Matthew West, four-time GRAMMY-nominated Christian musician, will be releasing a new book on July 23 entitled, 'Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible,' based on an accumulation of true stories that fans sent him while he was working on his latest album, 'Into the Light.'
In the past couple of years, West has entered a phase of his career in which he draws inspiration from the personal stories of his fans in order to get those stories heard in a meaningful way. This aspect of his career began several years ago when he started writing his 2010 album, 'The Story of Your Life.' He invited fans to share their stories with him and was amazed to receive about 10,000 personal stories from individuals throughout the U.S. and other countries. Following the album release, he was inspired to write his 2011 book with the same title as his album, 'The Story of Your Life.'
West decided to continue on this journey for as long as it takes. "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," he said.
For his most recent album, 'Into the Light,' West received even more stories than he had for his last album, about 20,000 true stories from around the world. He decided that he would write another book, and this time he gave it the title 'Forgiveness,' based on the common theme that seemed to connect every story.
This book offers meaningful accounts of real life people and the struggles that they have faced in order to ultimately find forgiveness and healing. These struggles include hardship such as divorce, betrayal, addiction, abandonment and even death.
The stories touch upon various aspects of forgiveness. One woman, Renee, shared a story about how she was able to ultimately forgive a drunk-driver who had killed her 20-year-old daughter. Another story, by a man named Jordan, depicted his fall from being an all-star athlete after he became addicted to drugs and his journey to learn to forgive himself and not allow his mistakes to define him.
"A good story can make you lose yourself, but a great story can help you find yourself," West writes, according to a Thomas Nelson press release. "These stories have further shown me that forgiveness is both an unavoidable part of life and an essential factor in finding peace, joy and fulfillment as we live out our story."
The book will feature a forward by Renee Napier, the woman whose story of forgiveness inspired the very creation of this book. West carried the letter that Napier had written to him about her story in his guitar case for over a year before he wrote his hit single, 'Forgiveness,' Thomas Nelson reports.
"As Matthew West sings in his life-changing song, 'The prisoner that you really free is you.' The keys are in this book," said Karen Kingsbury, New York Times bestselling author, according to the Thomas Nelson release.
The book will be released on July 23, but is available for pre-order on Amazon now.