Who You Are to Me
by Chris Tomlin (featuring Lady A)

Album: Chris Tomlin & Friends (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • After relocating to Nashville, Chris Tomlin became friendly with many country artists there. He found that many of his new singing and songwriting pals from Music City shared his worship-leading background. A chance meeting with Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard in a gym led to the Chris Tomlin & Friends album, which features faith-based collaborations with a selection of country A-listers. Tyler Hubbard and his FGL partner Brian Kelley are credited as executive producers.
  • Tomlin knew Lady A's Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott well and had also previously met Charles Kelley too, so when the project started coming together he booked the trio in for a writing session. They came up with this song about the difference between having knowledge of God and experiencing a relationship with Him.
  • Charles Kelley was in a vulnerable stage of his life when they wrote this song (he details it on the Lady A track "Be Patient With My Love"). Tomlin recalled to Apple Music how the session started with Kelley sharing his own spiritual journey after a few aimless years. "When I think about my faith and the faith of so many, for so many of us, it is just these Sunday school stories when we were growing up, these Bible stories, these crazy stories, Noah and the Ark and David and Goliath," Kelley said. "Yet, in these last years, I've been in a really hard place, and it's amazing to see God meet you in a very personal way.'"

    Kelley's openness led to the song's first lines.

    Some people think You're distant, just some words on a page
    That You're nothing more than fables, handed down along the way
    But I've seen You part the waters
    When no one else could pull me from, the deep
    That's who You are to me


    The rest of the song carries on in the same vein as Tomlin and Lady A talk about God being more than just someone who lives "in cathedrals made of stone." Instead, He is their forgiveness, healer, Messiah and redeemer who lives inside their hearts.
  • The song topped the Christian Airplay chart, becoming Tomlin's 10th and Lady A's first to reach #1 on the tally. Lady A were just the second act to top both the Country Airplay and Christian Airplay charts, following Dolly Parton's footsteps. Dolly became the first artist to reach the summit of both listings when her Zach Williams duet "There Was Jesus" topped Christian Airplay in September 2020.

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