This deeply personal track was inspired by frontman Mark Hall's battle with kidney cancer. The diagnosis in 2015 took the singer by surprise and he chronicles with honesty here his fear and doubts following the shattering news. Hall had his kidney removed and became cancer free.
Hall serves as youth pastor at Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church outside Atlanta and he wrote this poignant and powerful song one quiet night in his office at church.
"I've got a little keyboard in my office," he explained to Billboard magazine. "I remember sitting down and the only scripture that would stay in my head was [in Psalm 42:11] when David said, 'Why so downcast oh my soul? Put your hope in God.' That verse has always stuck out to me because he was talking to himself. We all talk to ourselves, but we don't want to tell anybody that we do and there he is saying, 'David, what's wrong with you man? Come on!'
I remember sitting at this piano and that chorus was starting to come out. Some of those verses started to come out. It began with 'Oh my soul!' and so the song is really an argument with myself. I'm speaking truth to myself. The roots of my faith are talking to the storm in my life and that's where that battle began."
When asked by Billboard magazine how his experience affected the music on The Very Next Thing, Hall replied: "When I hear people going through cancer and other health storms, I see it a little different. I've always seen it as the one who has a loved one going through it, but I've never been in it before, so that's been new for me. I didn't want to write the post-cancer record, but I did want to talk about it and to me, 'Oh My Soul' just drew the picture perfectly of where I was and where I am now, but I think you'll always hear a little bit of that in anything I do. I've never been able to hide my heart very well, so it always comes out when I'm writing."