What do a military veteran, former homeless couple and a cancer patient have in common?

This is a long one. I hope you’ll stick with me.

Allow me to set the stage. In fall of 2019 I bought tickets to see an incredible musician, Lauren Daigle, in concert. It was an added bonus that her opener was going to be another of my favorites, JohnnySwim. Concert was set for March 2020.

See where this is going?

COVID hits. Concert rescheduled. Concert rescheduled again. Transfer tickets? Get a refund for tickets? Hang on to tickets?

By the time Lauren’s concert was rescheduled for October 28th of this year I honestly couldn’t remember if I still had tickets or had requested a refund. I knew if I still had tickets going to the show may not be in my best interest (because we threw cancer into the mix along the way, and hello lousy immune system).  

But it’s LAUREN DAIGLE.

I’ve always loved her music – full of inspiring lyrics sung by her raspy, southern soul voice. Then I started listening to her songs through the lens of a cancer patient and…wow. The lyrics hit different. Deeper.

The concert landed during a week where I was already feeling down about missing so many things because of cancer. The week felt heavy. I knew deep down listening to Lauren live would more than likely be really good for my soul. So I prayed about it. I asked God to protect me if I walked into a germ-ridden, enclosed space full of people.

Every reason not to go ran through my head leading up to concert day (even just hours before) — JohnnySwim was no longer opening for her. A crap immune system. Who would take the extra ticket (not that I was at all opposed to going alone)? The concert started at 7:30, and I am usually in bed by 9.

I was so, so close to talking myself out of it. But deep down I knew I needed (or perhaps really, really wanted) to go.

So I picked up my sweet friend Brittany (who also happens to usually be in bed by 9, so I knew we’d ride the sleepy struggle bus together), and off to the concert we went. Within a block of the concert venue I put my mask on and only took it off for this picture. I jokingly told Brittany I was hopeful there wasn’t an opening band so we could be in bed by 9…maybe 9:30 if we were feeling crazy (joke was on us as I dropped her off at home just after 11pm).

Lights go down. People start screaming. It is in fact…an opener.

Darn it! We don’t have time for this.

*GOD LAUGHS*

Four people walk out on the stage. The first lead singer walks up to a keyboard where he stands. The second lead singer stands at her microphone in a gorgeous blue dress. Turns out they’re husband and wife. Two others stand to the side, ready to support with guitar, a beat box and trumpet.

…and then they begin playing. Within 10 words being sung my jaw is on the ground, and I am melting in my chair from the talent I am witnessing. Absolutely unbelievable talent. I turned to Brittany and said, “I take back everything I said about there being an opening band.”

They were The War & Treaty.

After the first song the gentleman grabs his microphone, moves in front of his keyboard and starts telling the story that inspired the song they were about to sing.

Army Veteran. Depression wrestler. PTSD warrior. Anxiety fighter.

The story and song gave me goosebumps. Literal goosebumps. Song finishes and his gorgeous wife steps to the microphone to share part of her story regarding yet another song they planned to play.

Five years ago this married couple with a newborn was homeless. Streets. Shelters. She vulnerably shared about her husband writing songs to help him heal from post military struggles. She talked about having a prayer sheet she would hang on whatever wall/structure she could find in whatever location they found themselves. She talked about frequently asking God for strength.

They played five or six songs, and I 100% did not keep dry eyes. It was incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Then it was time for the main act – the insanely talented Lauren Daigle.

I could write a novel about how amazing her show was. How real and spirt filled her 30 year old talent. The energy. The fun confetti cannons. The holy spirt moving. But it was one moment beautifully woven into the concert that hit me like a ton of bricks. Her band took a break, and her + the piano player came to the front stage to do a couple acoustic songs.

“This is a song I wrote during quarantine. A song when I was feeling unsure and the world was heavy. Like I couldn’t take another step. I was asking God a lot of questions.” She continued to share with us that it was the first time she was going to sing this song from stage at one of her concerts.

The title? You’ll Be Ok.

What are the chances? She’s done numerous shows on this tour and doesn’t play that song until her Illinois show? Ok, God, I see you.

I almost didn’t go to this concert. So much about the evening renewed my heavy heart. But you know what stood out most?

The theme of hope.

The army veteran who never thought the haunts of serving would leave him.

The previously homeless couple who easily could have lost faith.

The girl with cancer who has journeyed the hardest six months of her life.

…and yet there’s hope. Hope in a God who is bigger than PTSD, homelessness and cancer.

Lauren Daigle has so many incredible songs, but I will leave you with some of the lyrics (and links to the full songs) which keep me going on the hardest days and praising on the best of days –

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you

(Rescue)

When the best of me is barely breathin’
When I’m not somebody I believe in
Hold on to me

Hold on to me when it’s too dark to see You
When I am sure I have reached the end
Hold on to me when I forget I need You
When I let go, hold me again


(Hold Onto Me)

Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

(I Am Yours)  

If you’re reading this, I do not know where you find yourself. I do not know if you just came out of a {metaphorical} storm, if you are in the throes of a storm or if there’s a storm headed your way you don’t yet know about. Regardless I hope you hear this…

There is hope.

In every valley. In every storm. In every unwanted detour chapter. There is still hope.

2 thoughts on “What do a military veteran, former homeless couple and a cancer patient have in common?

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