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Knowing the Real You In Christ

Award winning singer/songwriter Matthew West, will discuss how knowing the real you in Christ changes everything. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Matthew west is an award winning

artist who burst onto the Christian music scene in 2003.

Four years later with two albums and numerous hits

under his belt, Matthew suddenly lost his voice.

A blood vessel hemorrhage paralyzed

his left vocal cord, and his career came to a screeching

halt. Known for his music, Matthew felt like nothing

without it.

In his book "Hello My Name Is", Matthew

shares how God got his attention,

in his season of silence.

And a message of hope that came through loud and clear.

Well joining me now is Matthew West.

And Matthew, thanks for being with us.

It's my pleasure, great to see you.

What's it like to lose your voice?

I mean here you are--

I mean all these awards, everything.

All the acclaim, everything--

career's going great and then suddenly, bam.

It felt like a bam.

It literally felt like I was on the edge of dreams coming true.

My career was taking off, and then my voice takes off.

And it was just like that screeching halt moment in life,

where--

I've had a series of experiences in my life

where, I thought I was going to be a professional baseball

player.

That didn't happen, screeching halt.

And the Lord says, well I have another dream for you.

And yet here I was, making Christian music

using my gifts to glorify God and it comes

to a screeching halt again.

It was a helpless feeling and it was

one where I found myself coming to that place of surrender,

like never before really.

I had a young family at the time, My wife, my little baby

girl at the time.

Now I have two daughters.

But how am I going to provide for them.

All of the questions that any of us

ask when we face a crossroads and a crisis in our lives.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Did you get mad about it?

I mean here you are worshipping God with your voice.

And, you're encouraging others to worship

and suddenly, that stops.

Honestly, I had a hard time even going to church

because I was mad.

And what bothered me so much was,

I tried to go to the church where

I was a member, and everybody standing around me

singing these worship songs.

And I can't even sing, and I just left.

And I remember being that frustrated.

And I spent a lot of time, I got real discouraged,

really depressed.

Spent a lot of time by myself.

Just pouring out my heart to God.

Writing, trying to stay close to God.

But also realizing that he can handle my frustrations.

And so, it was a hard time.

Especially, I'm an extrovert man.

I'm singing songs I'm doing what I love.

I love talking to people.

And that was taken away from me.

And through it I realized, I had placed a lot of weight

on that identity that I was building as a singer,

as a songwriter, as a personality with a platform.

And when all of a sudden that foundation

that I was putting all my weight on, it shifted.

And I didn't realize who I was anymore.

And that's where it got started from the beginning

all over again.

Let's go back to that church moment.

Because I like to think church as a sanctuary.

Church is a place where, if you need help, you can go.

But sometimes, I know in my own life when I needed help,

church was the last place I wanted to go.

Isn't that funny?

Why was it for you?

Yeah.

Well I'm a preacher's kid.

And I've seen that all too well.

And I've seen that a lot of times there are people

don't feel comfortable coming to church,

with the very broken parts of their lives.

They wonder what people might think about them

or how people might respond.

For me it was a reminder, that I can't do what I love to do.

I can't use my voice.

I didn't feel like I could be real with the discouragement

that I was feeling.

And the reason was, for my whole life from a preacher's kid

to a contemporary Christian singer,

I've become what I would call, and you probably

know this well, a Professional Christian.

Which is a dangerous place to be.

We spend our whole lives living out our faith

in the public spotlight.

And it's possible.

I've discovered to live, and talk, and act

all the right ways so that everybody around me

goes man, now he's got it all together but--

GORDON ROBERTSON: Yeah, but it keeps you from being real.

It keeps you from being real, authentic,

and your heart can be in critical condition.

And so I had a hard time being in church

with a smile on my face, when I was

going through the crisis of my life at the time.

And--

Did you have any group at all you could talk to and say--

or communicate with--

If you can't, just be with, and--

I joke that my wife-- the two months that I had to spend

in silence, my wife called that the greatest two months

of our marriage.

But in all seriousness, I had her with me,

helping me through that.

I don't think she had ever seen me so discouraged before.

I'm also thankful that, I mentioned

being a preacher's kid.

I'm thankful for my mom and my dad

because in the midst of watching them live out

a public expression of their faith day in

and day out as a pastor, they also

showed me a great example of what authenticity looks like.

And they were there with me walking with me through that.

I'll never forget being wheeled in for surgery on my throat

and my dad was with me.

And he was getting ready to pray for me.

And he reminded me of Philippians 4:13,

which he had taught me as a kid.

And he reminded me of it, on my way

to school, hey son, whats Philippians 4:13?

Before I'd go up to bat at the high school

baseball games he'd shout from the bleachers,

what's Philippians 4:13?

And I'd be like, dad you're embarrassing me.

But going in for that surgery on my throat

and my dad said, hey, what is it?

Philippians 4:13.

And that's when I realized that God's promises are not

just for an athletic event.

God's promises are not just for the tests

that you hope you pass that, you didn't study for.

God's promises are for the greatest test of our lives.

And he did bring me through that test.

But he brought me through it with a renewed

sense of identity and realizing, you know what?

If my voice never comes back, if I'm not

able to become a big singer like I hope to be,

am I going to be OK?

And I could really--

I knew I was in a new place when I could really

take a deep breath and say, I'm daring to believe

that God has a new dream for me, even if this dream goes away.

How much of your identity was caught up in both your voice,

and in this, I want to be a professional Christian,

I want to do great things for God?

How much of that?

I mean at the time, so much.

And guess what?

It's still a daily struggle because I think there's a--

when I was writing the book, I found myself

having to get honest about, why am I doing what I do?

