Monday, August 9, 2010

The Meaning Behind "Held"

A song that has special meaning for me is "Held" by Natalie Grant.  It was released a couple of months before Matthias died and my sweet cousin sent me a copy of the song.  I heard it on the radio quite a bit in the months following and listened to it at home often... it has since become "Matthias' song" in my mind and I can never hear it without remembering vividly those early days and months after his death.

I decided today to research the story behind the song and found a great post on the website of Christina Wells, who wrote the song.

She actually wrote the song about three different women who had experienced great loss in their lives.  One was a young widow, one a friend who lost an infant son and the last one was her mother-in-law who had a stillborn daughter.

One woman she talks about is Vaneetha whose infant son had been treated at birth for a heart defect.
Paul was doing remarkably well and had just been celebrated at a church-wide baby shower, when he died unexpectedly in the night.  The first verse of “Held” refers to Vaneetha and her son, Paul.  She has always spoken to me about how knowing sorrow has allowed her to also know joy…and about the strange reality of feeling God’s presence most keenly in the moments of deepest grief.
I can so relate to that strange paradox of knowing God's love and His nearness best in a time of greatest pain.
Then she relates how her mother-in-law Sherry shared the story of her stillborn daughter:
She spoke through tears about the pain of carrying a child to term and then having to let her go without even getting to take her home from the hospital.  She told me about the still, small voice that spoke to her in the delivery room, saying: You have to choose how you will carry this loss after this moment.  You can choose bitterness.  Or you can choose to let me wrap you up in peace that can’t be explained and that will lead to hope.  You can choose to trust that you are not alone, and that everything you suffer here will someday be redeemed.
This conversation with Sherry eventually helped write the third verse.
I have appreciated the depth and power of these lyrics since the first time I heard the song, and I can tell this songwriter has an deep, true understanding of grief, suffering and redemption.
Other words from these women became the second verse, taught me that no person of faith since the beginning of time has ever lived without suffering.  In fact, they said, those who are students of Jesus have been promised that we certainly should expect pain and suffering in this life.
BUT.
But.  In the middle of that heartache.  At every lonely, dark, lost moment…the Truth.
That in those moments, even then, especially then… we are held, held up, held together, by the the One who has walked here and knows the pain, and who also holds all of time, every story, my story, your story, the Greatest Story in his hands.

8 comments:

Rachel said...

It is true. All true. Thank you for sharing this Melissa. Your words have helped me again.

Samantha Ritchie said...

Oh how I love this post. I was just researching the meaning behind "Held" when I came across your blog. I delivered a stillborn son, Asher Benjamin, on November 13th 2011. I feel you may be a long distance kindred spirit of sorts due to our having so much in common. I love that you homeschool, wear your babies, and are a sister in Christ.
I started blogging after our son's death as an outlet and am so overjoyed that you have walked in my footsteps and have come out more gracious for the journey.
Blessings to you and your family.

Amy R said...

I attend the same church as Vaneetha, and she told me about this song and about her baby Paul. She is such an amazing Christian woman! Being a new believer, I am glad I found this church and, ultimately, Vaneetha. She has helped me tremendously in my faith and my learning.

Jim Brucker said...

What a truly beautiful song and sung by an angel. The true meaning of belief in the Lord even when nothing seems fair we must understand there is a reason and deep meaning to His actions. Strong belief and faith can get us through even the hardest times. I watch her live video quite a bit and it does strengthen my belief.

Thank you Natalie, God bless.

Nikki B said...

Just came across your post. Profound. Thank you for sharing Truth and how He can be found even in the midst of our deepest hurt.

Rhonda TheonewhomJesusloves said...

I didn't fully understand this song at first, but I heard the tradgedy, and the word 'held', and I tbought of the Holy Spirit as The Comforter, and the Lord's promise that He would not leave us bereaved. Too many losses in my life to mention, much at my own hand. Last year I couln't take the pain, tried to die but God saved my life, again. This time is was to miraculous to deny His love and divine plan. Surrended, still suffering the loss, but have joy and hope because I know I'm "held". God will restore.

Lauren T said...

Thank you SO much for your post! My nephew passed away at the very young age of 24 days. I have been struggling with so many questions and this post has given me so much comfort... I have read your post so many times! God Bless You!

Lauren T said...

Thank you SO much for your post! My nephew passed away at the very young age of 24 days. I have been struggling with so many questions and this post has given me so much comfort... I have read your post so many times! God Bless You!

Lauren