Back To The Cross

Written by:  Tonya Harrelson and Mark Jones
Copyright: 2008

Although Mark and I co-wrote this song, I will give you my side of what happened.

I want to thank Mark for taking what I wrote and going with it.  I love the song and am thankful to have been a part of writing it.

I met Randall Southerland at one of our weekly bowling nights, where I bowl with Neal and Loretta Champion. We needed a sub and he was available.  Little did any of us know what God had in mind for us.

At first, I will admit I was resistant to make friends, but for some reason could not walk away.  So over the next year, Randall and I had the opportunity to share our faith and our love of gospel music.

He was being transferred to Fort Polk, Louisiana, as a First Sergeant with the Warrior Transition Unit (warriors wounded while on active duty) there.  Before he was to leave, Randall realized that his life was not quite where it should be with God.  He asked me to join him in prayer one day and rededicated his life to God. What an incredible change we saw in him over the next few weeks.

During one of our conversations after this prayer, he shared some of his life story (testimony). When he finished telling me this, he looked at me and said, “You know, Tonya, I have taken a thousand different paths in my life, but I keep coming back to the cross.”  I, being the note taker that I am, had to write that down. And then I thought what an incredible song that would be!

If we really think about it, no matter where we are, where we have been, or what we choose to do with our lives, we are always welcome to come back to the cross and begin again.  God will not turn us away.  He loves us that much!  So with that thought, I wrote down several lines and put it aside.  

Chosen Witness was practicing that weekend, and I gave my idea to Mark.  The following week, Mark came back to me with the completed song.  I don’t know who was more excited about it, Mark or myself.  The group practiced it, liked it, and well, the rest is as they say history.

Thank YOU, my Heavenly Father, for choosing me to be a part of this song, this ministry and this friendship.  I pray that it brings a smile to Your face.

Thank you, Mark, for completing the song, I love it.  Thank you, Chosen Witness, for singing the song.  I pray that the song blesses and encourages everyone that listens to it.

Randall, thank you for sharing not only your life story with me, but sharing your life with me, no matter how short the time has been.  I have been blessed!  May God truly bless you as you continue to serve Him and our Country. 

(Randall is a Sergeant-Major in the U.S. Army serving in Afghanistan from February 2009 until February 2010. Please keep him and all of our service men and women in your prayers.)

Tonya Harrelson

Back To The Cross” was recorded on the project entitled “Back To The Cross

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