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Matthew West: The Incredible Real-Life Story behind

Four-time GRAMMY nominee Matthew West shares the God-orchestrated story behind meeting Rob, the drug addict who inspired his radio hit, "Grace Wins". Music videos courtesy of Capitol CMG Label Group. Read Transcript


MATTHEW WEST: [SINGING] If not me and you.

Right now.

Well, it's time for us to do something.

I thought, what if I-- instead of writing songs

inspired by my own story-- what if I gave people an opportunity

to share their story with me?

[MUSIC CONTINUES]

MATTHEW WEST: [SINGING] End to all this pain.

It's not enough to do nothing.

And so that's become, really, my life's mission--

not just to make music but to write songs inspired

by the true stories of people's lives

and, ultimately, all of those stories and songs

point to the greatest story ever told,

which is how God steps into our stories and changes our lives.

The day after we played a concert

in Louisville, Kentucky, I did what I normally do.

Like, after I have my quiet time, I open my computer

and I've got a story database.

And I read the stories that people are--

because they come in every day.

And I kind of put it into two categories.

Like, some people are writing their story to me

because they need help, right?

So they're saying, will you pray for me?

I'm battling depression.

Or I need help in this area of my life.

And then other people have seen a breakthrough in their life

and they're telling their story because they

want me to spread that on and tell their story of redemption,

like, something that they overcame.

Well, this story came in the form of a cry for help, really,

and that's when I first heard this story of Rob.

It turns out Rob was at the concert the night before.

He wasn't like a fan of my music or anything.

He was there at the request of his mother

who promised to give him some money.

And so I thought that was a kind of a funny detail.

Like, he's not a fan of my music or anything,

but he was at my show.

Only reason I went was to get money from my mom.

She told me that she was going to get me some money.

I heard the song Hello My Name is.

MATTHEW WEST: [SINGING] Hello, my name is Regret.

And it just changed my life all altogether.

The letter I got was asking for help.

Rob was ready to go to recovery and begin

a new chapter of his story.

And so that's how I heard his story.

And I felt like God had put it on my heart

to reach back out to Rob.

Because if you're willing to take that bold step,

then I felt like that was God tugging at my heart.

And my dad, who helps me in my ministry,

we were like, we got to get this guy some help.

MATTHEW WEST: [SINGING] For the prodigal son, Grace wins.

As far as, like, writing the song Grace

Wins-- if you listen to the first verse,

I was writing what I pictured Rob was thinking while he

was sitting at my concert.

I was writing from the perspective of a guy who-- he

knows the mistakes he's made.

He's been in and out of jail.

I mean, his circumstances remind him every day that he's

gotten himself into this mess.

And I just pictured somebody just so

beat down by guilt and shame.

And you have this image of God.

And I see it sometimes.

And that's why it says, in my weakest moments,

I see you God, shaking your head in disgrace.

Like, I can see the disappointment.

It's written all over your face, right?

And then those voices come in, right?

The voices that tell us, man, you think God still loves you?

You think he can still use you?

Look how messed up you are.

And I wanted to write that.

I was just picturing, you know, what he might be thinking.

But to turn that song into a victory song-- which

is ultimately what God was doing-- while I was writing

that song, God was writing a redemption story in Rob's life.

So I finally completed the program in October of 2015

and God has just brought me full circle where I never ever

thought I'd be able to do anything.

What I've learned is that your life

gets more fulfilling when you become a character in somebody

else's story.

And I think that's one of the cool things about getting

to know Rob-- it's just like, man,

what if we would have never called him, you know?

What if he would have never reached out?

It's pretty cool.

It's pretty cool how God orchestrates things.

And so I'm learning a lot about God's faithfulness,

about how he's aware of every detail of life, and just about

how much more life he has for us if we would just be obedient.

Take a look at your own life and go,

OK, am I really letting grace win in my life?

Because Rob's got victory.

Do I have that victory?

If not, why not?

How can I get it?

Those are the kind of questions I

hope my songs and stories prompt in people's hearts and life.

MATTHEW WEST: [SINGING] Singing Hallelujah.

Grace wins every time.

Every time.

Yeah, I'm living proof.

Grace wins every time.

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