Even as-- did I write this book to prove

that I could write a book?

Did I write this book to show people

that I have a gift with words?

What's my motivation?

And man, if that's a daily question,

it's a dangerous question.

But if we ask ourselves daily, it's a good question

and it's a game changer question.

Because when we check our motives at the door

and get honest about them then I feel like God gets us

where he wants us.

That's what's happened for me to go

Lord, what's my purpose here?

I know I love to sing songs, I know I love to write books.

But every day check, search me and know me.

Let me know if there's the wrong motivation doing

this interview today.

Is it because I hope I sell a book?

Or do I really hope that people will find their identity

in Christ, and that this could be a powerful tool

to speak to them.

So that's been a daily struggle for me.

The book actually helped me get to the core of some

of my motives, when they get astray.

And the closer we stay to God obviously,

the more we can hear his whisper.

Whether it's gentle or strong say, hey, come back you're

getting off path.

Remember why you do this.

Remember I have plans for you, and remember

I'm the one who's going to get the glory.

GORDON ROBERTSON: One of the things-- one of the watch

verses for me is the words of our mouths,

but the meditation of our heart.

Is that acceptable to him?

And that one has caught me up short a couple times.

More than a couple.

You just-- is my meditation of what

I'm thinking about right now, is it acceptable inside?

Nothing like spending a couple of months in total silence to--

You got to meditate.

Yeah, and there's a book I read that talked about,

silence being a furnace for transformation, solitude.

And I started to realize we don't like silence.

We don't like solitude.

Because there we're alone with our thoughts.

And if we're being honest, our thoughts can scare us.

Right?

And so getting to the core--

GORDON ROBERTSON: I'm the other way I actually like it.

MATTHEW WEST: See, yeah I've learned--

I like those rules.

Be still and know that I am God.

I love that.

That's it.

And my initial knee jerk, I don't know about you,

is I'll fidget.

I'm going to turn on a TV program, I'm going to--

I need noise.

Occupy time.

But if I can fight through that and get to the stillness,

I believe all of our souls are thirsty

for that season of silence that I had.

And I find myself sometimes, it's

like I kind of want to go back.

I know it was a big trial in my life

but man, God spoke to me in a powerful way.

And what I learned is if I finally stop talking,

he's ready to speak into my life.

That's why be still, and know that I am God.

And my translation was, stop talking,

be silent and allow God to do the talking.

A lot of times I stay in his presence

long enough to read my list of prayer requests.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Here are the things I want.

Right.

But what if God's saying, hey stay awhile.

Let me pour in you.

I just want to spend time.

Let's just talk.

What identity has been forged in you after this?

[SIGHING] I'd love to think that on my name tag now,

where it did say hello, my name is control freak.

I'd love to believe that that's been crossed out

and in its place maybe a word like, surrender.

And I wrote about that in the book.

I'm the kind of guy that, when I plan my family's beach vacation

I'm on the weather app constantly, making sure--

and if I see that storm cloud icon,

I get worried that our whole vacation is going to be ruined.

As if I can control the weather.

And the same went for my career.

I'm a go-getter, I'm a dreamer, I'm going to work,

I'm going to make this happen, It's

going to go like this because I'm

going to do this and the other.

And really being brought to my knees and realizing that,

I'm helpless without God.

I found that surrender-- when surrender gets on your name

tag--

when every day you wake up and go,

I don't want to take a step if God's not leading it.

Man, that's when our lives become the most fulfilling.

So I'd love to believe that surrenders on my name tag.

But I'm sure you know, that's a daily prayer--

That's a daily plan.

--and that's a daily struggle.

And you think you made the decision.

You think I've turned my life over.

But so much of, well I need some me time

starts to invade and then my agenda, and not his agenda.

When I was going through a really dark time

my father came to me and he gave me this wonderful verse,

"that a man can receive nothing unless it

is given to him by the Lord."

And so let's seek him.

He's the source of everything.

And my agenda my goals, my dreams, my whatever,

is so minuscule compared to what he has in store, so.

How's this changed your worship?

Well that's a great question.

I think even what you just said about--

which I love that you had a father speaking

into you, and still do.

And mine as well.

I think we're a couple of preachers kids sitting here,

right?

And we lived to tell about it.

We can share some stories.

Yeah, I will say, I'd love to also believe that,

hello my name is thankful.

That when we realize that nothing--

that every good and perfect gift, is not something

we've gotten because we've earned it

or because we worked hard enough or we proved our worth.

But if we know the source of that gift, our creator.

The one who gives us our identity,

is the one who gives us every good thing

we have in this life.

I tell you I mean, the gratitude I

had coming back even from a throat surgery,

I'll never forget the first song when the surgeons said,

OK go back into the studio.

Kick the tires a little bit, right.

And I started singing again.

The very first song I was scheduled to sing

was a song called "You are everything",

which some of the viewers might know from the radio.

But it literally talks about how if I lost everything I have

in this life, as long as I hold on to Jesus

I have everything I need.

I didn't really understand the meaning of those lyrics,

until I went through a season like that.

But that's how God works.

And so I really wake up every day--

just the fact that I can do an interview with you

today, the fact that I have a voice,

I have a renewed sense of purpose.

I don't want to waste the voice that's been given back to me.

Whether it's through writing a book

about finding our identity in Christ,

or singing another song.

I'm thankful for every opportunity that I get.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Amen.

The book is "Hello My Name Is".

It's By Matthew west.

It's available in stores, nationwide.

Thank you for your heart.

Thanks for being with us.

MATTHEW WEST: Thank you.

Appreciate it.

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