we don't see the ending/when we don't understand what He's up to.

Dave: And obviously, your song, that Bob is referring to, reminds all of us—as soon as we hear it, as soon as we hear that chorus, we're like, “Yes, you're right.”

Bob: So, you guys want to hear the song, Blessings, from Laura Story? [Applause]

Laura: [Playing piano and singing Blessings] [Applause]


Bob: How often do you find yourself reminding yourself of that?

Laura: [Laughter]God—He knew what I needed to sing over and over again. There are still nights that I sing that song, and I have to ask for grace from the audience, because I just sit there and weep. [Emotion in voice] It's a work that God is still doing in my life, very much so.

[Studio]

Bob: Well, we've been listening to a portion of a conversation we had with singer/songwriter, Laura Story, with our staff listening in on that conversation. There is something about biblical truth expressed in music that I think takes us to a different place and helps us think differently about God's Word.

Ann: I think you're exactly right, Bob. It goes down to the very soul. It brings out emotion/healing; it really goes to the very center of our being.

Dave: It's almost like there's a string/almost like a guitar string between our brain and our heart. [Laughter] I'm sort of kidding, but it's like music connects those. I've often thought, as a pastor and preacher, that you can preach a message and there's the power of the word,  which is powerful; but then, when you add music, it seems to go deeper.

Being with Laura was such a—I mean, I know that's the name of her song—I was going to say “blessing.” [Laughter] But, it was; she was so real and authentic; but then, when she sang, it's like you got a view into her soul; and it connected into our soul.

Bob: Well, we're going to hear Part Two of our conversation with Laura tomorrow. But, I want to encourage our listeners to get a copy of the book that she's written called I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life. Laura talks very candidly in this book, just as she did in the interview, about the challenges that she and her husband Martin have faced—his brain tumor, infertility, a child born with special needs, and recognizing that control is an illusion. We've got to surrender to God, who has a plan for what's going on in our lives.

Again, the title of the book is I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life. You can go online at FamilyLifeToday.com to order a copy of the book, or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY. Again, our website: FamilyLifeToday.com; or call 1-800-358-6329—that's 1-800-”F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”

You know, we recognize, here at FamilyLife, that the challenges most of us face in trying to live out our faith/trying to walk faithfully with Jesus—those challenges often emerge in the context of our marriages and our families. That's the place where it's often hardest for us to live a surrendered life—the kind of life that Laura's been talking about. At FamilyLife, our goal is to effectively develop godly marriages and families to help you—as you go through the difficult times in your marriage and in your family—to help you know how to respond, to point you back to Scripture as your source and your authority for how you live your Christian life.

We want to say, “Thank you,” to those of you who believe in the mission of FamilyLife and who have expressed your belief by helping support the work we do. We're listener-supported—we depend on your financial support for this program to continue on this station. You make all that we do, here at FamilyLife, possible.

If you can help with a donation today, we'd love to say, “Thank you,” by sending you a tool you can use during the Christmas season to help keep you and your kids thinking in the right direction as the holiday approaches. It's a set of 12 ornaments that are kid-friendly ornaments; we call this The Twelve Names of Christmas. Each ornament reflects a different title or a different name for Jesus. As you hang each of these on your Christmas tree—maybe do one a day for twelve days leading up to Christmas—you have an opportunity, as a family, to refocus on what the holiday is all about.

Again, The Twelve Names of Christmasis our thank-you gift to you when you make a donation today. You can do that, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call to donate at 1-800-FL-TODAY. We appreciate your partnership with us, here, in the ministry of FamilyLife.

We hope you can join us back again tomorrow. We'll hear Part Two of our conversation with singer/songwriter, Laura Story, and hear about giving up. In fact, she's going to sing

the song she wrote called I Give Up tomorrow. I hope you can be with us for that.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas; a Cru® Ministry. Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.

©Song: Indescribable

Artist:  Laura Story

Album: Great God Who Saves ©2008, Laura Story Music

©Song: Blessings

Artist:  Laura Story

Album: Blessings ©2011, Laura Story Music

 

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Copyright © 2019 FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

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