I Run To You Song Story

Featuring Dan Adler Posted on July 17, 2012

Several years ago, Sandy and I were leading worship for a youth retreat at a camp in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While the speaker was speaking, we sat in the back of the room, behind all of the kids, listening. As I was listening, I found myself looking across the room at all the different kids. There were the cool kids and the jocks and the pretty girls and the geeky kids, but for some reason, my eyes landed on a sort of chubby, not very attractive young girl as she sat and listened. As I looked at her, my mind started to ponder her life a bit. I thought about how, in a world where, especially for a young woman, slimness, beauty and glamour seem to be the prime things that validate a girl, she had so much against her. I thought about how hard it was going to be for this young girl to feel loved and validated for just who she is. I thought about how lonely she probably felt. I thought about how she will feel so tempted to run to whatever might come along to make her feel loved and validated. I thought about how it will probably be hard for her to keep her heart and hope on God… I felt the weight of that as I thought about her. Now I could have had those same thoughts from different angles about all the other categories of kids that day as well. But for some reason, this girl and her life had my attention. And as I sat there thinking about her, I got the inspiration for the song “I Run to You”. I wanted to write a song that might be from her perspective. I hoped to write an upbeat song that maybe kids like her would sing that might express some of those honest feelings of loneliness, pain, temptation and fear in a prayer to God. But I also wanted it to affirm the hope that we really can run to God and that He truly does love us and how that inspires us to love Him back and to praise Him. The first verse especially captured her pain for me. And the 2nd and 3rd verses also fit the angst of a young person like her, but came right out of my own personal struggles as well. All I had to write on was a napkin, so I started scribbling out the words to this song on that napkin as the speaker kept speaking. I shoved it in my back pocket and finished writing all of it when I got back from my trip. Somehow I could read it and it was still in tact.

I love singing this song because I think there’s great comfort in honest prayers. I think that God welcomes them and comforts us as we run to Him with all of our fear and doubt and sin and mess – instead of running away from Him. And when we run to Him, He receives us with true love, hope, courage, strength and mercy. I’m grateful that this is true for that young woman and that it’s true for me as well.