The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

Hello My Name Is Matthew West

Christian music's Matthew West shares how knowing Christ leads to having a better understanding of the real you. Read Transcript

As a songwriter, Matthew West has been nominated

for an Emmy and four Grammys.

But a few years ago he made a decision.

He didn't want to use his talents just

to sing, but instead to be the voice for others.

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 the message of hope that

came through loud and clear.

Matthew West is in the house.

And we welcome you back to the "700 Club."

Thank you.

Great to see you.

It's great to be here today.

2003, you burst on to the Christian music scene.

You were touring with people like Toby Mack.


Jeremy Camp.

You had your own hits on the radio.


And then you've lost your voice.

That's right.

I mean, you couldn't talk to anybody.

You had like, a chalkboard.

What was that like?

What happened?


Well, I had to spend about, all in,

about two months in total silence.

And I always joked that my wife refers to that as the greatest

two months of our marriage.

Because I had a dry erase board at the time, and that's

how I would communicate.

And really, it was more about the uncertainty.

You know, the doctors warned me with that surgery,

that even a successful surgery didn't

guarantee that my singing voice would come back.

And through that time, I began to realize

just how much weight I had put on my identity as a singer.

You know, we all want to be known for something, right?

We all just want to be known.

And that two months really transformed me.

And it made me realize I had to ask some tough questions.

What if I'm not able to see my dreams of music come true

after all?

Do I still believe that God is big enough

to have a new dream for me?

And so learning to sort of let go during that season

of silence, and God really redirected my own identity as I

began to say OK, my identity is not found in a hit

song, or a successful concert or tour, or being able to say I'm

friends with whoever else.

But it had to be scary.

It was devastating.

It was devastating.

And meanwhile, I had a young family.

And I'm like, how am I going to provide for them?

What other jobs can I do?

You know, I don't have many other skills.

I was like, well, I could be the guy who spins the sign out

in front of the jewelry store.

That was about the length of my list of other career


At first, you were praying, of course, God fix me.

But then you said that your prayer changed.


I spent a lot of time, obviously, by myself

during that time.

Because it's frustrating to sit and not

being able to engage in a conversation.

So I was writing in my journal one day,

and I felt like the Lord just gave me a message.

And I wrote in my journal that God

was going to give me my voice back,

but that he was going to use my voice to give

a voice to other people.

Well, just as God often does, He'll

give you a glimpse of what He's about to lead you into,

just enough for you to maybe take that step of faith,

have some hope, but maybe not see the full picture.

And so I let that simmer for a while.

What does it mean to use my voice

to give a voice to other people?

And so I stepped out, and I just said,

hey, I want people to know that your story matters.

And through social media, I gave people

a platform to share their testimony,

to share their story.

Just like the one your viewers saw,

and I watched backstage moments ago.

To share an authentic story, not a perfect one,

but tell me who you are, and what God's doing in your life,

or what you wish he would do in your life.

And you've collected what, about 40,000 testimonies?

And counting.

We've actually created an entire ministry now called popwe

that my dad and I started that collects stories, and gives

people a platform to know hey, your story has value.

Your story matters.

And God can speak through your story.

When you learn to realize that he calls you

a child of the one true king.

Well, let's get back to your voice.

So the surgery worked.

But you didn't know if you were going to sound the same.


But thank the Lord, you did.

You got back into the recording booth.

But you were different.

Your priorities were different.


It was powerful to start receiving all these stories

from people at the same time.

I received this amazing story from a guy

named Jordan, which inspired the song "Hello, My Name Is."

And these are the kind of authentic stories

that I'm drawn to.

This is the kind of authentic I want to be.

Jordan wrote to me.

These are just a glimpse of the stories I would receive.

Jordan said hello, my name is Jordan, and I'm a drug addict.

That was the first sentence of his story.

He went on to share with me this incredible story of God's

redemption in his life.

He went from an All-American athlete

to being hooked on pain medication,

to getting kicked out of college.

But then God changing his life, redirecting his sights,

and Jordan shared with me something that I

needed to learn about myself.

He said, you know what I've learned?

I'm not defined by my successes or my failures.

But I'm defined by the God who loves me, the God who made me,

and the God who calls me his child.

He finished his story by saying hello, my name is Jordan,

and I'm a child of the one true king.

Which is your song.

Those are the lyrics.


And so all of a sudden, I'm writing songs now,

not inspired by my own story, necessarily, but inspired

by someone like Jordan.

So that everybody else can then relate, and say you know what?

I've got some issues in my own life.

But I know that I don't have to be defined by my failures


So getting into other people's stories

has really helped me get in touch with my own,

and remind me who I am in Christ is all that really matters.

Well, I think you are one of the most gifted songwriters

in Christian musicdom.

Thank you.

Is musicdom a word?

Musicdom is a word now, officially.


And because you do tell stories--

you remember your Christmas album a few years ago?

Yes, yes.


Aw, thank you.

I mean, there's some amazing songs on there.

But they're story-driven.

And I have sat in my car and sobbed to Matthew West songs,


I'm in confession mode right now.

