Can I make a confession?
When things fall apart in my life, I’m not calling the person who has never faced adversity. I’m not texting the person whose house is covered in cliched art - the one who forwards cheesy memes with puppies and flowers. I’m not sitting with the person who is “preachy.”
What about you? What happens when things fall apart in your life? Who do you invite into those moments? I have a gut feeling that you reach out to the people who have been through the fire and aren’t scared of the smoke.
We tend to ask for help from people who listen more than they talk; the ones who can just sit with us while we weep and grieve. Eventually, when we’re looking for hope, we long for a word of wisdom from the friend who has buried their child or overcome the betrayal of their spouse.
@Tasha Layton is one of those kinds of people. The former American Idol contestant and backup singer for Katy Perry has released a new single entitled “Never.” She sings about a God who never lets us out of His care.
RELATED CONTENT: Tasha Layton Spotlights God’s Sustained Companionship in "Never"
Not for a second”
Layton knows this truth from personal experience. She has battled depression so intensely that a few years ago, she attempted to take her own life.
In an interview with JubileeCast, she said, “Growing up, I loved God and loved the church so much, so when I was so hurt within church it wounded me deeply. The story of that hurt is for another day, but those wounds coupled with a lot of humanistic philosophy I was exposed to in college caused me to find myself in a place of questioning. I didn't want to wander, I just needed peace and truth and sought it out wherever I could find it…(However), the suicide attempt was the turning point. I knew then I couldn't fight the battle alone. And at my lowest of low, I realized Jesus was the only One out of everything I'd experienced who offered true peace and any power to transform.”
Payton’s song is powerful because she writes from a place every listener and worshiper can relate to - the struggle!
“When this broken world is breaking me down
When my tears and knees both fall to the ground
When my questions make me doubt You more than ever”
RELATED CONTENT: Bringing Success From Sorrow: The Tasha Layton Story
Far too many people grew up in churches and even attend churches today where questions aren’t allowed and doubts end up being squelched. So many people feel as if they’re not allowed to admit they’re beaten down or carrying heavy burdens. Casting Crowns were correct when they sang years ago about the facade we’re tempted to project.
“Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
The smiles to hide our pain?”
Layton’s song "Never" invites us to be real people, not plastic ones. She goes first and invites us to follow in her footsteps of tearing down the walls and dropping the smiles that hide our pain.
It’s only when we move towards honesty that we find Jesus moving close with healing. Psalm 34 offers us encouragement where David writes, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” We can trust that Jesus will be near us because He knows the pain and grief we feel. Isaiah 53 states, “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” In his most famous sermon, Jesus promised that our pain would be the place we experience His presence powerfully. “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Like that friend who has been through the fire and emerged with wisdom and humility, Layton offers honest encouragement in “Never.”
In another interview about “Never” with Jubilee Cast, Layton stated, “When our tears and knees both hit the ground and we're feeling the weight of life, sometimes we're tempted to think God has forgotten us…My prayer is that this song serves as a reminder that you are never forgotten, never forsaken and never abandoned. That God is close to you in this exact moment. That whatever you are going through will never be wasted."
So, what if we decided to embrace both things Layton does here? What if we refused to be less than honest about our struggles while still holding onto a “Never” kind of faith? Would this kind of authentic, yet imperfect faith encourage others to do the same? Would it offer people permission to come closer to Jesus without needing all the answers or pretending to not struggle?
Thank you, Tasha Layton, for letting us into your imperfect life following a perfecting God. We appreciate you reminding us that God is most powerful in our weakness and His grace is sufficient in our inadequacy. We’re praying that you continue to experience Him keeping His promises and never letting you down. Because that’s what we’re longing for, too!
Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer with the best last name in the world. Scott’s writing helps you laugh, challenges you to think, and invites you to grow. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani, an award-winning attorney, and they are the parents of three growing savages. You can read more of Scott’s writing at scottsavagelive.com.