Between the Liner Notes
Amy Grant: On the Back Row of Heaven
By Mia Evans
The 700 Club
After 30 years in music, Amy Grant’s still got it. She captivates listeners with her unique voice and soul-stirring lyrics. She won over pop fans with several hits in the ‘90s, and now she’s the top-selling Christian artist of all time.
Six Grammy awards and 22 Dove awards later, Amy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. These days she shares the stage and her life with her husband, Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill.
Recently Amy invited me to their home in Nashville. The singer-songwriter is launching a new career as an author. Her first book is called Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far. In it, she unveils her heart and pens her thoughts on love, loss, forgiveness and faith.
“I think the first time you try anything in a public way, you feel really exposed,” Amy tells The 700 Club. “Celebrity books, you know there’s a new flavor every week. I do turn a hairy eyeball to that book going, ‘You didn’t write that!’ My opinion drastically changed once I started the writing process, because I do think there’s something about taking the time to figure out what matters. When I was asked to write the things that matter to me -- when it was all said and done -- I went, ‘Huh!’ This has nothing to do with career. It has to do with the basic things that are available to anybody, and that starts with the love of God.”
Amy learned about God’s love as a child. She grew up the youngest of four daughters in a Christian home. Her deep connection to faith and family has always kept her grounded. Just ask her about her greatest achievement, and she’ll tell you in a heartbeat…
“Giving birth. Being a mom. Just the fact that in all the busyness, we squeezed in giving birth and having children. That was the greatest thing,” she confesses.
Like any mom, Amy has worried about her kids at times. But one particular lesson on prayer changed her perspective.
“When you’re finally still long enough, it gives God a chance to speak to your greatest fear,” she says. “I didn’t know what my greatest fear was. But I was still, still, still, still. Praying and still. Out of nowhere, I fell apart. I was so frightened that I would spend so much of my energy and my life telling people about Jesus and maybe my children wouldn’t come to know Him.
“But I remember in the midst of my wailing, this undeniable blanket of calm came upon me and this knowledge: ‘I have your children.’ So anytime there’s been a wild acting out or anything that’s typical of children, I’ll go, ‘Okay God, You promised. Find them.’’
The full-time mom, wife, and recording artist weaves music through every facet of life. Her Greatest Hits CD features just a few of the hundreds of songs she has written – including “Baby Baby”, “Every Heartbeat,” El Shaddai”, and many more.
So what’s it like to work with her husband?
Amy says, “I love it! I’m a big fan of Vince’s music, of his voice, of his guitar playing. I’ll be making a grocery list, and all of a sudden, I’ll hear Vince coming down the hall playing a mandolin, and he’s making up some silly song. Just the fact that music is such a natural part of life feels like such a gift. That’s my favorite part. It’s not the performance or backstage -- it’s that it just fills the house all the time.”
Vince and Amy are raising a blended family -- five children in all, ranging from 6 to 25 years old. Bringing two families together wasn’t easy.
“It was tough at first. When I look back at the pictures of our blended family the day Vince and I married, he and I are smiling, and all the children are frowning,” Amy shares. “I think that’s usually the starting point. Instead of getting in there with pom poms saying, ‘This is who we are,’ right off the bat Vince said, ‘I’m going to do the best job I can loving you, Amy. Hopefully that will help you mother your children well.’ I thought the same thing: ‘I will do the best job I can loving you, Vince, and then that will spill over into your confidence around these children.’ Little by little the dust settles.
“There is not a formula for the way that God heals. There’s not a timetable. Sometimes I look around at my life, the way it feels right now and what I experience, and I say, ‘God put me on the farthest back row in heaven, because you’ve given me the best stuff here.’”
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