Tenth Avenue North frontman Mike Donehey
and guitarist Jeff Owen wrote this song with Jason Ingram (Brandon Heath
's "Give Me Your Eyes
") as an encouragement for Owen's stricken sister-in law. Donehey recalled to NewReleaseToday
"There are times when you are trying to write songs for an album, and this is not one of those songs. This was a song where we had a co-write scheduled for me, Jeff, and our friend Jason Ingram. A couple of days before the song writing session, Jeff had learned that his sister-in-law Ferris had stage four cancer. It's a rare form of cancer from leftover fetal tissue. They were shocked. She was 32 years old with three kids. She's super healthy, and the news was shocking. They were told she might need to fly to England for experimental treatment to have a chance of survival. She elected to start a year of really intense chemotherapy. She was looking at that situation, and we decided to write this song for Ferris and Jeff's brother Rob for while they were going through this. We started asking ourselves where God promises that He is with us.
Sometimes in our culture, we want to promise people that God is going to do the miraculous. The thing is, I want a faith that does do that. I want a faith that believes God is always going to work a miracle, and that He's going to heal. I also want a faith that keeps believing God is good even when I'm waiting on the miracle. We were drawn to Isaiah 43, where it says 'fear not,' the most repeated command in the Bible, and 'I have redeemed you, I have called you by name.' Then He says, 'When you pass through the waters they will not overwhelm you. When you pass through the fire, it will not consume you. I will be with you in the midst.' I have pointed out that I don't like that verse. We want to go on top of the waters and around the fires. 'When you go through them, I will be with you' is what God tells us. Emmanuel means God with us. We believed that God was going to heal her, but we wanted to write her a song telling her that God is with her."