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'I thought I was going to die': Carly Pearce on how God's grace sustained her through trauma

Carly Pearce
Award-winning country star Carly Pearce. |

At the beginning of lockdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Carly Pearce thought she would die. 

After eight months of marriage, the award-winning country star’s marriage to fellow singer Michael Ray had ended in a highly-publicized divorce. Around that same time, her friend and producer, Busbee, died at 43 after battling brain cancer.

“I truly thought I was going to die at the beginning of quarantine,” the 31-year-old singer told The Christian Post. 

In the midst of her brokenness, Pearce felt God’s presence and comfort like never before — and it was her faith, she said, that gave her the strength to persevere.

“You can say you have faith, you can say you believe in God, but until you feel completely uncomfortable, not knowing where to turn, at your lowest — that is where you have to decide to trust that God's timing is right and that He will show you why you're going through this,” she shared. 

Like any true artist, Pearce channeled her personal pain into her music. In April, she partnered with Christian artist Matthew West for a heartfelt version of his single "Truth Be Told." Lyrics to the song include the lines “Can I really stand here unashamed/ And know that you love for me won’t change/ Oh God If that’s really true/ Then let the Truth Be Told.”

The collaboration, Pearce said, came at the “perfect time.” She applauded West for his willingness to share real-life stories and the “ugly sides of the truth” — something the singer noted isn’t always common in the Christian community. 

“Nobody wants to talk about divorce, especially as a woman under 30,” she shared. “I just felt like it was the perfect song for me to speak to because it resonated so much with me, and I knew that the message of 'not being OK is OK,' is something that more people need to accept.”

The Kentucky native revealed how the wisdom and vulnerability of Bible teachers Joyce Meyer and Lysa TerKeurst inspired her to share her story.

“I think [women] strive to be perfect and to have it all together and have this picture-perfect life,” Pearce said. “Our persona is we can do anything; we are superwomen, we are warriors, we are resilient. And yes, women are amazing, but women can also have challenges. … I wish that more women would be vulnerable with other women because none of us on this side of Heaven will ever reach perfection. I think that needs to be normalized.” 

The "Every Little Thing" singer stressed that God doesn’t promise His followers a perfect life. In fact, “He actually promises us that we will walk through hardships on this Earth,” she said. 

“But He doesn't walk us through anything that He's not going to use for good, and I see now how some of the most horrific parts of my life are now being validated and redeemed for good to be helpful for other people,” she said.

Over the last few months, Pearce said that countless people have approached her both in person and on social media, sharing how the song “Truth Be Told” and her EP 29has encouraged them. 

“I feel like I'm like a country music therapist,” she said with a chuckle. “This is my third record, but I feel closer to my fans than ever before because I was so honest and truthful. All the pain that I went through — I would do it all over again just because of how I’ve been a vessel to spread light to people.”

The two-time Academy of Country Music Award Winner is preparing to go on tour with Lady A, a group she said comprises some of her “closest friends in the music industry.”

“Their vulnerability is what kept me alive,” she emphasized. “I’m so excited to be able to share this tour with them. It's so special because I feel like this is a tour that none of us will ever take for granted. I can't even explain how excited I am to be able to see smiles and people gathered to listen to music.”

To other women who might be struggling emotionally, physically or even spiritually, Pearce offered encouragement: "I understand your pain. I understand your confusion. But if you lean on God, He will show you at the right time that He is working on something so special that will bring you so much peace and understanding.”

“Your story,” she added, “is one of redemption. You are refining yourself; it will not define you. God works everything together for our good.”

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