You Never Let Go

You Never Let Go

I have been going to Focusfest (a women’s Christian Conference) in Belfast almost every year since the time when it used to be held in a large tent at Coleraine University in the 90’s.

From over the years I have favourite speakers who I remember well, like Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz and Lisa Harper.

There have also been some very memorable seminar speakers who stand out for me such as Professor Norman Nevin, Cathy Bell, Kathryne Cavan, Catherine Campbell and of course Valerie Murphy, who was also an excellent main speaker one year.


One favourite year was 2010 when Christine Caine shared the platform with Beth Redman. Beth is the wife of my favourite worship leader/song writer Matt Redman. I was so blessed that year.


Beth shared the story of her miscarriages and how God had helped her through them. Then she led all 3,000 of us in singing “You Never Let Go”. I will never forget that moment, I found it very moving.

I’ve never had a miscarriage, but the thought of losing a child in any circumstance, including through miscarriage, has always terrified me.

I remember coming back from Focusfest, telling my eldest daughters Rachel and Leah about how amazing Beth Redman’s story was and playing “You Never Let Go” on continuous repeat.

I think they got a bit fed up of my enthusiastic retelling of all that I had heard.

Neither do my family appreciate my habit of listening to the same song over and over.

This past year Christine Caine battled cancer and came out winning. Afterwards she wrote the most amazing blog piece, which I have read and reread. Click this LINK to read her entire blog post.

There’s so much wisdom in it.

One of my favourite bits is:

“The devil’s…….plan was to fill me with fear so that he could deactivate my faith. Fear cripples, immobilizes and paralyses us. It causes us to pull back from God instead of pressing in to Him and His Word, To speak doubt and unbelief instead of faith. To forget His promises, instead of remembering His faithfulness. To see the facts, obstacles and giants instead of the truth of His Word. To react rather than respond. Fear simply shuts us down, and when we are shut down we cannot fight the good fight of faith.
I had a faith battle ahead of me, and the real enemy was not cancer, but fear.”

Before we went to Bristol for Leah’s treatment, our church printed prayer cards for her.

The verse that Leah chose for these was Nehemiah 8:10

The joy of the Lord is your strength”

Leah chose to walk her cancer journey with the joy of the Lord in her heart, not fear.


This Christmas I’ve had magnetic fridge calendars printed with a photo of Leah and that same verse.


Everyone thinks that it’s a lovely encouraging verse and it certainly is.

The problem is that I know that this isn’t the complete verse.

I know what the rest of it says:

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t grieve – it is essential to grieve our losses.

Grieving the loss of a child is an ongoing, lifelong process.

The problem is finding a balance.

One of the issues with grief is that it tends to keep us focussed on what we don’t have, so that we almost forget what we do have.

I swing between being devastated that Leah is gone, and being thankful that we ever had her in the first place.

I am, of course, thankful for all my other blessings too, like the blessings of family and friends.

It’s just hard to get everything into perspective when your heart is broken.


On the 30th December 2012 Leah was interviewed for R.V.C.R. – Roe Valley Christian Radio, as part of a group from L.O.S.T.Limavady Outreach and Service Team. Here they are waiting to be interviewed.


On this occasion Leah said that her favourite Christian song was “You Never Let Go” by Matt Redman.

Within 24hrs Leah had the blood test that was to change all of our lives forever.


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth


Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You