November 11, 2013
From the beginning of time, God endowed man with something that sets him apart from all other things.
Something that connects generations to come with generations that have come before.
Something that captures our legacy and provides a canvas for our future…
Our human ability to assign symbolism to life’s events and recant those orally or on the pages of history.
Stories of triumph and loss…pain and joy…uncertainty and progress…
Each breath we take, decision we make, relationship we create is but another page within the ultimate story written with the very finger of God and revealed when man encounters the grace that is a bottomless ink well of redemption.
Laura Story has encountered such grace. And through her faithful servant hood, she has seen the profundity in this collision of man and mercy.
It’s that profundity that she sets to song on her latest album, God of Every Story.
“Probably the greatest lesson God has been teaching me over the past few years is to look for Him in every story,” she shares.
That search for God’s face among the broken pieces
of our lives is one that requires courage, trust and faith. It’s a journey not
to be taken lightly…and it’s a journey that has changed Laura’s life forever.
“Our story involves disability and joy and struggle,” she shares.
Early in their marriage, Laura’s husband, Martin was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. Countless rounds of treatment later, the scars of the illness have taken the shape of mental disability—an unexpected chapter in their lives together. And one that informed the song “Blessings,” which won the 2012 Dove Award Song of the Year—a testament to Laura’s uncanny ability to surrender her life experiences into the hands of God to touch lives she could never reach on her own.
“If you know me at all, you know that what God did thru the song ‘Blessings’ is so much bigger than some yahoo like me could ever make happen, and I love that about God! He calls us to be part of something bigger than ourselves. ‘Blessings’ was more an adventure God called me to be part of, and I will be forever grateful for that,” she says. “I’m now learning to look to Him in all the ups and downs, as well as looking for Him in the stories of others.”
Her search has yielded a sonic treasure chest, full of seamless, compelling production, guided by living legend Ed Cash, alongside Laura’s trademark transparent lyrics and delivery.
“With this project, I tried to write from that same honest place, asking God to use our story yet again to help listeners who are in the same place I am, trying to trust the promises of God in the midst of the here and now,” she says.
Today, Laura’s here and now includes an addition to the family…her daughter.
“Becoming a mom has been by far the greatest adventure Martin and I have embarked upon thus far in our lives,” shares Laura. “She is an amazing little girl, and a true picture of grace. That God would truly know me, how flawed a human being I am, and entrust to me this new and wonderful person... It’s beyond me.”
Her awe resonates throughout the entire album, inviting listeners to share the experience of all those things in life that seem beyond us. That invitation becomes inspiration when her awe intersects with the assurance, peace of mind and absolution that this awe-inspiring God is not only pleased with us or offers trials, blessings and experiences to simply accompany us on the road of life; He presents trials, blessings and experiences to lavish upon us all the good things His perfect love desires for our soul—even when those things involve pain and confusion.
Even when those things do not promise a happy ending as we understand it…
Because it is in those things that our storyline begins to make sense. As we learn to become and live more like Him in every arena of our lives, our perspective of the ultimate story expands, revealing the joy we’ve been promised.
“Every story, mine and yours, only finds its purpose in light of His Greater story of redemption,” she says. “Because at the end of the day, they really are all His stories.”
And that is the heart—not of an album or an artist or a musician.
That’s the heart of Laura Story—daughter, mother, wife, worshipper, storyteller. That’s the heart she wants to share with the world.
“I hope people walk away encouraged, strengthened in their faith and believing that God can use every story, every trial, every pain, to glorify Himself and advance His kingdom,” she says. “Sound like a pretty big hope for this 30 something minute project? I do serve a pretty big God.”
The God who created man…set him apart…blessed him with the ability to reason, to think, to share…
The God who ties generations together.
The God who remains the same in joy and in pain, certainty and doubt, triumph and loss.
The God of every story.
Caroline Lusk is editor of CCM Magazine.