Since moving to San Antonio, Texas, in December 2009 to become worship leaders at the 20,000-member Cornerstone Church, Aaron and Amanda have settled into a happy rhythm. “Our main goal was to come here to be a family and raise our children,” Amanda says. “We’re so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to do that and still make life-changing music that we’re able to present to the world.”
Music and family have long been intertwined for the couple. Aaron began his career singing with his siblings as the Crabb Family. When the group disbanded in 2007 to develop separate ministries, Aaron & Amanda became a duo. Produced by Aaron and Ben Isaacs, Mercy is their fourth album as a couple and their first for Difference Media.
“God showed up and did some incredible things with this music,” Aaron says of Mercy. “The whole mercy theme is throughout every song. You hear of brokenness and you hear of people who can’t reach out to Him, but God shows mercy. He will always show mercy to you and we need to show mercy to others.”
The couple recently filmed a concert video at Cornerstone and was really moved by the reaction. “Without You” is one of the songs that received the strongest response, even prompting a couple in the audience to come forward and request prayer for their marriage. “We wrote that song around our piano at home. The way that that started, me and Amanda were in one of those intense moments of fellowship,” Aaron says with a laugh, alluding to a moment of marital discord.
“She walked away and stood at the piano. Of course, when she is agitated, I like to bug her,” he adds mischievously. “I walk over and she’s playing this tune she’s just making up. I started singing the line ‘I don’t want to live without you. I don’t want to live without the warmth of your love.’ She gave me this look and just kept playing. She said, ‘You’re on to something’ and then we just started writing this song.”
Aaron and Amanda have a gift for taking life experience and pouring it into personal, powerful songs. The couple co-wrote seven songs on their new release. “Take Him to the Place” is a beautiful ballad that began during a trip to the Holy Land when Amanda wrote a prayer and placed it in the Western Wall. “I started hearing these lyrics for the next two hours I was walking all over Israel,” Amanda recalls.
“Reaching Out” is a poignant ballad they wrote about God connecting with his children even when they are aching with guilt and shame. “The best thing that you can do is be transparent,” Aaron says. “A lot of people are walking through things and they feel like they are the only person going through that situation. When you are able to show your scars because you made it through it, you can help somebody else.”
“That’s the purpose,” adds Amanda. “We go through things to help someone else. He is the God of all comfort and the same comfort that’s been given to you, you will, in turn, be able to give.”
The couple has a powerful testimony. Amanda suffered abuse as a child and speaks at women’s conferences to help others. They have also shared the story of their 2-yearold daughter Eva falling from the babysitter’s second-story window while they were at the 2009 Dove Awards. They rushed to the hospital to find her bloody and crying.
“We saw her lying there and her head was split open and her lip was severed from her jawbone,” says Aaron. “It looked really bad, but at that moment Amanda and I chose to start singing praises to God to get her calmed down, and that’s when I realized what true worship was about. It’s trust in God when it looks impossible, trust in God when all is hopeless.”
The doctors did an MRI and were surprised to find no serious damage. They stitched up her wounds, but nothing was broken and she was able to leave the hospital a few hours later. “If you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the next day, or you don’t know if your daughter is going to come out healthy, the thing God teaches us is just, ‘Trust Me. Put Me first and watch Me do what looks impossible!’”
Aaron and Amanda have experienced the impossible and love to sing about what God can do. It’s a passion they are passing down to their children. “They love to sing and they all have rhythm,” Aaron says of Eli, 8, Eva, 6 and Ean, who will be 3 in July. “You can just tell when a gift is there, and they for sure have it. I’m looking forward to my Crabb Trio in the future.”