Stories…

I’m sitting at a Panera somewhere between Nashville and Sioux Falls reading stories that people have sent to me. Powerful stories of tragedy, triumph, victory and heartache. When I ask for your stories in posts like these, many of you respond asking “What kind of story are you looking for?” I want to take a second to answer that question. The answer is… honesty.

Your story is uniquely yours. And this creative journey I’ve been on- writing songs inspired by true stories of people from all walks of life- has really been about encouraging people to step into the light with the story that is your life and be willing to let God use you, all of you. For Ginny, that meant answering my challenge by setting free a 35 yr old secret about a choice she made as a teenager. In doing so, she not only inspired a song called “The Healing Has Begun,” but she stepped towards healing in her own life and is now a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center, telling her story and letting God speak through her. For Jordan, it was about his journey of finding his true identity in Christ. He went from “Hello, my name is addict” to “Hello, my name is CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING.” And the list goes on and on.

Maybe you have a victory story to tell. Maybe you want to shine a light on a cause that breaks your heart or brag on an unsung hero who inspires you. Maybe you just want to ask for prayer. Maybe you have a story about what’s going on in your life right now, or something that happened in the past. I’m telling you, there is something really powerful about taking a moment to stop and think about your life, your story, and write it down. Too often, we get so caught up in living our lives, that we never take a minute to stop long enough to think about whether or not our stories are going the way we want them to. Many people write to me and tell me how they don’t feel like their story matters, or that anyone cares about their story. Well, I do. And I’m here. At Panera. Reading your stories. And I want you to know right now that your story matters. It matters to the one who made you, and the one who made you has a plan to speak through your story in a powerful way!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some stories to read. -mw

***To submit your story officially you must visit www.matthewwest.com/yourstory