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BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1182 - "Amen" by Natalie Layne
Exploring the inspiration behind a song of faith, hope, and love in a turbulent world
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1182 -
Posted: September 20, 2023 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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In the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary Christian music, a new voice has recently emerged: Natalie Layne. With her remarkable debut single, "Amen," taken from her inaugural album, the Amen EP, this Centricity Music artist is making waves that are felt deep within the hearts of listeners.
 
As someone married for nearly three decades and a proud parent of three young daughters, Natalie's music resonates profoundly with me and my family. Her entire album is a powerful source of inspiration, brimming with encouragement. Every track uplifts and stirs the soul, lifted by an infectious and upbeat musical style. Natalie's compelling vocals, laced over a series of catchy melodies, establish her as one of the standout new female voices in Christian music—an inspiring role model for young girls aspiring to make their mark.
 
Natalie's album is a source of comfort for those struggling with anxiety and a lack of confidence. Her exceptional singing talent is unique and can be felt in every note she sings. Her smile can even be heard through her voice as she delivers one catchy song after another. The music on the album is carefully arranged to match Natalie's emotional lyrics, creating a perfect blend of sound and meaning.
 
Her authentic songwriting, characterized by her genuine positivity and vulnerability, truly sets Natalie apart. Her spirited compositions provide a triumphant celebration of our freedom in Christ. Her latest release, the empowering anthem "Amen," is a testament to her faith and musical prowess. Notably, her biblically inspired lyrics serve as a guiding light, emphasizing that true joy and identity stem from a profound relationship with God.
 
Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with Natalie to delve deeper into the heart behind her uplifting track, "Amen."
 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
 
Many hard things are happening worldwide, and I felt so heavy one week. I was driving out of my neighborhood, and one of my neighbors was out on their morning walk. They waved and smiled as I went by, restoring my faith in humanity for a second. I started thinking, what if there was a song where we could say ‘amen’ to all the good things happening in the world and not discount the hard things? We must acknowledge the broken things, but there’s a higher reality at work. There’s still joy even when hard things are happening. Grief and gratitude can exist at the same time.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Colossians 3:12 (VOICE): "Since you are all set apart by God, made holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a holy way of life: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

1 John 4:21 (NIV): "And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister."

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

Matthew 25:40 (NIV): The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me."

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV): "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here."

Philippians 1:6 (NIV): “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
 
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
 
What is the takeaway message?
 
Joy is the common thread woven throughout the song that speaks to the power of finding the good in moments that don’t necessarily feel good. I’ve always wanted to make music that brings people joy. We need joyful songs to get us through the day, and God’s given me permission to pursue the happy songs. If these songs can bring people joy, even in little ways, that would be a win.
 
I also want to talk about the power of staying. Sometimes, finding the Lord for yourself and choosing to stay can be more challenging than leaving, but life with Jesus is better. It’s not perfect, but it’s way better. I want to write songs that resonate with lifelong church kids and those who have drifted away, drawing them back home.
 
No matter where people find themselves, I want to give them permission to feel like their story matters. It’s such a small thing that can inspire a song. 
 
Lyrics
 
I know what it looks like
I know how it feels
It’s hard to see a way
That all this brokenness could heal
 
The world can be ugly
It can knock me to my knees
But while I’m there, I still have a prayer
As long as my heart beats
 
I’m still alive
So there is good to find
I will lift my eyes
To sing a thousand times
 
Amen every day
I say amen to all the ways that
People are helping people
Making space at the table
I’m finding a little bit of that kindness
There’s still good in the crazy world we’re living in
To that, I say amen
 
My head can get clouded
My thoughts can get loud
But I can see in the little things
God works the big things out
 
It can’t be all that wrong
Cause He’s still on the throne
If there’s one thing I know
Oh, the good’s not gone
 
Amen for the smile of a stranger 
Amen when the good guys win
When a prayer I pray is answered 
And it stirs my faith again
Amen for a brand new chapter
Amen when the hard part ends
Amen, I’m friends with my savior 
Again I say 
 
Amen every day
I say amen to all the ways that
People are helping people
Making space at the table
I’m finding a little bit of that kindness
There’s still good in the crazy world we’re living in
To that, I say amen
 
To that, I say amen

Closing Thoughts
 
I resonate deeply with every heartfelt note in Natalie's rendition of “Amen.” The struggles we all encounter, often feeling alone and misunderstood, are universal experiences. Personally, my prayers consistently include a plea for hope. What I find particularly moving about this song is its emotional depth and ability to lead me toward Christ, the source of my peace and hope. It's a powerful reminder that, in Jesus, we are loved and destined for something greater if we place our trust in Him as our savior.
 
The message embedded within "Amen" encourages introspection, challenging us to confront our own doubts. It serves as a poignant reminder that Jesus calls upon us to place our faith in Him and the transformative power of His resurrection. It reassures us that He has conquered both death and fear.
 
When we acknowledge God's sovereignty in our lives, we adopt a mindset that shifts our focus from ourselves to the needs of others. This lines up with His kind heart, which nudges us to look after those who are marginalized, oppressed, and in a vulnerable position. By viewing the world's injustices through God's eyes, we are compelled to act. Jesus's directive for believers is clear: we are to love others as He loved us and demonstrate His love by assisting those who cannot help themselves. In a world marred by so much injustice on various fronts, the hymn's sentiment, "They'll know we are Christians by our love," carries profound meaning.
 
The concept of love is eloquently expressed in 1 John 4:19: "We love because he first loved us." God's love came at an unimaginable cost—the life of His only begotten Son. As the song expressively says, "Love so amazing, so divine, it demands our lives, minds, and souls." Not only are we called to love God because He first loved us, but we are also challenged to extend unconditional love to others, for while we were still sinners, Christ selflessly sacrificed Himself for us. This message holds immense importance, for Jesus instructs us to love our enemies just as we love ourselves. Given the difficulties many of us encounter in loving ourselves, it's no wonder extending love to our adversaries can be a challenging task.
 
Ultimately, what truly matters is looking after the needs of others. We can live a more fulfilling life when we prioritize serving and caring for others over dwelling on our doubts. This sentiment is expressed in a song that emphasizes the importance of opening our eyes to the needs of those around us. The lyrics remind us that by focusing on the needs of others, we can experience a profound realization that can positively impact our lives: "Amen every day/I say amen to all the ways that/People are helping people/Making space at the table/I’m finding a little bit of that kindness/There’s still good in the crazy world we’re living in/To that I say amen." Amen to that.

NRT lead contributor Kevin Davis is a long-time Christian music fan and an avid collector. He 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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