Can you think of one word to accurately describe this year so far? ‘Crazy’ doesn’t come close! As much as there have been some dark moments, we’ve also been touched by some awesome messages from people all around Australia, listening to the radio, connected and united by awesome tunes. This is the story of one of them.
When HillaryJane wrote God of Always, she was actually thinking about the devastating forest fires in her home state of California. It was inspired by some of the doubts that come up whenever big and unexpected things happen, and though she he recorded it before 2020, we feel like it’s exactly what we needed to get through this year.
‘Around that time,’ Hillary told Alex, ‘I was just seeing online that a lot of people seemed to be confused, like: “Why would God let this happen?” Almost as if whenever hard things in life happen, God is surprised by it. But that’s not the case at all. God is bigger than everything. God is all-knowing. He’s sovereign. He’s all-powerful.’
Hillary wrote the song to remind believers that God is not the ‘God of sometimes’, a God who only listens to people who behave perfectly. God is right beside us, even—and especially—when we’re facing hardship. ‘I know You’re here with me always,’ she sings. ‘I know You’re hearing me when I pray. Forever my remedy and my strength, every day.’
Along with her music career, Hillary also preaches regularly on YouTube. She spent a lot of time alone as a child, so making videos in her room came naturally to her. When YouTube emerged, it was just a platform for her to post the stuff she’d be doing anyway for fun.
God is not the ‘God of sometimes’
When she realised that her videos were encouraging people, she understood how she could make this part of her ministry. ‘I love the impact that Christians can have on the world through the internet,’ she said. ‘That’s such an amazing tool that the Lord’s given us.”
Hilary grew up in Texas, part of what’s called the Bible Belt in the South of the United States. God and Bible stories were a big part of her culture, and Hillary grew up believing she was saved. But as a teenager, she realised that there was more to the Gospel than a story about how Jesus loves you.
What she found was her deep, personal need to know Christ. ‘When I was 17,’ she said, ‘I really just surrendered my heart and my life to the Lord. And ever since then, I just want to do as much as I can for other people to recognise that too.’
‘It’s what I use my YouTube for. It’s so much more than just a story, or part of a Sunday morning. It’s a relationship that you get to live out with the Lord, and grow in his image, step by step, every day.’
One of the reasons we love Hilary so much is because she’s honest, and she isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. She promised to get even more real in her upcoming new music. ‘I really feel like that raw, emotional music is something we need more of in the Christian industry, for people to connect with and see “Oh, God’s done that for you. He can do that for me too.”’
By showing us how much she needs God, Hilary reminds us how much we need Him too. But more importantly, in songs like God of Always, she reassures us that even when we’re feeling the most alone, He’s there, right beside us, listening to our prayers.