When Laura Story penned her now-famous song “Blessings,” she could hardly have imagined the way it would affect people from across the globe; or the acclaim it would bring.
At last month’s GRAMMY® Awards, Story added yet another prize to her impressive collection as “Blessings” won the GRAMMY® for “Best Contemporary Christian Song.” Story’s co-nominees included multi- GRAMMY® award winners Chris Tomlin and TobyMac, formerly of dcTalk.
Prior to her GRAMMY® win, “Blessings” and the album of the same name had already received plenty of accolades. The album, released last year, received five Dove nominations and has remained a best seller. What’s more, the song has has been in regular rotation at Christian stations across the country, and reached number one on several charts.
Church Keeps Her Grounded
While enjoying the success of Blessings, Laura and Martin Story are rejoicing in another piece of good news: they are expecting their first child. “What an amazing season this has been!” says Story in a press release from her label, Fair Trade Services. “Martin and I have been so thankful to find out that we are expecting, and then this GRAMMY® surprise was the cherry on top!”
Story values family, and having a home church that helps her stay grounded. When she is not in the studio or on the road, she is at Perimeter Church (PCA), outside Atlanta, working with the worship team and women’s ministry. Story feels fortunate to be able to both serve in a church setting, and make music for a living. “I work at a church that lets me be a recording artist,” says Story on her website. “I record for a label that lets me work at a church instead of having to always be on tour. And I love how it all interconnects. This dynamic is what makes me a healthy person. I am blessed!”
Success from Struggle
Laura Story’s ascent in the world of Christian Music has not been without trial. In fact, some may say it has been because of life’s trials that her latest album has touched so many listeners. Story’s husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has had a difficult journey for several years. Many of the songs on Blessings, particularly the title track, come from a place of questioning and difficulty that emerged from their struggle.
“The song ‘Blessings’ is about the redefining of blessings in my life,” explains Story in a video about the song’s message. “I grew up hearing songs like ‘God Bless America’ and saying the blessing every time we ate a meal. Though prayers and songs like these are great things, I think it subtly taught me that God’s blessings were always in the form of health and prosperity.”
So when her husband was diagnosed with a tumor, it left her with more questions than answers about what blessing really means. “Every ‘what if’ of that song symbolizes a thousand questions God seems to have left unanswered,” says Story. However, she and her husband have not become mired in the questions, but have used their struggles to find a deeper faith. “There is a depth of intimacy with God that can only be known through suffering,” explains Story. “There is a reliance on Him that can only be experienced when everything else around my soul seems to give way. And if that’s what it takes to make this stubborn child blind to that old rugged cross, you can have your prosperity. I’d rather have Jesus.”
Because of her honest, inspiring songwriting, people from around the world have reached out to share how “Blessings” has helped them wrestle with questions, walk through illness, or deal with loss. “Blessings” is striking a chord with listeners, as it clearly did with Grammy voters. “We are both humbled and so grateful to God for this,” says Story, “and [we] pray that any attention the song receives will be used by God to bring hope to others who are walking hard roads.”