September Day Records
I wish you could’ve been at my most recent birthday party, tripping back through time, my life in pictures on the screen. That blonde little tom-girl looking out at the camera, so unsure of herself. That young woman in love with the man of her dreams, holding tight to his arm, happiness oozing out every pore of her body. The tears that fell, seeing all those pictures of my strong, unforgettable Trent, who now lives in heaven. The young widow on stage in front of thousands, learning to breathe, beginning to dance again. The world-travels of a goofball, laughing her way across the world, mugging for the camera on planes and trains, drenched in the ocean, standing on top of mountains.
The seasons of my life flashed before my eyes—the joy, the pain, the mourning, the morning—I wish you could’ve seen it. Because if you could, you’d see how far I’ve come. You’d see how strong I’ve become. You’d know it’s only by God’s grace and power that I stand here. That I do anything at all.
But even before this birthday milestone, I knew I was ready to go there. I knew I was strong enough to lay it all out on the table for the world to hear, to express myself artistically in a whole new way, and to spill open my heart like never before.
Produced by Bernie Herms, Doug Beiden, Stephen Marshall and Brian Steckler, Stronger is nothing short of my testimony. It’s my story. It’s both a peek into my personal journal, as well as a response to what women and girls all over the world have shared with me. Women who are in seemingly impossible situations—adultery, divorce, abuse, trying to start over, trying to conceive, trying to hold on to faith when God seems silent. Stronger is my way of speaking life, saying, ‘Hold on to the truth that God will see you through this circumstance. Embrace all the possibilities of tomorrow, today. I’ve lived through the darkest of hours. I know what the other side looks like. And you can take me at my word. It’s not perfect, but it can still be glorious.
You who made the moon
You who made the stars
I cannot express the sum of who you are
But somehow you are…
The last couple of years have been amazing…and scary. The phone keeps ringing with more opportunities to share my story and speak about the grace of God in my life. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s not a comfortable place at times. But I know God is always with me, empowering me to go where He wants me to go, to speak the words He wants me to speak.
No matter what happens, I believe that, somehow, God is enough at the end of the day.
You’ve Already Shown Me
There are certainly still times in my life on this journey to healing when I feel very broken and yet at the same time I feel very complete. I have cried out to God asking, “Why?” If I’m being completely honest here, I’ve even screamed at God saying, “Why?!” And then like a storm that calms with time, I settle in and rest for a moment in the silence. And in the midst of my “Why’s” I find myself begin to whisper with assurance…
Savior my heart belongs to you
So then there’s nothing left to prove
No more afraid of what may come
I choose to trust in who you are
There is one thing I have found
I am held when I let go
I celebrate the mystery and the wonder of the love
You’ve already shown me…
Rain On Me
I’m comin’ out from underneath
Oh, can you see I’m breakin’ free
Lord I love how you save me…
It’s been 6.5 years since I lost Trent, and there are days when I stare with disbelief at the cards I’ve been dealt, but every day, every season, every year, I’m stronger.
Each day is a new chance to bloom, to let go of the past and embrace all of the possibilities of today and tomorrow. To be alive and growing! So come rain on me Jesus. Cover me and fill me with Your presence.
This song celebrates the absolute truth of who Christ is in our lives. In all the craziness, in the brokenness, in those dark places, He empowers us to come out from underneath and live in the light of His promises. We just have to be willing to receive what He has for us.
God of Impossibles
We have a love that won’t let us fall
And for Him, there is nothing impossible…
When life seems impossible, sometimes it’s easier for us to sit in our pain, in our circumstances, than it is to try to move forward. It’s scarier to think about how it all might turn out in the end, and so we don’t go there. “God of Impossibles” is my way of saying, ‘I know this seems impossible, but it’s not. Hang on to the possibility that God will see you through this somehow. Begin to loosen your grip on the things you can’t control and allow God to reveal His presence in your life, to move you beyond this hard season in your life.’
There’s something so powerful about that line at the end of this song… The wait is over… We wait and we wait for something—anything--to get better. But when we allow ourselves to fall into the arms of God, the wait really is over. New life can begin.
We’re strong in the face of the storm
We’ll overcome like a beautiful flower
Through the rain, past the pain…
“Shine” is probably one of my favorite songs on the record. I think it has to do with the peaceful atmosphere it brings with it, that voice inside of me constantly saying, ‘You don’t just have to get through, you can overcome anything, you can be triumphant!’ I love the vibe, the melody, the ’laid-back, roll down the window while driving the coast of California’ feel to it… It’s just another way of saying and really believing, ‘Everything’s gonna be alright.’ Not just for me, but for you, too!
