Latest CD, This Time Around (2011)
Hit songs include, “Hallelujah” and “God is Still God”
Worship leader at Morningside Church, Port St. Lucie, FL
Three Children, Caedmen (deceased at 6 mos.); Skye, 8; and Gideon, 7
Heather Williams: This Time Around
CBN.com A SONG OF HOPE
Heather Williams had no idea her song, “Hallelujah,” which she had written in 2004 after her infant son, Caedmen, died would be used to touch and encourage so many people. It was written during a very special moment between her and God after her son’s death as a one-time prayer. To Heather, it was like an entry in a diary, very personal. She tucked it away. Recently, her new recording label encouraged her to record it. Through the song, God has done amazing things...even grander than Heather could have imagined. She says people identify with her story and have learned not to give up hope. Heather also says it is great to hear people's stories of how the song has touched them. A year ago at a women's event Heather talked to a woman whose son had cancer. He had to have his leg amputated and is still battling the disease. Heather and the woman still keep in contact and encourage each other.
THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG
Heather and her husband, Tim, tried for many years to get pregnant. In 2004, nine years into their marriage they had an absolute miracle when Heather gave birth to their son, Caedmen. He was such a blessing and appeared to be a happy, healthy boy. When he was six months old, as the Williams family was returning home from a trip, Caedmen started coughing. Heather thought nothing of it but as a precaution she called the doctor. The doctor told her to bring Caedmen in. There, they tried to feed him formula, but he didn't want it. As Heather was carrying him back to the patient room, he suddenly sat up in her arms and contorted his face. Heather knew something was wrong and then she knew Caedmen was gone. The doctor told Heather to talk to Caedmen. She told her son that he could go and be with Jesus and it was over. Heather and Tim later learned that Caedmen had an undetected heart condition called cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the heart muscles.
After the Caedmen died, Tim told Heather he believed God told him that, “Not a year would go by without them holding a child of their own in their arms.” Some time after that, Heather wrote “Hallelujah” and found out she was pregnant again. Their daughter, Skye, was born on Christmas Day 2005 – five days short of the one year anniversary of Caedmen’s death. Shortly after Skye’s birth, Heather was pregnant again. The Williams’ son, Gideon, was born the following year. Heather says from going through what she did with Caedmen she believes she takes parenting a little more seriously than she might have is she didn’t go through losing him. She has learned not to sweat the small stuff and enjoy every little moment with her children.
NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Even though Heather had grown up in church and accepted Jesus as her Savior when she was 18, she considers the day Caedmen died as the day she became a Christian and her relationship with God truly started. Heather believes that though Caedmen’s life was short, God had a plan and purpose for it. She says her intimacy level in her relationship with God was higher after Caedmen died. She keeps an open dialogue with God and talks to Him all the time. She also completely forgave the people in her life that had hurt her. She says she is more afraid of who she might have been if he did live. Heather has ultimately found that no matter what happens in life, good or bad, God is faithful. It is good to focus on what you do have and not on what you don’t have and to learn gratitude.
MORE OF HEATHER’S STORY
Heather's biological father left when she was very young. Her stepfather, a borderline sociopath who had the family in church nearly every time the doors opened, horribly abused Heather physically and emotionally, even once chaining her to a tree. “I remember being 6 years old in Sunday School, and my teacher having us all sing 'Jesus Loves Me This I Know' and thinking, 'You're a liar.' I just couldn't comprehend a God that loved me that would allow these things to be happening to me.” Thus at an early age, Heather’s heart began hardening towards God and filling with anger and bitterness. Around this time, Heather’s love of music began. Music spoke to her on a deeper level more than anything else.
At age 11, her mother gave Heather to the state because her stepfather didn't want her around anymore. Thankfully, her grandfather took her in. “He was my rescuer.” Heather's grandfather also took her to church, but by this time, she was so bitter and angry about her childhood that she completely rejected church and God. The result was emptiness. “I began trying to fill this hole in my heart with anything or anyone that I could.” As a release from the pain, she started writing music on her grandfather’s piano. She tried alcohol around age 12, “loving that it would take away a little bit of the sadness and the anger.” When Heather turned 16, her grandfather retired to Florida, and she moved in with her mom's sister and her husband. They took her to church, too. She still hated it.
By 18, Heather was drinking, sleeping around, and staying out all night. She ended up homeless for nearly three months because she refused to live by her aunt and uncle's house rules. “I had people who would say, 'You can come in for a couple hours, but you can't spend the night. My parents don't want me hanging out with you.' It was a harsh reality check for me.”
A friend helped Heather find her birth dad, who told her about a woman in his church who'd take her in. She knew she'd have to go to church if she stayed with this woman, but she desperately needed a place to live, so she moved in. This time, the familiar message she heard hit home. “The pastor said, 'Jesus loves you just the way you are. You don't have to scrub yourself clean to come to Him. You come to Him the way you are, and let Him be the one to change you.’ ” The words pierced Heather's heart. “The next thing I know, I'm up at the altar, and I'm hysterically crying. That was a big deal 'cause I did not cry.” Heather gave her life to Jesus in 1994. “In that moment it was like the weight of the world was lifted off of me.”
Heather met her husband Tim in a band. They became close friends and then married in 1995. Although she had accepted the forgiveness of Christ in her own life, Heather struggled with giving forgiveness to others both in her past and present, especially her mom and stepdad. Signs of anger and bitterness from her past still affected her life and relationships. There were struggles even in her marriage.
Caedmen’s death broke Heather's heart as well as the stronghold of bitterness and anger she'd carried inside for most of her life. God brought her to the point of desperation over her son's death, and the crushing experience of submitting to His will in the matter forever changed her. “Only God can take that tragedy and almost make it like it's the best thing that's happened to me. I am more afraid of the person that I would be if he had lived. Now God has completely humbled me and put me in a place of total dependence on Him.”
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