#238 - "Hold Me" by Jamie Grace
Did you know this hit song was originally going to be a romantic love song? NRT's Kevin Davis discovers this and more.

Spend any time at all with Jamie Grace, and it’s obvious that she’s special. Her infectious smile, bright eyes and her expressive way with words are all telltale signs: this is one unique girl.

Jamie Grace’s Gotee Records debut EP, Hold Me, is certainly the sonic evidence. A hybrid mix of acoustic pop, hip hop, folk, reggae and the kitchen sink, this four-song collection just may be the most contagious debut to hit the music scene in decades.

“She writes, sings and plays her own music. And she has this style that can’t be put into a typical label box,” says TobyMac, who signed Jamie Grace after tracking her clever YouTube videos for more than three years. “When some people sing and play, it’s almost effortless, and their joy is all over them. That’s what grabbed my attention with Jamie Grace. I’ve not been this excited to work with an artist in a long time.”

But the effervescent spirit in this young woman is even more powerful and compelling than what can be seen. Her contagious joy and message of hope can only be understood in the context of her story and her struggle. Hailing from Atlanta, Jamie Grace learned two powerful lessons: one, that ministry is a way of life; two, that life is good, even when it’s hard. Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at age 11, her young life became a series of heartbreak and challenge, a long season of physical exhaustion, emotional stress and spiritual doubt. Then one day, inspired by the powerful testimony of Tammy Trent on the Revolve Tour, Jamie Grace came to a life-changing conclusion.

“I heard Tammy speak and I thought, ‘I’ve cried enough. It’s time to accept my joy,’” she said. “It was just the long process of finally realizing that, even with Tourette’s, I still have something to do with my life. I love to sing. I have a story, and I’ve got to share it.”

I had the great chance to speak in person with Jamie in her hometown of Atlanta before the Dove Awards about her hit song “Hold Me.” (You can watch the video interview here.) 

Please tell me about the background message behind the song "Hold Me."

I was watching a movie with my sister and her boyfriend a year ago. He’s now her husband. They never made me feel left out, but I didn’t want to join them to watch a movie to watch how happy they were together and that they were in love with each other. So the song came from my yearning that I want to be held and I want to feel important to someone. I ended up trying to write a love song, and I didn’t know where to go with it because I’ve never been in love. I got a little bit of the song written, and I knew I wanted to sing “I love the way You hold me.”

My confidence and my understanding grew as I started to really understand the greatest love I’ve ever known. It has nothing to do with needing the coolest car or a boyfriend or awesome clothes. Love is all about trusting in God to hold you no matter what you are going through. I’ve had a lot of experiences in my life of needing to trust in God to hold me. He’s the only one who is going to be there. That’s what the song is about, knowing that God is there to hold you and the joy that comes with that knowledge and understanding.

Do you have a life verse, or are there any Bible verses you used in writing the song?

My life passage is Psalm 35: But those who want the best for me, let them have the last word—a glad shout!—and say, over and over and over, "God is great—everything works together for good for his servant." I'll tell the world how great and good you are, I'll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.

What’s the takeaway message for listeners?

“Hold Me” communicates the truth that God will always love and never leave His children. These songs are my heart songs, straight off the pages of my diary. They are very simple, very chill, but very fun. It’s what I think about, and what gets me through. When pain is there, when I’m confused and discombobulated, God’s joy is there for me. God’s joy makes me smile and I can feel Him smiling on me. Every song you listen to, every movie and television show you watch, they all plant seeds. Whether it’s my songs or big powerful worship ballads, I think it’s important to listen to songs that are uplifting and are meaningful. I completely pour my heart into my songs and I want people to share in the joy that I have in Christ.

Here are the lyrics:

I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me

I've had a long day
I just wanna relax
Don't have time for my friends,
No time to chit-chat
Problems at my job,
Wonderin' what to do
I know I should be working
But I'm thinking of You and
Just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down
That's when Your smile comes around

Oo, I love the way You hold me,
By my side You'll always be
You take each and everyday,
Make it special in some way
I love the way You hold me
In Your arms I'll always be
You take each and everyday,
Make it special in some way
I love You more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving You less
Lord, I love the way You hold me

(I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me)
Whoa oh oh oh oh
Oh Whoa I love the way You hold me
(I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me)
Whoa oh oh oh oh whoa
(I love, I love, I love, I love the way Ya)

Well Ya, took my day
And You flipped it around
Calmed the tidal wave
And put my feet on the ground
Forever in my heart,
Always on my mind
It's crazy how I think about You all of the time
And just when I think I'm bout to figure You out
You make me wanna sing and shout

I'm so grateful and thankful for all You've done
Wish I could tell You in a short story or poem
But, all I have is my voice and this guitar
And You have my heart

Oo, I love the way You hold me, by my side You'll always be
You take each and everyday, make it special in some way
Oh, I love the way You hold me, in Your arms I'll always be
You take each and everyday everyday everyday...

Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalm 35: “David, in this psalm, appeals to the righteous Judge of heaven and earth against his enemies that hated and persecuted him. It is supposed that Saul and his party are the persons he means, for with them he had the greatest struggles. He promises himself that he shall yet see better days and promises God that he will then attend Him with his praises. In singing this psalm, and praying over it, we must take heed of applying it to any little peevish quarrels and enmities of our own, and of expressing by it any uncharitable revengeful resentments of injuries done to us; for Christ has taught us to forgive our enemies and not to pray against them, but to pray for them, as He did.”

I love the joyfulness of this song. My youngest daughter Bethany just turned 5 years old and she sings, “I love I love I love I love the way You hold me” when she’s walking around in the grocery store. I’m really moved by the lyrics, “Just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down, That's when Your smile comes around.” As God’s children, it brings me such comfort to think of Him smiling down on us.

Lord, thank You for amazing Christian music artists like Jamie Grace who love You and want to glorify Your name through their songs. Thank You for giving Jamie the gift of songwriting and singing so that she can give her offering of praise and worship back to You. Thank You for this great song that fires me up about the Love that You have for us Lord. To You be all the glory. “Lord, I love the way You hold me.” Amen!

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.

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