Country Singer Luke Bryan’s Faith Sees Him Through Tragedy
Country singer Luke Bryan’s easygoing smile and laid-back personality makes it seem as though his life has been nothing but smooth sailing. Don’t be fooled. That’s just the view from the outside. The star has weathered his share of heartache. But through it all, Luke Bryan’s faith is what keeps him smiling!
Luke Bryan grew up as the youngest of three children in a blue collar family in Georgia. His mom worked in public utilities while his dad sold fertilizer. The country boy and his siblings grew up in the church, learning to love Jesus at an early age.
By 14, Luke was playing the guitar and acting as the youth group leader for his church. And that foundation of Luke Bryan’s faith helped prepare for the days of heartache still to come.
Life Had Other Plans
Luke knew God had given him a special talent for music. But just as he was preparing to move to Nashville to pursue a career in country music, tragedy put his plans on hold when his brother passed away.
"When Chris passed away I was 19 years old, fixin' to chase my dream," Luke recalled. "It just totally rocked our family's world, rocked my world."
Chris was only 26 years old when he died in a car accident. Family means everything to Luke, so he didn’t hesitate in postponing his move to Nashville in order to stay and grieve with his folks
"I was never convinced I'd get back to Nashville, but I didn't spend time on ‘Should I go or should I not?" he said. "It was just ‘Not going.' Your mother had just lost a child. At that point, her youngest son was not going to leave the house. Chris' dying got me a little more mature."
Instead of chasing his music career, Luke went to college and worked for his dad. During his studies at Georgia Southern University, he met and fell in love with Caroline Boyer. The two married later in 2006.
Pursuing His Dream
Life was good in Georgia, but everyone knew Luke was destined for musical greatness. So, in 2001, his father insisted Luke pack up and pursue his dream in Nashville.
WATCH: Luke Bryan on how his brother’s death inspired him to chase his dreams
Just as things started happening for Luke’s career, tragedy struck again. He’d just started recording his debut album — I'll Stay Me — when his older sister, Kelly (39), collapsed in her home and died.
“She was home with her 3-year-old, and it was like someone turned the lights out. They never determined what happened. The autopsies, the coroner, no one could figure it out," he said, calling Kelly’s death "abnormally tragic."
The unexpected and senseless death certainly tested Luke Bryan’s faith. But he and his family persevered. Even though they’ll never know why Kelly left this world the way she did, Luke trusts that God is in control.
"I don't like it," he said of the losses his family has endured. "I don't like that my sons are missing that side of my family. But someone else is deciding things."
God knew Luke and his family needed a win. So, they took special delight in his 2013 ACM awards.
“As a family, we cried for an hour backstage,” he recalls. “There's been three times in our life where we were that emotional-my brother's death, my sister's death and that night. With what we've dealt with, it was so fun to have the joy.”
Luke’s career continued in its success. But unfortunately, so did the tragedy.
Several years after Kelly’s sudden death, her husband, Ben, went to join her. He passed away at 46 from a heart attack, leaving behind the couple’s three children.
Again, the devastated country singer dropped everything to be with his family. Luke was scheduled to perform at the 2014 CMT Artists of the Year show, but he cancelled to fly back home. No amount of success would change the fact that family comes first.
Luke didn’t hesitate to step in and care for his late sister’s children.
Luke’s 13-year-old nephew, Til, came to live with Luke, Caroline and their two sons. And the couple stayed in daily contact with Luke’s two older nieces, filling the role as their parental figures. Luke and Caroline committed to staying strong and positive for Kelly and Ben’s kids.
“We feel like if we just stay positive through this, maybe we’ll be a positive inspiration for people that had these things happen to ’em,” Luke said. “You just have to plow on and play the hand that’s dealt. I have to pray that people that have had similar situations can maybe look at my family and see me positively dealing with it. I’m not saying it’s easy.”
Trusting In God
Life dealt some pretty hefty blows, but Luke Bryan’s faith allowed him to find the joy and blessings.
The tragedies in his life often left him asking the question of “why.” But Luke chose to trust the Lord, even though the question still remains unanswered. Even in the darkness, Luke knows God’s ways are always good.
“Just keeping your chin up, understanding God has a plan for you, and keep plowing on, you know,” Luke advises. “That's the thing about life, it has its ups and downs, and things sometimes catch you off guard more times than not. We have to just keep plugging along, and keep a positive outlook. It's important to enjoy all the great things about life!”
Luke Bryan’s faith and devotion to God’s way is truly inspiring. And that’s where his real success lies. Not in the fame and fortune he’s enjoyed, but rather in the assurance of loving and trusting Jesus Christ in all things!
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
h/t: Q Political
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