The Story Behind “STRONG ENOUGH” by Matthew West
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Well, it’s time. Time for a new song to hit the radio! Strong Enough is the new radio single from The Story of Your Life, and I thought I’d give you a little behind the scenes on what inspired this song and what it means to me.
Strong Enough was inspired by a single mom from Indiana and her frustrated teenage daughter. Tonia had her first child when she was just 19 years old, and today she is just trying to give her three kids a better life than the one she has had. Her daughter Haleigh was beginning her dream of going to college in Chicago at Columbia University. But during a visit home for the holidays, Haleigh was in a near fatal car accident just one mile from her home. The accident sent her life spinning in a direction she hadn’t planned, and certainly never hoped for. Thirteen surgeries in three years, and Haleigh is still recovering. Her insurance was cancelled, and she could not go back to school because of her medical bills and continuing recovery.
Tonia wrote to me while I was in the cabin about one night in the hospital while she was trying to comfort her daughter. She told her, “Haleigh, the Lord won’t let you go through anything He doesn’t think you are strong enough to handle.” Haleigh, who was beyond frustrated at that point responded honestly, “Oh yeah? Well, he must think I’m pretty FREAKIN’ STRONG!” Haleigh’s honest and human response to the adversity she was facing really impacted me. I had this picture in my head of this single mother and her devastated daughter standing at the foot of an impossible mountain, both saying, “This is bigger than me, I’m not strong enough.”
Haleigh’s response to her mom inspired the first lines of the song.
You must, you must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me, forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
The song goes on to explore where our true source of strength comes from. My favorite verse from the bible holds the answer, and I sing it in the bridge of this song. Phillipians 4:13 is a verse my dad taught me when I was a kid. A verse I quoted many times in my life, whenever I have felt the way Haleigh has, facing my own impossible mountains in life. The bridge of the song proclaims,
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be strong enough
One of the reasons I chose this song to be the next single at radio is because of the response it has during our live show on the The Story of Your Life Tour. Every single night, when we get to the part and start singing, I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH, hands begin to go up in the air all across the audience. It is as if people one by one are facing their own impossible mountains and soaking up that much needed reminder that we were never made to be strong enough to make it through life’s adversity on our own. We were made to be carried by the strength of a savior. I hope and pray this song will encourage you when your day finds you facing an impossible mountain. May you be comforted by the reminder that you’re not strong enough, and thank God you don’t have to be.