Your yesterdays have got nothing on you
Say bye bye, let it go, turn around and look who’s free… we’re FREE…
I’m Letting Go
Holding nothing back from you
Ready to do all the things you call me to
Holy hands are reaching up to you
The longer I live, the more important worship becomes to me. The more important surrender is. “I’m Letting Go” is a song of total surrender and trust. It’s an authentic moment of worship for me, a place of total openness before the Lord. And I hope it will serve as a catalyst for that same thing for others who, like me, have struggled to hold on to something that can’t be held. That is my hope, that as people hear it, as they sing it, it will take them to a place of total honesty before God and empower them to take that next step, knowing that things hold up when we let go.
Edge Of The Water
I bow down and kiss your feet
The feet that led me from the dark…
I think there will always be elements of my story in every song I sing, but there seems to be one special song on every project that speaks to that still tender place of sorrow. On I See Beautiful, that song was “Stop the World.” This time around, I sat down with my friend Alisa Childers, formerly of ZOEgirl, who was always moved by my testimony and the place where God rescued me when I stood on the edge of the water all alone. She just couldn’t shake it, so she began from there, and I finished it.
And when I stood on the edge of the water
With fading hope there would be a tomorrow
You held me safe in your hands
Reminding me that I would walk again…
In my mind, I sometimes choose to go back and stand on the water’s edge, back to September 10th 2001, but I’m strong enough now to see God, even in that moment.
I’ll never forget sitting in the movie theater watching “The Passion Of The Christ” and how it made me feel. How it broke me. The spirit of God was so strong in that place that you couldn’t help but know and feel the love that He has for us. I could barely move as the tears raced down my face, watching Jesus being tortured and beaten. He took the fall so that we could be free, and in death He made all things new. What a gift to us, eternal life!
Innocence pierced and crushed, perfection crucified
Blameless for the sins you bore
And still for mine you died….
We have them all the time. But it takes spiritual eyes to recognize them. Divine appointments. God-arranged encounters. ‘Chance encounters’ some might say.
Last summer, on a puddle-jumper flying to D.C., I had such an encounter with a well-known country music artist. I recognized her, but I didn’t want to disturb her. But once we took off, I finally reached over and told her that I have been praying for her. She reached back and said she had read my book, “Learning to Breathe Again,” and that it had moved her. She talked openly about her life and the struggles she’s going through, and I could tell she was in a real place of surrender. When we got off the plane, we exchanged numbers, and I told her I’d be in touch.
Not long after that, I sat down at my computer and wrote these lyrics with her story on my heart.
You really need to know, I really need to help you see
This is your destiny. The miracle you are
Everything you were born to be
You are beautiful
A shining star is what you’re meant to be
A brilliant light for all of the world to see…
All around me, I see all your wonders on display
All around me, it’s the story of your saving grace…
I can really struggle with asking God for help and trusting that He’ll come through for me. I tend to lean on myself a little too much for the answers, just trying to put all the pieces of life together my way. Man, that can be so much work and completely overwhelming. When I hit a wall and am reminded in that moment that God is truly in this with me, I begin to see the work of HIS hands and the beauty in it. I take a deep breath and speak the words, ‘You are not alone and you are loved deeply by the Father.’ Let go and let God!
Your way is perfect, bringing new life into my soul
Your love surrounds me, it makes me whole
Your way is clearer, bringing light into my eyes
I’m overflowing with a joy that’s mine
Of course, there’s always got to be a “little funky Tammy” song on every record I make. I don’t wanna disappoint any of my LONG time fans! LOL. I mean, anyone who knows me KNOWS this girl’s just gotta dance from time to time! I can’t help it! I think my music has always been full of energy and life, songs that keep you moving. “Only One” is that ‘head bobbing’ song on the record, and while you’re bobbing and getting your groove thing on, I’ll remind you that God is all around and in everything. There is never a time when Jesus is not speaking. There is never a time when Jesus is not present.
I see you in the sunrise shining through the clouds
I hear you in the wind saying your love blows away my doubts
There’s only one God who said let it be
The Alpha Omega Redeemer and King
There’s only one way through the darkest night
One way, one truth, one life…
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
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