Artists

The Afters

Such alchemy transforms The Afters’ fourth studio album, Life Is Beautiful, though the title came innocently enough to vocalist-guitarist Josh Havens. He’s been carrying it in his head ever since the release of the Oscar-winning 1997 film of the same name. But by the time the music came to fruition, Havens said he was wrestling with an ordeal that tested him like no other—and this from a guy who, along with his wife and kids, survived a near-fatal car wreck several years prior. “My son had some unexpected problems at birth and had to spend some time in the hospital ICU,” he recalls. “And I prayed that God would turn my trials into testimonies.”
The result: “Waiting for an Answer,” a song Havens says was inspired not only by his son’s struggles with a punctured lung, but also the children and parents in that ICU who coped with much more: “I don’t have to know how/ Or see you turn this around/ To believe in you now…”
“I had a friend who lost his child,” Havens continues. “He went through years of depression. I can’t even imagine going through that. But he said something to me I’ll never forget: ‘The thing that challenged my faith in the short term is what strengthened my faith in the long term.’ I hope to move through the struggles to find a deeper faith in God. I want to be the person who grows closer to God through the hard times.”