BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Sara Groves: A Song in Due Season
By Tim Branson
The 700 Club
- The Grammy nominated songwriter who tells her story through
music and who has shared the stage with Michael Card and Don Moen
always had a passion for songwriting. In fact, Sara first started
writing songs when she was only 4 years old.
"I started writing because of my piano book. It said, 'Using
what you’ve learned today, write a song of your own.' That’s
how I got started. I would write these little songs. They were
instrumental at first," she says.
In junior high school, Sara started writing about the deeper
things of life.
"I was a complete lonesome, dorky kind of kid, and it came
out in my songs. I had a song called 'Loneliness is so deadly,'
and other hits like that one," she says with a smile.
Ironically, Sara never considered a career as a songwriter.
"I kind of made peace with the fact that I’ll be writing
songs until I die, and it’s just not supposed to be a living,"
says Sara. "Some people paint, some people ride a bike, some
people punch a wall, and I write songs. That’s what I do."
So Sara became a teacher and got married. It would take a songwriting
course -- and a lot of prompting from her husband, Troy -- for
Sara to take writing seriously.
"He just kind of came at it like, 'Hey, you’ve got
something to say. I really believe in what you’re doing
and what you’re saying. These songs are not just for you
in your piano room. I’m getting on the phone and I’m
going to make this happen,' " Sara recalls.
With that, a career was born. Sara recorded her first album,
Past the Wishing, on a shoestring. Her second release, Conversations,
gained critical acclaim and fostered a hit single, "The Word."
Sara settled nicely into her career, but she would face a different
challenge when she took on a new role as a mother. While Sara
makes light of it now, she seriously questioned her faith then.
"I started seeing hard things happening to good people,"
she says, "and I started thinking who’s going to look
out for us? It wasn’t just a 'hey, I wonder if God’s
good.' I was really doubting. I was really in a place where I
was lying in bed saying, 'I know at the end of this story You
are God. I know You’re sovereign. I know that You’re
in control. But what is Your version of good?' "
As Sara wrestled with these questions, she recorded All Right
Here. Despite the album’s success, Sara needed to sort out
her faith and work on her marriage. In 2003 she took a year off
the road to dive into God’s Word.
"I realized I was not believing anything He said in there
about life," Sara admits. "I confessed my unbelief to
God. It’s just amazing to me how, when I finally asked and
was broken, how the ahh, is He good? He’s so good, that
the gratefulness and the joy just came back in such a way that
I had not felt in such a long time."
In typical Sara Groves fashion, Sara wrote of her struggle and
breakthrough in her latest release, The Other Side of Something.
"I have to say that these last three years, even though
they were very hard and emotionally just a roller coaster, I feel
like I’ve come out of the other side of this whole thing
with permanent changes in me," she says.
Now mother of two boys, Sara is back on the road. She takes her
family with her. Her husband, Troy, serves as manager, musician,
and anything else that might come up.
As much as Sara and Troy love what they do, they’re committed
to focus on what’s really important.
Says Troy, "We really felt strongly that if that’s
not working -- our relationship with the Lord and then our marriage
with each other -- if that’s not working in this, then we
need to get out of it."
Sara’s career will one day end, but as for writing songs,
Sara says lightheartedly, "When I’m 90, you can come
to my house, and I’ll be writing songs about gout and arthritis
and things like that."
In the meantime, Sara hopes there’s one thing that describes
"I hope I’m grateful. That’s what I want to
be. I think I spent too much time not being grateful, being critical.
I want to be grateful, and I am. As I practice that in my heart,
I’m just extremely grateful for everything God’s done
in my life," she says.
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