How does a person find peace when everything around him is communicating, “Nobody cares about me. Nobody loves me”?
That’s the question Bart Millard, the lead singer of the popular Christian band MercyMe, had to answer. The lyrics for his number-one Christian song I Can Only Imagine were an expression of love toward his Heavenly Father … and an earthly father who filled Bart’s life with suffering.
Bart’s father had been a sweet and loving man until he was hit by a truck while working for the highway department. He was in a coma for eight weeks. When he awoke, something had changed. Bart’s mother said, “He went from a teddy bear to a monster.”
When his parents later divorced because his mother feared for her life, Bart became the focus of his dad’s rage and was physically beaten three or four times a week.
Other challenges followed. Years later, Bart’s brother-in-law was killed in a car accident hours after they’d had a disagreement. For a period of time, Bart felt responsible for his brother-in-law’s death.
There was also a sick child and a marriage stressed to the breaking point by the rigorous touring demands of one of Christian music’s most successful acts.
How did they find peace in the midst of such heartache?
Bart and his wife, Shannon, are with us to share about their suffering and their journey toward healing in the Lord. They say that our times of struggle are never easy, but “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, ESV).
We spoke to Bart and Shannon last year on the Disney Dream for Focus on the Family’s first-ever cruise. We were celebrating Focus’ 40th anniversary in ministry. MercyMe were our musical guests, and we interviewed Bart and Shannon in front of a live audience.
I loved Bart and Shannon’s transparency. I believe their story will inspire you, strengthen your faith in the Lord, and remind you of His presence in your pain.
Tune in for “Trusting God Through the Messiness of Life” on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app. Get a copy of Bart’s book, I Can Only Imagine: The True Story That Inspired the Hit Song and Major Motion Picture, available in our online bookstore.
If you’re struggling to overcome a difficult past, we want to be here for you! We have caring, Christian counselors available that can listen to you, give you an initial consultation, and refer you to someone in your area. Give our counselors a call at 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
The I Can Only Imagine movie – a film based on Bart’s book – is coming out March 16th.