Oh, thank you.

Your songs are different.

And I love all kinds of Christian music.

But you have a gift.

And do you think going through that season

of silence and that dark time was something that

maybe, is benefiting you now?

Yeah, I do feel like God uses the pain in our lives

if we'll let him, in many ways.

And one of those ways is he'll open

our eyes to see the pain of other people's lives.

I began to see my audience in a whole new light.

Coming out of that vocal cord surgery,

people sharing their stories with me.

I felt like I was being invited into people's stories.

And God was giving me a greater compassion

for the pain that other people were going through.

And I think it's ironic that you work your whole career

as a singer to be in the spotlight,

and then God winds up using you to put

other people in the spotlight.

So I'm sitting here with you today,

and more excited than my own music or book,

I'm excited to share with you stories like Jordan's.

To say, hey, look what God did in his life.

Yesterday morning, I'm sitting in the hair

chair, and the lady--

The hair chair, I like that.

The hair chair.

And the lady that does-- and I'm laughing out loud.

And I'm like, I got to read this story

about-- you're driving through the Dairy Queen drive through.

And this chapter is about identity.


And this is when you're just getting started.

And you should probably be telling it.

But I'll let you pick up the punch line.


You're driving to the Dairy Queen, and your poster--

the woman who's waiting on you recognizes your posters

in the Dairy Queen.

That's right.

And she looks at the poster, and she

looks at you driving through, and what does she say to you?

Well, she goes, is that you?

And I had ordered a Butterfinger Blizzard, by the way.


A large.

And she looks at the poster, looks back at me.

She says, is that you?

I was like yeah.

And I was kind of like--

Pretty happy to be recognized.

I just got recognized.

And she looks back at it, and she

goes, huh, you're a lot chubbier in person,

as she hands me 1,000 calories of lactose.


And I remember, I looked at her, and I said thank you.

And I put the Blizzard back on the counter.

I said I won't be needing this.

But that chapter was all about me kind of being vulnerable,

and kind of sharing with the reader about my journey

of insecurity, you know?

I remember being in grade school.

And I struggled with my weight.

And I heard the kids say sing the song Matt, Matt, Bobatt,

banana fanna fo fat.

And I remember they were doing that on purpose at the time.

And that really, hurt me.

And so what's interesting as I was writing this book, "Hello,

My Name Is" about finding our identity,

I couldn't help but go back and revisit

some of the names that have found their way on my name tag

that I've held onto without even realizing it.

Sure, I know I belong to Christ.

But man, the devil will come in and try

to get us to believe a lie about who we are, whether it's

through insecurity, whether it's through damaging words somebody

spoke to us, or mistakes we've made in our lives.

And I wrote the book in the hopes of helping other people.

But guess what?

It helped me to realize that God's

the only one who can wipe the lies off of our name

tag once and for all.

And in its place, put our rightful title

as child of the one true king.

Well, I was just glad to know that you liked Blizzards

as much as I do.


Well, not any more.


Not any more.

I still like them.

All right.

Well Matthew, we are going to release you to go sing for us.

All right.

For more stories, you can check out his book.

It's called "Hello My Name Is." and it's

available in stores nationwide.

We're going to let you walk on over there, Matthew.

Fans of this will recognize that "Hello My Name Is"

is also the title of one of his major hit songs.

And it's the one he's going to sing

for us in just a few minutes.

But before he does, one final note.

For more with Matthew West, just go to

for an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview.

Now here he is, with "Hello My Name Is."


(SINGING) Hello, my name is regret.

I'm pretty sure we have met.

Every single day of your life, I'm

the whisper inside that won't let you forget.

Hello, my name is defeat.

Well, I know you recognize me.

Just when you think you can win, I'll

drag you right back down again, until you've lost all belief.

Oh, these are the voices.

Yeah, these are the lies.

And I have believed them for the very last time.

Hello, my name is child of the one true king.

I've been saved, I've been changed, I have been set free.

"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing.

Hello, my name is child of the one true king, yeah.

Whoa-oh, oh whoa.

Whoa-oh, oh, whoa.

Whoa-oh, oh whoa.

I am no longer defined by all the wreckage behind.

That's good news.

Because the one who makes all things new has proven

it's true.

Just take a look at my life.


Hello, my name is child of the one true king.

I've been saved, I've been changed, I've been set free.

"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing.

Hello, my name is child of the one true king.

Whoa-oh oh whoa.

Whoa-oh, oh, whoa.

Whoa-oh, oh, whoa.

What love the Father has lavished upon us, that we

should be called His children.

I am a child of the one true king.

Yeah, what a love the Father has lavished upon us,

that we should be called his children.

Hello, My name is child of the one true king.

Well, I've been saved, I've been changed.

I've been set free.

"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing.

Hello, my name is child of the one true king.

Whoa-oh, oh, whoa.

Whoa-oh, oh, whoa.

Whoa-oh, oh, whoa.

What love the father has lavished upon us, that we

should be called his children.

I am a child of the one true king.



Related Podcasts | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network