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BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1116 - "Godsend" by Riley Clemmons
NRT's Kevin Davis talks to the young artist about the inspiration behind her recent song
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1116 -
Posted: April 28, 2022 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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In 22-year-old Riley Clemmons’ voice, I hear a sincere yearning for God and a thankfulness in her heart for God's mercy and grace. This yearning and thankfulness show in Riley’s recently dropped single, “Godsend.” When you listen to it, you’ll hear a message that we can overcome whatever we’re going through when we choose to ask the Holy Spirit to indwell us. 
 
Besides “Godsend,” Riley has already chalked up a fair number of impressive hits. On her self-titled debut album, you’ll find “Broken Prayers” and “Better For It.” The release was one of my Top 10 Albums of the Decade.
 
In her recent release Godsendmy Top Album of 2021, you’ll find the hits “Over and Over,” “Healing,” and “Fighting For Me.” The album’s message is quite powerful. It talks about God reigning in our hearts and minds. And how the Lord's glory and strength are found in our weakness. The album gives listeners words to “Keep on Hoping” with declarations like, "There’s hope for a better tomorrow/There’s hope for joy over sorrow/Cause God’s still good/And He’s still got it all in control.”
 
Riley’s entire catalog ministers to me and my family. Her songs are upbeat and catchy (not to mention that Riley’s a great role model for girls). Her songs are loaded with positive grace-filled messages of hope. She understands that true happiness and her identity only come from her relationship with God. I had the chance to speak with Riley about her title track, “Godsend.”
 

 
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
 
It was March 2020, and Winter Jam, Christian music’s largest annual tour, was canceled due to the pandemic. Everything was shut down and I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom with the keyboard I had since sixth grade. Something very sentimental for me. I had the word “Godsend” saved in the notes on my iPhone for nearly four years. 
 
It wasn’t until my first virtual songwriting session with songwriters Colby Wedgeworth and Emily Weisband in April 2020 that I was able to expand upon it. Together with my co-writers, we landed on the line, “What if every broken place I’ve been was a Godsend.” I recorded the original demo on my phone in my bedroom. And, immediately, after it was written, I knew it was going to be the cornerstone of my next album.
 
What Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
 
John 10:10 (ESV): "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
 
Proverbs 16:4 (NIV): “The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.”
 
Romans 8:28 (NKJV): “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

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.”

Mark 11:23 (NIV): “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”

Matthew 17:20-21 (NIV): “Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Proverbs 20:24 (NIV): “A person's steps are directed by the by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV): “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV): “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV): “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”
 
What is the takeaway message?
 
The song’s final line is “what if every broken place I’ve been was a Godsend—even if I didn’t know it then.” This is my dad’s favorite song of mine (and it’s not just because he sang background vocals). When it came to having plans and the ideal scenario of how we think things should’ve gone, we had to learn to let go of our plans in a season of a pandemic. 
 
I remember when we wrote the song. I asked God what was happening and where He was in all this chaos. Eventually, it became clear to me in the Lord’s gentle whisper that maybe this is when I needed to have faith. In the chaos and confusion, the question became, “How do I live out my faith when things aren’t ideal?”
 
Many songs on Godsend—including this one—address mental health. What felt right to me was that we had no period at the end of the sentence of this song. It doesn’t end with everything being better now. 
 
The heart of “Godsend” is this: “God, please send me more mountains that I need Your help to move.” Help us through the thorns of life and the things we don’t understand. This song is more about the journey. 
 
Every lesson I’ve learned on this record falls within the category of purpose. This song helps look back and see that even the hard parts have a purpose.
 
Lyrics
 
I had added it up
I had made every plan
But the road I had paved
Turned into dust
And I just didn’t understand

Prayed for You to show up
Laid my weapons down
Surrendered to Your love
Looking back now

Every closed door
Every single sharp thorn
Every answer that
Didn’t make sense
What if maybe they were
Just teaching me
To depend on Your strength
In the dark days
All my tears got me
Crying out to You again
What if maybe every broken place
I’ve been was a Godsend
Was a Godsend
Was a Godsend

I-remember being convinced
There’d never been
A winter so cold
Turns out spring
Was around the corner
You were turning
It into gold

And when I couldn’t feel You
And it was hard to breathe
I realized I need you
Now I see beauty in

Every closed door
Every single sharp thorn
Every answer that
Didn’t make sense
What if maybe they were
Just teaching me
To depend on Your strength
In the dark days
All my tears got me
Crying out to You again
What if maybe every broken place
I’ve been was a Godsend
Was a Godsend
Was a Godsend

God, send more mountains
That I need Your help to move
God, send me through the storm
If it gets me back to You

God, send in light to lead me
When I don't know what to do
God, send me to my knees
Just to bring me close to You

Every closed door
Every single sharp thorn
Every answer that
Didn’t make sense
What if maybe they were
Just teaching me
To depend on Your strength
In the dark days
All my tears got me
Crying out to You again
What if maybe every broken place
I’ve been was a Godsend
Was a Godsend
Was a Godsend

Even if I didn't know it then
Godsend, Godsend
Even though I didn't know it then

 
Closing Thoughts
 
As Jesus’ followers, we know that we can trust God's Word. We’re all a work in progress. So, have faith and let Him work all things together for good. Spend time with God and let Him redeem and restore you. 
 
We’re not at the end of our story. God's still writing our stories of redemption. He wants us to know that He's faithful to complete what He's started in those who've put their hope and trust in Jesus for salvation.
 
Worship is about giving God our best, offering everything to Him. All we can do is submit and give everything we have to Him. Rather than run to things that can hurt us, we need to run to God.
 
Call out to Jesus, and He will keep you safe. This is a truth that we can cling to. We're not supposed to hope it’s true or turn to the Lord as our last resort. But daily be washed by the truth of the Word of God. If we learn to build our lives on scripture, we can have a rock as our foundation as we navigate our lives.
 
According to God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:13, we need to search for God with all our hearts. Then, we will find Him. In our fast-paced society, how often are we dedicating our whole hearts to God? This song, filled with prayerful declarations, moves me in my worship time.
 
Riley hopes to pass on the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. So, allow the Holy Spirit to cast the light of life into your mortal body. If you’re struggling with depression, please know with certainty these life-giving words: “God, send in light to lead me/When I don't know what to do/God, send me to my knees/Just to bring me close to You.” 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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