Exclusive Interview: Laura Story Discovered God’s Love and Grace Through Pain
Do you feel like a broken Christian? We aren’t perfect, but God can make us perfect. Life is full of incredibly painful moments and even seasons that may seem never ending. If God is powerful and can change any situation at any moment, then why doesn’t He? If He truly loves His children whom He created, then why does He let bad things happen? If He cares, then why doesn’t He make life more enjoyable? These questions are hard, but press into them and you will see that one of the blessings of pain, strife and heartache is gaining a deeper understanding of the love, hope, grace and mercy God has for every single one of His children. Recording Christian artist and worship leader Laura Story has captivated audiences with her story-style of songwriting since 1996. These songs are personal because she too has endured tremendous pain and suffering on many levels. Besides being a singer and worship leader, Laura also holds the titles of wife and mother. She prayed for a Godly husband and less than a year into her marriage, her husband Martin was diagnosed with a debilitating tumor that changed their entire life. His health is currently stable, but as anyone who suffers from a disease or illness or who takes care of someone with one knows, life can change at any moment. Laura shared this painful journey with me in an interview and I was inspired by how she has leaned on God through her entire journey and was transparent in her new song “Till I Met You” and her upcoming book that will release in September titled “When God Doesn’t Fix It”.
“Till I Met You” Takes Knowing Jesus to a New Level
Laura released the song “Till I Met You” and it tells an incredible story of how she didn’t know what love, truth, peace, freedom or the power of grace was until she met Jesus. Wow. Jesus met her at the darkest moments of uncertainty over whether her husband would survive. The song also acknowledges lies Laura has not only believed, but held onto as she expresses in the lyric “I’ve bought the lie that I could never overcome the hurt inside.” She’s clinging to truth while sharing it with others. Listen to Laura’s new song here.
Question: What was your daily relationship like with Jesus before Martin's diagnosis?
“When Martin was diagnosed with his tumor, we had just moved to Atlanta. He was starting grad school and I had been offered a job at Perimeter church. It was an exciting time; we had a new townhome in a new city, starting our new lives together. Spiritually, I was on a bit of a high as well. God had just granted me the deepest desire of my heart: a wonderful, godly husband. So the diagnosis was more than just a surprise; it was a spiritual challenge. This tumor was now threatening the very gift God had given me only a year prior. It was a major struggle to understand why he would finally give me a husband, only to potentially take him away just a year later. Yet even in the midst of this confusion, God had given me an overwhelming sense of His presence. And when my faith wavered, His grip on my heart never changed. He proved to truly be my sustainer in this midst of the devastating news.”
Question: How is God working through Martin despite the daily challenges?
“Man, I could talk about this for hours. On a broad scale, God has birthed an entire ministry out of the trial we have walked though. The song “Blessings” is a great example of how God has used what we’ve learned on this journey to encourage others. But it’s more than that as well. God is also working through Martin personally. Our friends, family and our church watch him face each day with hope, not because the doctors have given him a good prognosis but because he is choosing to believe the prognosis that the scriptures promise us: that God has a good plan for our lives, a plan for prosperity not calamity. He chooses to believe what Paul says in Philippians 2: that to live in Christ and to die is gain. And living a life based on that truth is a life that points to Jesus everyday.”
Question: Can you share a brief back-story of your new single “Till I Met You”?
“This past year I taught a bible study at my church called "encounters with Jesus". We looked at everyone from the woman at the well to Zacchaeus, from Paul to the man born blind; and the common theme we saw in every story was that it was impossible to have an encounter with Jesus without being changed forever. I couldn't help but think about my own story, my own encounter with Jesus, how I was lost, blind and dead in my sin and He literally brought me to life. The song “Till I Met You” is a celebration of that reality. It's a song of gratitude for those of us who know Christ and hopefully a call or beckoning to those who don't. My prayer is that it would be an invitation to truly meet Jesus for the first time and be changed forever.”
“When God Doesn’t Fix It” Talks About the Blessings of Pain
Laura’s new book will release in September and is titled “When God Doesn’t Fix It.” As you can imagine, it talks about the journey she and her husband are on and also digs deep into the brokenness of many heroes from the Bible. Abraham, Joseph, David and Paul were all flawed, but God accomplished incredible works through each one of them. Laura talks about the lies many who claim to have faith cling to. Lies of God always promising happy endings and how we can avoid pain if we serve God. Lies that tell us that God will fix our problems if we pray hard enough and that God can’t use us until our story gets resolved. Laura invites everyone to meet Jesus for the first time to experience the freedom that only comes after surrendering to God and letting Him work through our brokenness.
Question: What prompted you to open up about your story and share your faith walk? How do you hope your new book will impact readers?
“Opening up about our story was a process. I can’t remember the exact day but gradually I began to come to the realization that it is not what we walk through in this life but how we walk through what we walk through that make the difference. Make sense? I began to realize that every bit of encouragement we received on this journey was through someone being bold enough to share their story with us; even the scripture writers. When we allow God to shine through our broken stories, we not only bless those around us and give God the glory he deserves; we also begin to experience the healing our souls long for. That is my hope with this book: that God might be glorified as our souls become more satisfied in Him, even through our suffering.”
Question: I gain a sense of incredible strength as you walk through this, Laura. How is this impacting you as an artist?
“I believe art has been my main means for both processing our broken story as well as sharing it. I can’t even separate the two in my mind. Hopefully, the most outstanding thing people see in me is not my artistry but how God has used it to bring hope to people in hard situations.”
Unexpected moments in life can either derail your faith or bring you closer to God. It’s refreshing to hear the story behind Laura’s incredible journey with her husband. Bad things happen to everyone and God’s peace becomes real in those moments when you call out to Him. In the book of Psalms, David cried out to God and you can sense the anguish and pain he endured fleeing from King Saul and living in daily fear while in Ziklag. Pain is not new, but discovering how to lean on God and seeing the blessings will take your faith to entirely new levels. You can preorder Laura’s new book “When God Doesn’t Fix It” now at the links below and listen to her new song “Till I Met You” from her album God of Every Story.
Pre-Order "When God Doesn't Fix It"
Article by Elise Cleary
I'm a Christian writer and editor residing in northern Michigan and thoroughly enjoy Christian centered music, movies, TV shows and books. A favorite song is "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong United and I find many songs by Matt Maher, Tim Timmons, Third Day, Laura Story, Jeremy Camp and numerous other artists uplifting. A few of my favorite Christian movies include God's Not Dead, The Shunning, Do You Believe and many by the Kendrick brothers. When I'm not writing, I enjoy running, experimenting in the kitchen and spending time with my musically gifted husband and spunky daughter. I am so blessed and in awe of the work God is doing throughout the Christian entertainment industry.