Songwriter Casey Beathard Says Son’s Death Helped Him Surrender to God

Photo from I Am Second’s Instagram

Songwriter Casey Beathard Says Son’s Death Helped Him Surrender to God

By Movieguide® Contributor

Having made his children and their success his idol, songwriter Casey Beathard explained how losing his son, Clay, helped him learn to surrender to Christ and understand that nothing was ever in his control.

“My wife and I started just raising our children in the church, and they became such a focus in my life,” Beathard told I Am Second. “Maybe from the outside looking in, I was this, you know, incredible dad, and I was grateful for the career that, in the meantime, was starting to manifest, people started liking my songs.”

“I got the chance to raise my kids in football and music, and their gifts and their passions just started manifesting…I was coaching them; I was teaching them. We were hanging out all the time, and it was family, family, family,” he continued. “Little did I know that they were becoming such major idols in my life.”

“[One day] I was just talking with my wife, and she said, ‘Maybe you should let go.’ She goes, ‘Casey, you’re a really good earthly dad, but maybe you should let the Lord have them. You know, even the eagle kicks the baby birds out of the nest at some point. And I think you’re weighing too heavily on them; you’re trying so hard and maybe you should let Him have them,’” Beathard added. “And I literally looked at her and I said, ‘Oh, you mean let go and let God? I don’t know how to do that.’”

Six months later, Beathard was forced to learn how to give up control when his son was fatally stabbed while home for Christmas. Perhaps the worst thing that could ever happen to a parent, Beathard was now faced with no choice but to trust God with his son Clay.

As Beathard faced this tragedy, his community of believers surrounded him and brought joy back into his life while helping him grieve the loss of his son.

“All these people are showing up and now I’ve got church instead of sitting alone trying to figure out why [this happened] and what’s going on,” he explained. “All we could do is seek the Lord. Everything I was trying to control was the happiness of my kids, and here we are in my house, the happiness was gone, but a joy was starting to be found. And in the peace of Him, it turned into a trust.”

The Lord also brought peace to Beathard through the funeral service where dozens of Clay’s friends came to know the Lord.

“At the celebration of life service, all the people that gave their lives to Christ from all the colleges Clay went through and went to and all those friends he made. They started showing up from New York and Iowa and locally and West Tennessee from were all these places he went, they were giving their lives to Christ,” Beathard said.

“That night, I saw the redemption in it. Right then I knew in 2 Corinthians 5 where [Paul] says, ‘And this tent that you know. The mortality gets swallowed up by life.’ It was like, oh my golly, oh my goodness. We’re all perishing. We are all just here for such a short time. Oh my goodness, he is with the Father in heaven. He is good. He is okay,” he continued.

“Once it started sinking in and this truth started sinking in, it changed everything. All of a sudden, joy started coming into our life— within weeks — and peace started coming that is truly beyond comprehension,” Beathard added.

While Beathard’s story is difficult for anyone to hear, it is amazing to see the way the Lord turned tragedy into teaching as he learned how to let go and let God.

The songwriter got his start in 1998. “By 1998 Casey had his first writing deal and the title track of Kenny Chesney’s I Will Stand album. By 2001 Casey had his first Top 10 song, and in 2002 his ‘Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo’ by Tracy Byrd had reached #1,” Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame reported.

Recently, he helped co-write Dolly Parton and Zach Williams’ “There Was Jesus,” which was “a Christian AC hit and earned the 2021 Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song.”

Movieguide® reported on “There Was Jesus”:

As music artists await the 63rd annual Grammy Awards results, Christian artist Zach Williams said he is “shocked” at his fifth career nomination.

“I didn’t realize it had been five nominations already, I was pretty shocked about it,” Williams told CBN of his nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

Williams performed his nominated song “There Was Jesus” with music icon Dolly Parton.

“This is very much my story if I think back to the last 20 years that it took me to get to where I’m at in my life,” Williams said. “Even if I go back further than that to my childhood, I think about all these moments that I missed in my life…now I can look back and see that God was in the middle of every one of them and working out the details. It’s just a special song.”

Williams recalled that Parton recognized immediately that the song was “special.”

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