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AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL
Songs of Lament
NRT's Bradden Ford lists seven touching songs to process grief and lament
 


AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL, Songs of Lament
Posted: March 23, 2023 | By: BraddenFord_NRT
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Lament and grief can be tricky subjects. If anything, it's something that we rarely want to talk about. Lament is a clear word and right to feel. When things around us crash or tragedy strikes, lamenting is okay. Throughout the Bible, we see lament from David to the prophets, to even Jesus Himself. There's even the book of Lamentations, which shows us it's okay to grieve and experience sorrow. Lament is a process that God walks us through.
 
Over the past year, I've gained a deeper understanding of lament. I’ve learned that God understands the burden weighing on our hearts and desires to help us find healing. It starts with opening our hearts and telling Him our pain.
 
Lament is a personal experience between God and us. Sometimes, we need others to help us through the pain. And sometimes, our lamentations may be public and known to others. If you want to explore the practice of lament and experience healing from God, here are a few songs that may help you on your journey.
 
Rend Collective - “Weep with Me”
 
There's a pain in lament. I experienced a lot of that recently. When my dad walked out on my family, it felt like my world had fallen apart. So much pain came from that and what he did to me. Seeing what happened to my mom and my siblings broke me. Seeing them endure the abuse hurt me deeply because God hadn't kept them safe as I thought He would. I had questions, but more than that, I needed to know that the God I believed in was the God He said He was.
 
Three years ago, events sadly worsened. But today, much has improved. There's still a lot that I'm walking through. But, in it all, God wept with my family and me. He made way for us. And He worked miracles—even when I was confused. He heard my prayers and never left me in the middle of sorrow. I chose to trust Him, praise Him, and love Him. Even in pain, He’s still worthy. I promise you; He cares for you where you are.
 
“Weep with Me” by folk band Rend Collective acknowledges the pain and suffering we experience in this broken world and the need for God's presence and comfort.
 
The song's chorus is particularly powerful: "Weep with me, Lord, will You weep with me?/I don't need answers, all I need/Is to know that You care for me." It’s a plea for God's presence and compassion in our sorrow. One that many people can identify with.
 

Stephen Stanley - “Heavy”
 
The past few months have felt like tragedy after tragedy for me. Instead of holding everything in, I had to learn to ask tough questions. It's not wrong to have questions and doubts, but there's so much more healing when we know to say them. The only way to be free of their burdensome weight is to surrender our internal struggles. When we pour our hearts out to Jesus, no matter how broken, He fights the battle in our minds.
 
"Heavy" by contemporary artist Stephen Stanley is a powerful song that strongly touches on this theme. Stephen sings out the questions that feel like they're breaking him, allowing him to embrace the freeing peace God gives. I love how the song leans into an alternative rock sound.
 
In addition to being a fan of rock music, the genre complements the lyrics of songs about surrender and lament. The theme underscores the messy and often emotional process of expressing our grief and surrendering our struggles to God.
 

Austin French - “Why God”
 
"Why God" by contemporary artist Austin French asks why so many people go through loss, divorce, hurt, and loneliness. In trials, it's hard to understand why we must experience them. That's just it, though; It's okay that we don't understand everything. The song doesn't explain everything but reminds listeners that God is by our side—even when we express our sorrows and doubts.
 
The song deeply resonated with me as I listened to it while lamenting. More than needing an answer to the questions I couldn't explain, I needed to know He wouldn't leave me. I needed to know that His love would cover me and the mess I saw all around me. He held my heart when it broke so many times. That's the God who's with us in the struggle and lament. Even when you feel your grip slipping from His, He'll never stop holding on to you. 
 

Seacoast Worship - “Lament”
 
“Lament” by the praise band Seacoast Worship is a prayer of lament. It’s an honest and raw plea for God to touch us. The journey of lament can take time and effort. Yet God is not scared of what we're feeling. If we can be honest with ourselves, others, and God, we can receive help to stay strong. It could be a kind word from a friend or a Bible verse that touches you.
 
You aren't alone in your lament. You are loved by a God who sees you. There will be light. It's okay to pour everything out to Him. If you believe He is still good, you will find His peace in the middle of the suffering. As Psalm 34:18 says: "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
 

Local Sound - “Heartache”
 
A few years ago, I experienced my first loss. An older friend from my former church took me under his wing and adopted me as his "nephew." I loved listening, learning, and spending time with him. One day, my mom came to me and told me he had passed away. I remember standing, shocked, and feeling crushed. After talking, I told her I would be okay and returned to my room. My phone was playing music, and the song I heard as I walked in was "Heartache" by the contemporary band Local Sound. As I listened to the lyrics, I let my walls and reasons I should hold myself together fall to the floor. Alone in my room, I broke down and cried.
 
Even in the heartaches, Jesus is still on the throne. He isn't a king who doesn't care about us and our pain. He experienced pain, grief, betrayal, and even loss. He's there for us. Through every season, He is the rock we can stand on. Even if you can barely stand and the tears won't stop coming, He's holding you close. The heartache won't last forever, but God's love for you will carry you in every moment.
 

TobyMac - “I'm Sorry (a lament)”
 
Christian pop icon TobyMac's "I'm Sorry (A Lament)" is a deeply personal track he penned in 2019 to process his feelings of lament, unaware that the following year would bring the pandemic, heightened racial tensions, and the tragic loss of his first son, Truett. Initially aimed at expressing grief over the church's perceived straying, the song became a personal and communal act of repentance for Toby and his fans.
 
Toby shared: "This (song) is simply my response, not judgment. I am deeply sorry for how far we have fallen short. And Godly sorrow leads to repentance. The church is God’s plan, and I love it—that’s why I had to write the song.” 
 
We can all relate to the truth that we've fallen short. We can't fix the chaos in our hearts or world by knowing that. It takes going through the sorrow and lamenting in complete honesty to God for Him to heal the pain. Only He can wake us up so that from our lament, we can have hope to live closer in unity, love, and healing.
 

Bradden Ford is a Christian music junkie charged with maintaining NewReleaseToday's new release database of artists and releases. He lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

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