Several years ago, when Matthew West invited people to share their stories to serve as inspiration for an upcoming album, he had no idea it would be the start of an amazing journey that would forever change his music, ministry and life. Armed with more than 10,000 stories from fans all over the world, the floodgates of inspiration opened and West crafted a landmark album, The Story of Your Life. Suddenly people were given a voice and a chance for their stories to be heard. It started a powerful wave that continues with even greater momentum on West's new album Into the Light.
"On every level it has been the single most fulfilling thing that I've had a chance to be a part of in my career," West says. "It's just the added element of emotion that I feel by having a chance to be a part of this person's story and to share their story with an audience. Something really special is taking place and I'm along for the ride for as long as it needs to go. As long as those stories come in, I think I'm going to keep making these kinds of records."
And it didn't just stop there. The singer-songwriter, wrote the book The Story of Your Life, capturing and sharing some of those incredible stories. And, bolstered by the tremendous impact of his latest hit song, Forgiveness, West has continued to compile stories from his fans in his latest book, Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible. It's a collection of fifty stories of incredible forgiveness.
"There's something that feels important when I sit down with the responsibility of somebody's life story in front of me," he says. "It's not important like, 'Look at this awesome thing that I'm doing,' but it feels important because this person has trusted me with their story and my responsibility is to them."