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Don't Stop Praying album image

Don't Stop Praying

Matthew West

Anne Wilson posing for a photo in a white blouse

One decision changed Anne Wilson’s life—and it could change yours too

Micah Vander Stouwe
Micah Vander Stouwe

When we experience devastating, life-altering circumstances, we don’t always respond by pointing others to Jesus. We get lost in our sorrow, and it becomes difficult to see beyond our own pain. But 19-year-old Anne Wilson is an impactful example of what happens when we turn our eyes to Jesus.

Anne Wilson became extremely well known in Christian music for her debut song, “My Jesus,” which was—and continues to be—featured on major Christian radio stations and all over music news. Her strong, full voice carries a wisdom that seems to reach far beyond her 19 years of age.

The lyrics of “My Jesus” are universally relatable for her audience, which spans a wide range of ages. With this song, Anne Wilson meets us where we are with empathy.

She has this empathy because in her life story, Anne Wilson herself experienced deep, shattering heartbreak.

In the summer of 2017, Anne’s older brother, who was only 23, lost his life in a car accident. Anne, who was just 15 at the time, made an astonishing decision.

Many people enduring grief and life-changing heartbreak like Anne would spend months or years wrestling with faith, but Anne made an instant decision. She felt God asking her if she would trust Him in this tragedy. Anne, just 15, heartbroken, confused, and afraid, told her Jesus that she would trust Him.

Of course, her decision did not exempt her from the pain and suffering that followed her brother’s sudden death. Grief is heavy. It’s not something that can be shrugged off or forgotten. It is something we carry. Over time, we can become skilled at carrying our grief, or at least we become used to its weight.

But as time goes on, there are moments when we grow tired, and we need someone to take our burdens from us, to shoulder the weight of our tragedy alongside us.

As Anne learned in the years after her brother’s death, the only person who is strong enough to walk beside us through our trials is Jesus Christ.

The opening of “My Jesus” quickly catches the listener’s attention. It’s a simple series of questions, and upon hearing them, we can’t help but reflect:

Are you past the point of weary
Is your burden weighing heavy
Is it all too much to carry
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus.

(Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

On a daily basis, we often feel that our strength is insufficient for accomplishing the tasks set before us. But many of us are also carrying burdens that are much bigger than our daily stressors. We all carry deep burdens and pains that we don’t share with other people. Those burdens are painful, and sometimes they make us feel ashamed:

Do you feel that empty feeling
’Cause shame’s done all its stealing
And you’re desperate for some healing
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus.

(Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

Maybe we feel ashamed that we don’t have the strength to carry these burdens alone, or maybe we’re hiding a piece of ourselves that we don’t want anyone else to see. As the lyrics say, shame is a thief. It steals our strength and our hope. It isolates us from those who love us.

But as Anne had to learn at such a young age, we cannot live alone in our pain forever. As humans, we crave wholeness and healing. We crave Jesus:

He makes a way where there ain’t no way
Rises up from an empty grave
Ain’t no sinner that He can’t save
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus

(Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

After her brother’s death, Anne felt hopelessness creep in. She had already made the decision to trust Jesus, but her pain still stood before her. Yet she knew that Jesus has the strength to do impossible things. His warm invitation to her grieving soul was not an empty one. He rose from the grave, and He can certainly save His hurting children from their desperation:

His love is strong and His grace is free
And the good news is I know that He
Can do for you what He’s done for me
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus

(Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

Anne’s exemplary faith led her to share her experience with others. She saw firsthand that Jesus can offer us peace and hope in even the darkest circumstances. Jesus wants to meet each of us where we are. He wants to make us whole.

Who can wipe away the tears
From broken dreams and wasted years
And tell the past to disappear
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus

(Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

The past, whether it’s haunted by loss or by our own guilt, has a way of sticking to us. We allow it to follow us because we believe it will never leave us. And while it’s true that we can’t change the past, Jesus can unchain us from it. He can take away its power over us. We just need to believe that He can:

And all the wrong turns that you would
Go and undo if you could
Who can work it all for your good
Let me tell you about my Jesus

(Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

As Anne saw, in the beautiful name of Jesus, He transforms our past and uses the dark parts for our good. While Anne was still reeling from her brother’s accident, she was asked to sing at his funeral. She was hesitant at first. She had never sung in public before that moment. But when she followed God’s voice, the video of her song found its way to YouTube, and then to a talent manager. She’d never considered a career in Christian music before that time.

But Jesus used this devastating loss in her life to open a door she didn’t even know existed. Jesus has always been there for us. He died for us, and He ushers us through life with His gentle touch:

Who would take my cross to Calvary
Pay the price for all my guilty
Who would care that much about me
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus

 (Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

What Anne understood at such a young age is that Jesus cares for her. He does not forgive us out of obligation. He cares so deeply for each of us that He wants to reconcile us to Him. He desires to have a relationship with us. He wants us to live whole lives and find healing from our pain.

Do you need encouragement in your life? Have you been carrying something for too long? Is your strength running out? Watch the video for “My Jesus” below, and listen for it on 98.5 KTIS to find encouragement from someone who deeply understands grief.

Jesus is waiting for you, and He wants you to be His.

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