"It is okay if I do the first three minutes of this interview on speakerphone? I'm trying to do my hair because I woke up with an incredibly weird case of bed head. I usually don't do anything to it, but I have a really strange haircut right now because I cut it myself. It's so chewed and hacked up looking …"
Bed head is one of many challenges Amy Grant has faced over the past decade—but she's never been one to lie down and give up. Between sips of in-room coffee, the best-selling Christian artist of all time admitted she's made mistakes in her 35 years on the road. Still, as a recording artist, wife, mom, and friend, she insisted there's value in persevering in faith and asking God to sit with us in our imperfection.
"We always have a tendency to wonder, should I have done it differently?" Grant said. "You never stop asking questions like, 'I wonder if my adult child would've had this struggle had they not been through a divorce when they were six?' Every situation is different, and there are no pat answers. I've heard a broken bone heals stronger than one never broken, and that gives me so much hope."
After experiencing divorce from husband, Gary Chapman, in 1999, re-marriage to country artist Vince Gill in 2000, the birth of their daughter, Corrina, in 2001, the Nashville flood in 2010 that destroyed Gill's 35-year-old guitar collection, and losing her mother in 2011, Grant has learned the importance of prayer and petition firsthand.
"There's no point in praying if it doesn't come from an honest place," Grant said. "I have learned that, as shameful as it can be, it's important to at least speak what it is I see to be the truth out to God and to myself. We're all human, and our battle's not against flesh and blood—there's always a spiritual battle going on. Sometimes you have to just say, I'm not sure how I got where I am right now, but God, please just be here right now, and help me."
How mercy looks from here
Grant's new album, How Mercy Looks From Here, released Tuesday, and is dedicated to her mother. As her first studio album in a decade, Grant has experienced events that give her "plenty to write about."
"I wanted these songs to be a celebration of the journey of life," Grant said. "Some of the last words my mother said to me were to 'sing something that matters.' These songs have been so instrumental in helping me frame some really hard, life-changing events in a way that I can see the beautiful purpose that's brought meaning to things I thought were going to take me under."
Allison J. Althoff is Today's Christian Woman's online editor. Follow her on Twitter @ajalthoff.