The COVID-19 pandemic shut down touring and live shows for most of 2020, thus leaving many Christian artists with much time on their hands. But, many of them, such as South Carolina's Grammy-nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE, let the creative juices flow into making new music.
During quarantine, NEEDTOBREATHE created—composed and recorded—their eighth studio album, Into the Mystery, which includes standouts “I Wanna Remember,” featuring country superstar Carrie Underwood, and the successful title track. This is the second studio full-length album the band has released in less than a year. In 2020, the band released Out of Body, which includes hit songs “Who Am I” and “Survival.”
NEEDTOBREATHE hooked me fifteen years ago with their major-label debut Daylight, which featured the single "Shine On." My takeaway review comments were: "Great album. Even better group."
Since then, the band has improved musically with each album: garnering an opening slot for pop icon Taylor Swift, playing on late-night television, and collaborating with pop star Gavin DeGraw on one of their biggest hits to date, "Brother," from their 2014 offering, Rivers in the Wasteland. That album also earned a Grammy nomination for its hit song, "Multiplied."
What I take immense joy in discovering with each new NEEDTOBREATHE release is the incredible songwriting and musical excellence with nuggets of lyrical connection weaving their way throughout the tracks.
An artistic answer to their previous song “Who Am I,” “I Am Yours” is a soaring work about God’s undying love for us. I had the great opportunity to interview the band’s keyboardist Josh Lovelace about the new single, “I Am Yours,” in essence the sequel follow-up to “Who Am I.”
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
“I Am Yours” is a song that our lead vocalist Bear Rinehart wrote during the early days of the pandemic. We were all at home, unable to tour or play music together. He sent me a rough demo of this song. Little did Bear know that it was exactly the song I needed to hear that day.
Like so many others, I struggle with anxiety and find it difficult to let go of circumstances that are out of my control. Through 2020, there were so many questions racing in my head every day and I found myself bound to my fear and my doubts.
What I love about this song is that it is a reminder of a consistent and perfect love that as humans, we can’t even begin to comprehend. Even in the hard times, when we are fearful of what is next, that love will always be there. The idea that we’re invited to the table at all is mind-blowing to me.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Psalm 139:14(NIV): "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:17-18(NKJV): "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You."
Ephesians 2:10(NLT): "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."
Psalm 23:4(VOICE): "Even in the unending shadows of death's darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted."
1 John 3:1(NLT): "See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know Him."
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."
John 8:36(NIV): "So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 1:12(NIV): "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."
What is the takeaway message?
We’re all searching for meaning and identity in life. So many things leave us unfulfilled and empty. This song, in fact, this whole record, is about leaning into who we were created to be and accepting who we are—flaws and all. It’s beautiful to me that even though we’re all so different, we still share the desire to feel loved and accepted.
We’ve been making music for almost two decades. And what I’m proud of, and protective of, is the diversity of our fan base. You don’t have to look a certain way or believe in something specific to listen to our music.
If you come to a NEEDTOBREATHE show, you might be standing next to someone who is completely different than you. But, what’s great is the music brings people together from all walks of life. Whether you’ve been a fan since the beginning or are new to the family, we hope you’ll join us in the mystery as we celebrate what it means to be human.
Sometimes I'm under starlit sky But I’m feeling more like dirt How do I forget so fast who you are and what that’s worth Cause there's an evidence of you in every corner of this life So why do I still try to prove That I don’t deserve your time Cause I am yours
And you will always be mine It seems like madness I’m invited To the table by your side Cause I am yours And you will always be mine I'm a man whose one ambition Is to dance with my divine Cause I am yours and you are, you are, you are You are mine Sometimes I’m walking on a ledge And I am afraid to just look down It’s like I think I’m control I’m giving gravity to doubt But you love me where I am Enough for you to not look back And it’s the only kind of love That I have ever felt like that We say no don’t let the rain come Cause we got our reservations But the water that we need Is bound to overtake us If I had to write a story Of the greatest love in time I would have to sing of you How I’m this branch and you’re the vine And the romance that we have, oh it’s easy by design I was fortunate to find you, I’m still blown away you’re mine
NEEDTOBREATHE consistently makes songs that remind us to get to that place where we are in humble submission to God—without playing it safe. Their songs inspire us to take that chance and ask for God to be real in our lives. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God.
In “I Am Yours,” I hear a sincere yearning for the Lord in Bear’s vocals. A thankfulness in his heart for God's mercy and grace. I'm completely convicted by the strong lyrics and find immense comfort in this song.
This song is about submitting your worries, anxieties, and stress to God. Letting Him be your guide. God wants to walk beside you. He wants you to be bold and unafraid. His grace takes away anxiety, guilt, and shame. Know that being His is enough.
Our thoughts are constantly under attack by the enemy. We're aware of many situations involving people taking their own lives after dealing with depression. If you're struggling with depression, especially with this past year of social distancing due to COVID-19, please know with certainty the truth in the song’s life-giving words. Allow the Holy Spirit to cast the light of life into your body.
God will never leave you. He will never forsake you. This is a truth you need to hear. Rest on the wise words of Romans 8:31: "If our God is for us, who can stand against us?” Nothing can separate you from His love. For the Son has risen, and sin and death are conquered.
He knows you intimately, and because of what Jesus did on the cross, He sees you as holy, righteous, redeemed, chosen, fully known, and forgiven—no matter what you've done.
If you know someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, be of comfort to them. Let them hear this song. It’s a great reminder of the kind of heart we should have both as people valued by God and as Christians who can communicate our value to other people.
This song is a daily prayer, asking God to come and change our hearts and our lives. Change in such a way that our behavior and our lifestyle flow from God, living inside His believers. Only Jesus can give us our identity.
For me, songs like "I Am Yours" provide opportunities for God to whisper to me my identity. It's not found in what I do or don't do, but in who I am, and more importantly to Whom I belong.
We can all celebrate the truth behind this song. We are fearfully, wonderfully, and perfectly made, singing to God with all our hearts: “Cause I am yours/And you will always be mine/It seems like madness I’m invited to the table by your side/Cause I am yours/And you will always be mine/I'm a man whose one ambition is to dance with my divine.” Amen to that.
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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