#918 - "Becoming Me" by Matthew West
Matthew West honors both his mother and his wife with this sweet song from his album 'All In.'

Posted: May 08, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Matthew West's trilogy of albums before All In were inspired by digging deeper into more than 40,000 stories shared with him from people all over the world. Eight years and three albums later, these stories have had a profound ripple effect, beginning with 2010's The Story of Your Life, Into the Light in 2012 and continuing through 2015's Live Forever.  

From West's trilogy of story-inspired albums, I've previously spoken with Matthew about "My Own Little World," "Strong Enough," "Forgiveness," "Do Something," "Day One" and "Grace Wins," and we also have talked about "Broken Things" from All In for behind the song devotionals. In connection with the theme of going "all in," and with Mother's Day approaching, Matthew has written a song about his mom and his wife, the mother of his two daughters. The song features his daughter Lulu singing with him. I had the chance to speak with Matthew about "Becoming Me."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

"All In" is the theme my album landed on. In the process of dwelling on that theme and those two words, the theme of my album becomes a house, and I look at all the different ways to get into that house. The songs are different thought processes that came back to that theme of going all in. A lot of the aspects of writing songs for this album are about going all in with my life and looking around at people around me who have shown me what it looks like to go all in. How do I face my fears? How do I overcome things holding me back? 

With this song, "Becoming Me," it is about my mom and my wife. My mom has been a prayer warrior and an inspiration for me in my life. I also think about my wife, who is the mother of my two daughters, and how she shapes the lives of my daughters. My mom shaped my life in such a big way. I wanted to write a song about that, saying thank you for showing me what it looks like to put others' needs before your own, to constantly be a love and support for your kids, and most of all for showing us what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I capture that in the bridge of the song. I remember walking by her bedroom and hearing her pray to God and praying for me.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV): "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV): "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

1 Thessalonians 1:2-6 (NIV): "We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit."

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV): Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
1 John 4:21 (NIV): "And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister."

Ephesians 5:25-27 (NKJV): "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."

What is the takeaway message?

The biggest thing I would say is that someone might hear this song, and they might have a harder time connecting with it as I've realized over the years that the fact that I have a mom who is in my corner and a mom and a dad who have stayed together is unusual in many cases. Not everybody can say that their mom is this same person for them, and that can bring about sadness or wounds or pain. No parents are perfect. 

I am thankful and blessed to have the parents that I have. I wanted this song to be something that I didn't wait until it was too late to say the things I've wanted to say to someone who is important to me. I realize that people will hear this song and not have that same level of support from their mom. As a kid, and now a grown-up kid, I've let too much time go in my life without saying thank you to the people who have shaped my life. If someone is out there and they wouldn't necessarily point to their parents in that way, maybe God can give them new eyes to see through those flaws, and they can extend forgiveness to them. I know that's easier said than done. People shape us for the better or the worse, but they don't ultimately define us. We get our definition from God. 

This song is a reminder to me that my mom pointed me in the direction of the One who defines me. That's how she shaped my life. I'm grateful to her for that. I hope it is a fitting tribute to my mom and my wife.

I think you're the prettiest girl
Probably in the whole wide world
Sometimes I watch you brush your hair
You don't even know I'm there

And I hear, "Baby, you don't wanna catch a cold"
As you're kneeling down and zipping up my coat
You're always looking out for me, but your kiss upon my cheek
Keeps me warmer than you know

I've never had to find out what it's like to be alone
And as far as I know "mom" is just another word for home
They say I'm the spitting image of the one I look up to, and I just smile
'Cause anyone can see it's true
I'm becoming me because of you

Chocolate ice cream melting down my chin
Ferris wheel goes round and round again
Happy birthday, make a wish
Can it always stay like this

Finally kissed those training wheels goodbye
But you've always made me feel like I could fly
And when I fall and scrape my knee the first one running after me is you
Saying, "Give it one more try"

I've never had to find out what it's like to be alone
And as far as I know "mom" is just another word for home
They say I'm the spitting image of the one I look up to, and I just smile
'Cause anyone can see it's true
I'm becoming me because of you

And every morning I can hear you talk to Jesus by your bed
Well, you pray for me and for the strength to face the day ahead
And more than anything in this whole world I wanna be like you
So, I talk to Jesus too

I smell cookies baking in the kitchen
And you'll be calling me down any minute
So, I guess I'd better go, I just wanted you to know
Anyone can see it's true
I'm becoming me because of you
Because of you
Because of you 

Right from the opening notes, you'll be captivated by this stirring and emotional song. I have three young daughters, and I can't help but get emotional when I listen to this song. I look at my wife and I hope she is secure in my love for her. I look at my daughters and I hope I am communicating to each of my girls that she is beautiful, that she is valuable, and that she is a blessing to me. I also pray these words, overall mothers, including my mom. Remember that Jesus loves us unconditionally. His demonstration of love should inspire all of us to "Love your neighbor as yourself."

As I get older, I find myself thinking more and more about how well I'm living for Christ and showing His love. If you think about the type of faith we are called to have as believers, it is described as the faith of a mustard seed. Being a Christian means that we walk by faith, not by sight. The beauty of walking by faith and not by sight is that we can learn to more fully trust God with our lives.

From my first listen, this song fired me up to be more diligent as a husband, father, and follower of Jesus. As men, we often struggle with fear of failure and complacency. As Christians, we are called to be bold for Christ and to serve Him daily. We are also commanded in Ephesians 5:25 to "love our wives as Christ loves the Church." The key as a follower of Jesus is to walk by faith and to be guided in your daily walk by prayer and God's infallible Word, the Bible. As a tribute to his mom, Matthew sings "And every morning I can hear you talk to Jesus by your bed, well, you pray for me and for the strength to face the day ahead." What a great message for us to share with our spouses and mothers for Mother's Day: "and more than anything in this whole world I wanna be like you, so I talk to Jesus too."  Amen to that!

Watch Matthew and his daughters sing the song:


NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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