This weekend I took my son to Winter Jam, billed as the world’s largest Christian concert tour. Basically, they have 10 current Christian contemporary bands covering a few different styles of music for $10. With a great price, they fill up every arena they go to and put on a great show. The biggest issue is actually getting in to the show. We arrived an hour before the doors opened and two hours before the show started and still were only able to get seats halfway up in the upper deck.
One of the artists I was most interested in seeing in person was Matthew West. There have been a few songs that we really like that he has released, and they always have a great message. One of the things I found interesting about Matthew is that his last two albums have been based on personal stories that people have sent to him.
Turns out that in 2007 doctors found a polyp that they had to do surgery to remove on his vocal cords. When the surgery was finished the doctors told him that he had to stay completely silent for 7 weeks and then they would be able to tell if he would ever be able to sing again. During this time he struggled not only with not talking but with fear. His voice was how he made a living and what if his voice changed because of the surgery.
Matthew had even gotten so down that he stopped going to church. He couldn’t take going and seeing everyone being able to sing and praise God except for him. After a few weeks, his wife almost forced him to go and that Sunday morning his pastor spoke on “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.” His pastor quoted C. S. Lewis that day by saying, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
That quote spoke to Matthew and he started looking back at all the times God had been there to whisper to him in the past. He was able to see that his career would not have been possible at all without God. He was able to see that no matter what comes, God is in charge.
Seven months later, Matthew had a new album out, that had already been his top selling album and had already had his top selling single, and was performing a concert when he felt the need to tell the crowd his story. After the concert, person after person came to him and said, “Your story really gave me hope.” and “I really needed to hear that God is in control in my situation.” The people began to tell him their stories of struggle, pain, triumph, and forgiveness.
The next day, Matthew decided he needed to tell these people’s stories in his music. So, he started asking people to send him their stories. He set up an address, Facebook accounts, and told people at his concerts he wanted to hear their personal stories. Over the course of a few years he has received over 20,000 letters with people’s stories. This year he released his second album where he has taken the stories he has received and created songs to tell those stories.
His latest song, “Hello, My Name Is,” tells the story of how God can restore, redeem, and renew our hearts and lives no matter how bad our past has been. It is based on a man named Jordan’s recovery from drug addiction. His song, “Forgiveness,” tells the story of one family who worked to get the sentence of the man who had killed their daughter in a wreck as a drunk driver reduced. Every song has the story of someone who sent him a letter.
So, how does this relate to the Respectable Husband Blog? I am not big on encouraging comments and discussion on this blog. So, many of the comments you get are by people who have rejected God and would rather mock his Word than just go away. My wife’s blog, the Peacefulwife Blog, is built around a good bit of comments and discussion. A lot of posts are from comments and emails that she receives from people who are reading her blog. Some of the best practical examples are from people who have commented.
A few weeks back, I ran a post about one man seeing his prayers for his wife answered in a radical way. That post came out of an email where we were discussing another issue and the man started talking about this experience he had. I told him that I would love to hear about that experience and a few weeks later he had written his story. I think there are many people who read this blog that have a story to tell. I want to hear it. It can be how God has worked in your marriage? An issue you have had or still have that you are struggling with? Something that your wife does that makes you feel respected? Something that has taught you how to be a better leader in your family? Something that you had to overcome and how you did it? Your story might not fall into any of those categories but I still want to hear it.
So, what’s your story? Email your story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I post your story I can use your name or post it anonymously. I do not mind changing a few of the specifics slightly if it is needed to help keep the story anonymous. Thanks for your help and I am sure that your story may have an impact on helping someone else that may be struggling with something in their lives if it is nothing more than knowing that they are not alone.