BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#463 - "Hurricane" by Natalie Grant
Natalie shares about how God's truth met her in the midst of a suffocating season of depression.
 


If there's one thing you can be sure of in contemporary Christian music, you can expect big emotive vocal moments from the Gospel Music Association's multi-year female vocalist winner, Natalie Grant. From the first time I heard her song "I Will Be" from her album Deeper Life, to the Dove Award winning song of the year "Held," and most recently her award winning worship song of the year: "Your Great Name," I've always been emotionally connected to Natalie's songs.
 
Available everywhere on October 15, Natalie's album, Hurricane, blends everything I've always enjoyed about her music ministry; emotional ballads including "Burn Bright" and "When I leave the Room," exciting pop songs, "Closer to Your Heart," "Hurricane," "Whisper," "This Is Love" and "Dead Alive," and the worshipful celebrations, "For All of Us" and "In The End."
 
To me, her new album represents the best of Natalie's illustrious career, seamlessly bringing together all of her elements of infectious melodies, stellar vocals, and worshipful lyrics in a flawlessly produced album. I had the opportunity to interview Natalie about her great new song, "Hurricane." 
 
Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.
 
These songs are my stories. The day that I went to write "Hurricane"—which was the very first song for the album—I was going to the studio, and it was literally drudgery for me. I didn't want to go, and I was thinking of every reason to cancel the appointment. It was with Matt Bronleewe and Cindy Morgan, who are two people I greatly respect. I felt empty and insecure. I walked in the studio, and told them all I've got is this, "ooh-ooh, ooh" idea. It was kind of hooky, but it was all I had. In my personal life, I had been walking in these storms, and it's funny because this first single and first song ended up shaping the entire album. 
 
For me, after the birth of my third child, I suffered from postpartum depression for about 18 months. It was something I never expected. It was crippling. It was this heavy, hollow, hopeless, overwhelmed, inadequate feeling that was governing my entire life. I felt like a failure as a mom and as a Christian. To be honest, at that point, if someone said they suffered from postpartum depression, I didn't have a lot of compassion. I thought it was an excuse to stay in your pajamas and eat ice cream all day.

Then I struggled with it myself, and I felt like even though I'm a Christian music artist who is supposed to have her life together, that I was carrying around darkness inside of me. It was such a private pain that I didn't let anyone see it, except my husband. I was walking through it, and I found out that a close family member of mine was struggling with a heroin addiction. I didn't know anyone addicted to drugs before, and I was seeing how that was destroying his life. Two months after that, my father was diagnosed with cancer. It was too much. I had this feeling of thinking I've had enough.

I hadn't been reading my Bible enough in that stage of my life because I was in a dark place. I stayed in that place too long. That morning, I read in Matthew about how Jesus sent the disciples out in the boat, and stayed behind. He sent them out and the storm came, and the Bible says they were far out at sea. They saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter then said, if it's You, let me walk on the water. Something about that story jumped off the page in a new way for me that morning. What stood out to me, was that there Jesus stood, and the storm was still raging. Jesus had come to them now, and He was right there. He could have stopped the storm, but it was still raging. As Christians, we think if you have enough faith, your life will be perfect and your trials will disappear. The fact is that sometimes your trials will increase.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 

Matthew 14:22-33 (The Message): As soon as the meal was finished, He insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, He climbed the mountain so he could be by Himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. "A ghost!" they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. "Courage, it's Me. Don't be afraid." Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really You, call me to come to You on the water." He said, "Come ahead." Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink He cried, "Master, save me!" Jesus didn't hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?" The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, "This is it! You are God's Son for sure!"
 
What is the takeaway message for listeners about the song and album?
 
We cry out to Jesus to stop the storms in our lives, and the fact is that sometimes Jesus wants us to know that the storms are still going to happen, but He'll be standing right there with us. The Bible says that Jesus didn't hesitate when Peter cried out for help. Jesus reached out His hand. In writing this song, the fog didn't lift, but hope began to resurface in my mind, truthfully. The moment of thinking I was in an unending storm, I knew Jesus was with me, and I can ask Him to stop it. He's telling us to not look out at our problems, but to look up, because He understands.

"Hurricane" broke open wide the creative dam for me and began the process of knowing I could have hope that a better day is coming. It's hard to admit as a Christian artist that sometimes we have our own crisis of faith, but it's true. This song has been an anchor for me, in my own marriage and family, in my own life, and in my own faith. This was a great opportunity for me to share my own struggles. It's easy to say, "We're a victor in Jesus." We are. We really are. It is the truth and makes an awesome bumper sticker. It's hard to live that day in and day out when you are being pounded by the storms of life.
 
Lyrics:
You're spinning out of control again
Your life feels like a sinking ship
You're wondering how it came to this

Is it too late?
Is it too far?
For Him to reach you
And come to where you are

Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

You're in the wreckage underneath
Your hope is buried somewhere deep
You're wondering how long it will keep?

It's never too late
Never too far
For you to reach out
And take a hold of love

Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

Don't back down from the fight
He'll shelter you tonight
Just hold on for the change
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

There's a place, there's a place you can run
When you fall, and it's all come undone
You'll be safe in the raging storm
So just let go
'Cause you are held in His arms

Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in a hurricane
 
This song is a great reminder that we're all in storms, and these lyrics are a message for every follower of Jesus to cling to: "It's never too late / Never too far / for you to reach out / and take a hold of love." I hear Natalie's passion in her voice when she sings those lyrics. From talking with her about the story behind writing the song, she has a very deep passion about the truth of reaching out and clinging to Jesus in a storm.
 
As a result, as listeners who can relate to every word Natalie is passionately singing, we can commune with her in knowing that she needs these words as much as we need them as listeners. That's the beauty of the bond we have as believers. We are all in need of our Savior, Jesus.
 
As the song reminds us, "When you feel the rain / Call His name / He'll find you in the hurricane." What an inspirational message. Jesus commands each of us to trust Him completely. Trusting Jesus assures us that we don't have to be afraid. Pray these words along with Natalie: "Step out on the edge. Don't be afraid of it. Just let go / ‘cause you are held in His arms." Amen.
 
(Watch the lyric video here.)

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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