#895 - "The Other Side" by Carmen Justice
Carmen Justice finds herself reflecting on God's faithfulness on the other side of some rough waters.

Posted: February 15, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Being a dad of three young daughters, it is difficult to find role models in the music world for my daughters who are making edifying and exciting pop music. You hear pop music everywhere you go, and most of the time the songs are fairly hollow in regards to life application and promoting a positive self-image. It has been one of my missions in sharing the biblical truth behind songs by Christians to help women who are bombarded with negative messages about their identity and purpose to know that their true identity and purpose is found in God.

For that reason, Carmen Justice is an important artist to me and my family. As a member of the band 1GN (1 Girl Nation), Carmen helped create and sing their hit songs "While We're Young," "In the Eyes," and "Get Hype." Her solo album Against the Odds is loaded with more positive, grace-filled messages of hope. The upbeat and heavily produced musical arrangements on this album perfectly accentuate these great songs. I had the opportunity to speak with Carmen about "The Other Side."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

I wasn't expecting to write a ballad the day I wrote this song. I co-wrote the song with my good friend David Thulin, and I went in that day with a song idea for an upbeat pop, EDM style song. The week before I went in to write the song, I had lost my Grandpa after he had been battling cancer for a couple of years. As David and I were talking that day, I opened up. I oftentimes suppress how I am feeling, and I am normally a happy person. I stay positive 99% of the time. That day, I opened up about how I had gone through so much the past couple of years, and losing my Grandpa made me take a step back. 

One of the lines in the song, "Bird's eye view I'm no longer blind, my scars made me who I am," honestly means so much to me. That's truthfully how I feel, and was how I was feeling writing all of the songs for my album. With this song, I was really reflecting back on my experiences and my career, and the ups and downs I've gone through in my past few years. I realized that it was God who really carried me through the roughest times, when I've wanted to give up and not chase my dreams to make music, travel and share the gospel. With everything I've gone through, God has a purpose for me. Anything we go through, God wants to be glorified. I wanted to show that in this song.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Acts 2:28 (VOICE): "Instead You direct me on a path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment."

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV): "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Romans 8:28 (VOICE): "We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Romans 8:11 (VOICE): "If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you."

Romans 12:2 (VOICE): "Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete."

1 Peter 2:9 (MSG): "But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you--from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted."

What is the takeaway message?

It's been cool to hear the stories since I've released this song, to learn about how it has helped people battling depression and anxiety. One girl wrote me and explained how she was suicidal, and this song meant so much for her thinking about how she was now on the other side of that struggle. She overcame it, and it was God who got her through that time. 

I hope that the song inspires people that if they are going through something difficult, to keep pressing on. Galatians 6:9 has really inspired me with this song and this past year. Knowing that I keep chasing the dreams that God has put on my heart, ultimately that's what life is all about, to not lose heart. Life is about bringing glory to God and showing others that they aren't alone in their struggles.

Stand up, Look back
The ashes fall behind me all around
I walked through the fire
The past is fading in the background
I never knew that I could fly
After my wings got broken
I never thought I'd reach this high
On the other side

I am standing tall
Now I'm so much stronger
Should have lost it all
When the cold got bitter
I gained the world, but I lost my soul
Until love broke down my walls
Now I'm standing tall
Here on the other side

Forward motion
I am fighter through the war zone
Tune out commotion
I'm not afraid of the unknown
Birds eye view I'm no longer blind
My scars made me who I am
I never knew that I could find my strength again

I am standing tall
Now I'm so much stronger
Should have lost it all
When the cold got bitter
I gained the world, but I lost my soul
Until love broke down the walls
And now I'm standing tall
Here on the other side

I never thought that I would make it
I never thought that I would make it
I never knew if I would make it,
If I would make it

I am standing tall
Now I'm so much stronger
Should have lost it all
When the cold got bitter
I gained the world, but I lost my soul
Until love broke down the walls
And now I'm standing tall
Here on the other side

My daughters are 18, 14, and 11 years old, and this album is perfect for them. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. I am just my daughters' earthly father; they ultimately belong to our Heavenly Father, God. I want them to know their eternal destiny. I really enjoy their energetic and life-giving songs on Against the Odds, which I can proudly share with my daughters to help guide them in their daily walks as followers of Jesus. 

We can all make the choice to ask The Holy Spirit to indwell us with His supernatural ability to overcome what the Enemy wants us to think about ourselves. That's what this song is all about. This song and this album is all about being confident in what God has given us and being grateful to Him. God knows what we need, and He loves and cares for each of us deeply. It's so easy to compare yourself to others and feel like God is blessing someone else with something that you want. We all need to learn that God has us exactly where we're supposed to be in this moment, even when we don't feel good enough.

"The Other Side" features strong vocals with relevant and biblical messages, and this is a solid debut album from a talented singer. If you don't know how to word your prayers of thankfulness for what Jesus has done for you, just sing along with this incredible song of faith. There are important messages about our self-worth and identity in Christ that we all need to hear in this great new song. As people experience the music and ministry of Carmen Justice, I pray that they know the truth of their identities that they were made in God's image and likeness. His Word tells us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Join in with Carmen as she sings: "I gained the world, but I lost my soul, until love broke down the walls, and now I'm standing tall, here on the other side." Amen to that!

Watch the music video below.


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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