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#1107 - "Hold Me, Still" by burwell
The up and coming singer shares the message behind her recent single

Posted: February 23, 2022 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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The upcoming release, Boxes, by pop artist Whitney Asher, also known as burwell, is best described as an intimate personal worship experience with an ethereal tone. If you enjoyed the releases Where His Light Was by worship leader Kristene DiMarco, Evergreen by contemporary artist Audrey Assad, and Red Sea Road by contemporary artist Ellie Holcomb, burwell’s album is an excellent addition to your music collection.
Whitney changed her name to burwell in 2016 to pretend her rough past didn't happen. In detail, her website explains, “realizing [burwell’s] past will always be a part of her, she is finding beauty through reflection. Like withered boxes in the attic, thoughts of unpacking memories can feel almost insurmountable. On a journey to find life after loss, burwell’s healing process has included grief counseling, prayer, journaling, so many walks, and music that has helped her get in tune with her emotions; this song and EP have undoubtedly been a huge part of that.”
burwell’s engaging music and thought-provoking lyrics are something to truly savor. Her soothing vocals will remind you of some of my favorite artists: Ellie Holcomb, JJ Heller, and Audrey Assad--both in vocal tone and subject matter. I had the chance to speak with burwell’s lead singer Whitney Asher about her stirring song, “Hold Me, Still.”

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
I co-wrote “Hold Me, Still” about three years ago with Hillsong Church songwriter Bede Benjamin-Korporaal—this was before I started processing my grief. When I think back to when I was writing the song, I came to realize how human my parents are.
My mom was going through something at the time, and I was emotionally fragile. I was talking to her on the phone. And she brought something up that I didn’t want to talk about. I fell apart, crying. I hung up the phone, walked across the room, and sat in front of a cross hanging on the wall. I had a moment with God. I realized I had to stop doing certain things.
I’m a very action-oriented person. I always want to do something. But I felt God’s presence telling me I needed to be still. I needed to just be. I had never felt God’s presence so powerfully before.
I felt frustrated and overwhelmed, grappling with the gravity of salvation. Why would God die for me? But despite these feelings, I felt held by the Lord—in the way a parent holds a child. Then I was compelled to write a phrase that came to mind: “hold me, still.”
When I met Bede to write the song, I shared with him about the experience I had with the Lord. At that moment, I strangely felt orphaned—even though my parents were alive. But the Lord held me. And that was enough.
What Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Psalm 147:3 (NKJV): "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

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."

Psalm 46:1 (NIV): "The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble."

Psalm 46:10 (NKJV): "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV): “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV): “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Matthew 11:28 (NIV): “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
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."

What is the takeaway message?
I had never dealt with losing anyone—that is, going through grief. Loss never felt relevant to me. In hindsight, I realized that this moment with God was a preliminary form of His grace about what I was about to go through.
In early 2019, I was angry and lacked forgiveness. I was angry with my mom for many things. But we talked things out, which led to forgiveness between us. We started having wonderful moments together. Later that year, I got that phone call you hope you never get.
We learned that my mom had stage four pancreatic cancer. She had three months to live. I dropped everything I was doing to be with her—and we did everything together. She passed away on March 3, 2020, right before the pandemic.
When my mom fell ill, it was the hardest thing. I didn’t want to deal with it, none of us did, but we chose to. It taught me the importance of being there for people who matter the most to us.
I want listeners to feel like they have a safe place to feel whatever they’re feeling—especially if they’ve been holding their emotions back for a while. I want them to experience the hope that leads them to find peace throughout the process.
I don’t have the time
For this unraveling
I can feel the weight of all
I’ve been ignoring
like a gentle wave
You come and carry me
back to the beginning
I thought I was all by myself,
You told me I need to be held
You hold me
You hold me, still
tell me when did I
begin forgetting
becoming numb to it,
the piercing warmth inside me
like the faintest flame
that flickers underneath
all that is becoming
I thought I was here on my own
You told me You won’t let me go
You hold me
You hold me, still
You hold me
You hold me, still

I can't believe it's happening
Empty my hands of everything

Maybe You really hear me after all
I see the way You look at me
Light in Your eyes, You’re smiling
Maybe I’m worth forgiving after all
You hold me (You won’t let go)
You hold me, still (You hold me, still)
You hold me (You won’t let go)
You hold me, still (You hold me, still)
You hold me,
You hold me, still
Closing Thoughts
Burwell, an anointed songwriter, has a profound way of bringing me closer to God with her poignant words, tender singing, and inspirational truths. Her songs on her upcoming EP, Boxes, reflect the yearning for God’s presence to make us brave. Being a Christian father, I pray that my three young daughters feel this yearning in their hearts as well.
The eternal love of Jesus is beautifully expressed in these compelling songs. In particular, “Hold Me, Still” is about submitting your worries, anxieties, and stress to God and letting Him be your guide.
Psalm 46:10 is an encouraging reminder of God's sovereignty and that He has been, is, and always will be with us. If God is with us, we can endure anything. Other songs connected to this verse include "Be Still" by rock band StorySide:B, "The Altar" by contemporary artist Tricia Brock, "He Is" by contemporary artist Mark Schultz, "Need You Now" by pop artist Plumb, and "Peace Be Still" by the contemporary band Rush of Fools.
God is speaking to you in His still small voice. So, take time to "be still and know that He is God." Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life? Are you spending time listening to Him? He'll make you free. Know that God wants to hear from you.
I can’t get enough of this song. I lift my eyes and heart to Heaven every time I hear it. "Hold Me, Still" provides an opportunity for God to whisper your identity—not found in what you do or don't do, but in who you are—more importantly, to whom you belong. Spend time with God and let Him redeem and restore you.
God wants you to know that He's faithful to complete what He's started in all of us who've put their hope and trust in Jesus for salvation. Let this song challenge you to know God more deeply. And to have more faith and security in your relationship with Him.
This song is about crying out for God's presence and desiring to know Him personally. Strive to know God, and He will come to you. You have the privilege of knowing Him. He lives in you and has made you His home. Among the darkness and pain that the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as civil unrest, has brought to so many, “Hold Me, Still” is a reminder that we can overcome the hardships and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
God’s love is never-ending. He’s our refuge and our strength. His resurrection power from the Holy Spirit, that same power that defeated death and raised Jesus from the grave, is available to all who follow Jesus.
So, allow the Holy Spirit to cast the light of life into your mortal body. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, please know with certainty these life-giving words: “I can’t believe it’s happening/Empty my hands of everything/Maybe You really hear me after all/I see the way You look at me/Light in Your eyes, You’re smiling/Maybe I’m worth forgiving after all.” Amen to that.

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

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