AUSTIN, TEXAS: Country musician Granger Smith recently revealed that he has decided to leave behind his country music career and devote himself to god by joining the life of ministry at his church outside of Austin, Texas. The decision comes nearly four years after the death of his three-year-old son, River. “I have a huge feeling of relief now that… I’ve been able to tell the world exactly what my intentions are and what I’m going to do,” the singer told Fox News Digital.
“For the last few years, a handful of people knew that [I was] probably leaving country music. [And] it’s difficult to get on stage in different cities and play music for people knowing, as I’m looking into their eyes, that I’m probably going to tell them in a few months that I’m not doing this anymore. That’s a difficult way to live. And so, there’s a big sense of relief now that I’ve told everyone,” he stated. Smith’s upcoming ‘Like a River’ tour, named after his late son, will also be his farewell tour.
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‘I wrestled with the idea for a long time’
Smith further opened up about his life-changing idea and shared that he has struggled with it for a while. “I wrestled with the idea for a long time that this doesn’t feel right. A lot of people will probably think, ‘Why don’t you just sing country music, but talk about God on the stage? Or ‘Why don’t you sing a couple of hymns on the stage? And that fixes everything,’” he told the publication.
“I wrestled with that for a couple of years,” Smith reiterated. “A lot of pastors and preachers told me, ‘Country music is your ministry, brother. You’re in a dark world. You’re bringing light to a dark world. You’re going into bars and stages where people might not have heard the message of Christ, and you get to speak it – that is your ministry,” he continued. The ‘Backroad Song’ crooner also mentioned that for a while he believed that he could not serve God the way he wanted unless “I made myself smaller because I was exalting myself on the stage.”
“I was glorifying myself. I was seeking praise from people. And by doing that, it doesn’t matter if I was proclaiming Christ, because I was doing it the wrong way,” the musician shared. “I was proclaiming Christ from a self-exalting platform. And that was the contradiction I finally had to come to terms with. I might have a stage down the road, but right now I need to completely surrender that and give it over to God,” he added.
Granger Smith’s life-changing move comes years after his son’s death
Granger Smith decided to bring a major change in his life nearly four years after he lost his three-year-old son, River, the Daily Mail noted. The toddler reportedly slipped through the fence surrounding the family’s swimming pool and fell in right in front of his older brother Lincoln and older sister London’s eyes. River was pulled out of the water with immediate effect but failed to survive the lack of oxygen, the publication reported.
The country star reportedly went through some of his darkest days after his son’s death. He even struggled to find a reason to get out of bed, the outlet mentioned. However, he told Fox News that he found his will to go on when he released himself to God. “‘God, I’m giving this all to you. Just take it.’ And then that fatherly feeling of Him just wrapping his arms around me and going, ‘I got you.’ That’s the feeling of relief that I had,” Smith shared.
Smith and his wife Amber also welcomed another son named Maverick in 2021. Meanwhile, they have also continued to celebrate River’s life. The singer’s memoir, ‘Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward After Loss and Heartache,’ is scheduled to be released on August 1. His final concert will take place on August 26.