Fighting for His Faith: Michael Farren Discusses His New Album
by Caroline Lusk
Throughout an illustrious career that spans over two decades, includes 30 No. 1 hits and 16 years as a founding member of Pocket Full of Rocks, Michael Farren has never written a song he wasn’t willing to let someone else record—until now.
When Farren penned the emotionally gripping now title-track Fighting For Us, the intention was not to create a radio single or a hit. The goal was survival.
“This October, my wife and I will have been married for 25 years,” says Farren. “Two years ago, I really hit a wall as far as some significant rattling of my faith. It was a perfect storm of stress and pressure to the degree that my own marriage hit the wall. That song was born out of trying to write another song, but when I sat down at the piano, that song fell out as I wept.”
When his publisher heard the song, he knew it would be huge and wanted to pitch it to other artists. Farren’s reaction was swift and firm.
“I just told him no,” says Farren. “That song was my lifeline. The irony though was that I wasn’t sure if God was fighting for me. I sang it until I could believe it again, hoping my theology was accurate.”
As Farren reflects on that difficult period of time, he recalls his pastor asking if he needed to take a sabbatical. While part of him wanted the reprieve, he knew it wasn’t the time.
“The difference between a hypocrite and a believer is this. The hypocrite is the guy who says God is good, then life goes to crap and he goes home,” says Michael. “The believer is the one who will stand there and still show up, frustrated and beside himself with prayers unanswered.”
To be clear, Farren is a believer. Life was not going the way he had planned or intended. His relationships were unraveling at a rate too fast for him to maintain. And yet, he kept showing up. He kept his heart open to the possibility that this God of miracles he had been singing and writing about his entire life was not only true, but more than enough to pull him through.
“It’s so easy to look around at the news and this age we live in and ask, ‘Where is God?’” he says. “When I was sitting in my office last year about to pull the trigger on things that would affect the rest of my life, three guys kicked through the door, walked in with no cliches and just said, ‘We’re here for you,’ Where is God? He just walked in through my door.”
Beyond the title track that almost never made it beyond the writing, the album is a collection of struggles and victories carried on the strings of a banjo or, on occasion, a mandolin. Regardless of the instrumentation, from start to finish, Fighting For Us is an honest and pure reflection of the veteran worship leader’s heart who continues to bring battered hearts to the feet of Jesus—including his own.