January 16, 2019

Inspiration behind “You Were Never Alone”

Inspiration behind You Were Never Alone


"You Were Never Alone" can be found in Tim's newest collection, I Am with You Always.

Several years ago, my uncle passed away after a long battle with dementia. My cousin expressed her sorrow in that, at his passing, he was unable to recognize his family. When I wrote the song, “You Were Never Alone,” I thought about the fact that when we die in God’s hands, we are released from all of our earthly infirmities; freed from whatever physically or mentally binds us. So, when my uncle passed, it was then that he discovered he was not alone. He discovered that those voices he heard were those of his sons and daughters holding vigil during his last days.

Remembering you here beside me,
holding my trembling hand.
Your eyes did not recognize me,
like a stranger from a far away land.
But today that is behind you,
before you, a smooth, open road,
light shining to the horizon,
steady, the hand you now hold.

I revisited the song when my mom was in her final days after suffering from a massive stroke. I could see that she was not aware of the people around her. She walked out of this life the same way she came in: alone. Keeping vigil while a loved one passes can be one of the most helpless feelings in the world.

A few weeks after Mom passed, I had a better understanding of the situation. We were all walking together toward her peace, and God was guiding us the whole way. A few of us were actually present during her passing. It was one of the most beautiful, terrible moments of my life, and I’m glad I was there.

And most recently, my Dad passed away. I wasn’t able to be there for him, but that’s okay. Maybe he wanted to slip away in private. Or maybe what he wanted had nothing to do with the timing of his death. But Dad and I had made our peace, and God is running this operation.

I often wonder what will I be thinking when I pass — that I’m blessed enough to be surrounded by my family? I may not be able to comprehend much at that time, but I will know that God is with me and that my loved ones are standing beside me. Then I will let go of their hands and fall into the arms of God.

And you see, yes you see
you were never alone.
Not a stranger, but a child who’s returning,
gathered, and welcomed home.

Find Tim’s newest collection, I Am with You Always, here.

Timothy R. Smith Timothy R. Smith has spent his career writing music that fuses traditional and contemporary elements to create songs that unite communities of all ages. He has a Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University and Master of Music degree from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He currently serves as the Director of Music at Our Lady of the Lakes Church.