Sep 23 2010

The Story of Your Life ... Linda's Story



Matthew West has a new album coming out October 5th called "The Story of Your Life" ... songs inspired by letters from people just like you.  Today we catch up with Matthew and connect him with a woman whose story has touched Matthew (and thousands of others) and inspired a new song.  Linda's story is below ...



The Reason For The World



McAlester, OK already know our story so well, but this tues, march 2, is the 1st anniversary of losing our precious ryan...the things that have transpired over this past year have been the most amazing things we have ever seen and more than ryan could have imagined...he prayed to be a light for God, to make a difference, to be famous and be able to share Gods love in a huge way...his prayer to NOT go through the motions put us all in a path that we never dreamed would we gathered at his grave and his granfather spoke and said "ryan has touched more lives in his death than he ever could have in his life" this was ryans legacy, and his prayer to reach others was answered...our family is incomplete until we are together again.....


Matthew’s commentary:


Ryan McAfee was an amazing 18 year old kid from a small town in Oklahoma who loved his family, his friends, but most of all he loved God.  Everywhere he went, he impacted the lives of those around him.  Ryan was involved in car accident and his life came to a tragic end, leaving his family and friends holding broken hearts and unanswered prayers. 


I was informed that my song, “The Motions” was played at Ryan’s memorial service, because it was one of his favorite songs, and he had posted the lyrics on his facebook page the day before he passed away.   I reached out to this family when I heard this, and we have become good friends since.   Ryan’s older brother even went on tour with me, speaking to audiences across the country about his brother’s life and death.  To this day, Ryan’s life continues to touch many others. 


But even as a family tries to pick up the pieces in the wake of such a tragedy, the questions don’t always go away so quickly.  As a mother says goodbye to her son, in the deepest part of her heartbreak, she cannot find a good reason why this has happened.  This is the reality of our limited view as humans.  We cannot see the big picture, and we were never designed to.  God is all knowing, the holder of tomorrow.  The one who knows the reason why bad things happen to good people. 


But the hope that we can hold on to in times of tragedy, the anchor for our souls when we are treading water in a sea of grief is this promise that He has “prepared a place” for us.  This place called Heaven is a place where every tear will be wiped away, and every question answered.  This is the promise that makes me long for home.   

Comments (40) -

9/23/2010 4:15:14 AM
Sarah United States
:o( I never get to hear interviews or cool things because it is never played prior to 7am EST!!  I am in the car for 40-45 minutes every morning and I never get to hear anything cool!  Can you try playing less music and more of the interviews during the 6am EST hour???
9/23/2010 5:09:38 AM
Linda Carpenter United States
Linda Carpenter
I heard Matthew's song inspired by Ryan this morning.  It was wonderful, inspirational, and filled me with hope.  For the past 3 years my life has gone through so much turmoil: my parent's had a double car accident totaling both cars, mom having 4 strokes at the time, the loss of our business and sever financial difficulties, my father suffered a heart attack, and is now dealing with congestive heart failure...and the list goes on.  I find comfort in the Lord and know he is with us, but your song makes me believe that the purpose of this life might be just that make us long for home even more.  Thanks and good luck with the album.
9/23/2010 6:42:36 AM
britney United States
this story is sad i had a brother in a accident that heard his story and we played a couple of matthews storys and the last word my brother said to me was he will be with ryan and god i miss my brother and pray for this family everyday at night
9/23/2010 6:43:27 AM
Josie Rosales United States
Josie Rosales
What a awesome song that matt sang this morning, i am going to purchase that albumn ASAP. Thank you for blessing us with such inspirational songs, knowing that one day we will all live in heaven and see our loved ones once again.

be blessed
9/23/2010 6:52:01 AM
britney United States
i had a brother in a accident a couple months ago and his last word he said was he will be with god and ryan. he found out by a friend about ryan and we have been praying for that family and we had him in are heart everyday. we love the motion to because of everything my brother did we played it at his memorial service to
9/23/2010 6:58:40 AM
Dawn Hurd United States
Dawn Hurd
Please tell Matthew, simply, "Thank You."
9/23/2010 6:59:40 AM
britney United States
i had a brother in a accident that heard ryans story and we played motion at his memorial service and the hour before he died he said he will be with god and ryan.                       I miss my brother and i keep ryans family in my heart and are praying for them
9/23/2010 7:00:42 AM
Angelina United States
What a song!!!!! Thank you Matthew & K-Love!
9/23/2010 7:03:44 AM
lisa United States
i loved your new song , reason for the world.
9/23/2010 7:03:55 AM
britney United States
i had a brother in a accident a couple months ago and he had told me the story about ryan and the hour before he pasted he said i am going to be with god and ryan and i have been praying for ryans family
9/23/2010 7:04:37 AM
Tracy Seitz United States
Tracy Seitz
I'm listening to KLOVE on my computer and just heard the song The Reason for the World. My eyes are full of tears and emotions for how God has used Ryan's life for His Glory.  And, how God is using Matthew West for His Glory.  Praise be to God!  Thank you for sharing this tender moment with Ryan's mom and Matthew West with listeners.  It's moments like this that affirm that God, in His Majesty & Glory, is good-even through our sorrows.  He is good all the time!
9/23/2010 7:06:04 AM
Heather United States
There is nothing worse than losing a child and sadly, we're on the same journey.  We lost our 14 year old son, Austin, November 2008.

Something told me this morning to hold on to KLove, even though I'm now at work.  I sat at my desk, went to, and tuned in, knowing that I needed to hear Matthew West's new song.  When I realized it would be about another child loss, I shut my door for fear of the emotions that would come over me.

I just want to say thank you for sharing such a beautiful story in song.  It was such an inspiration and I can't wait to hear it again.  Bless Ryans' family for sharing their pain so that others may heal.  Austin's story can be read at

KLove has been such a healing part of my days, as it those long rides alone in the car that the weight of losing a child comes crashing down.  It is only through God that I get through.  Just wanted to say thank you again, to all of you.
9/23/2010 7:06:39 AM
Jennifer United States
I have two dear friends that have suffered loss this week, funerals are set for this weekend.  I find myself praying a lot for them.  This song lifted me up.  I've been anticipating hearing Matthew sing all week.  I have been thinking and praying for Ryan's family.  The loss of a child is unimaginable. Thank you Matthew and Linda for sharing so much of yourselves to help me and so many others in how we pray...
9/23/2010 7:07:40 AM
Merigen United States
I just wanted to say that I can't wait to get Matthew's album...the idea of writing stories about people's lives is truly God inspired. I have always enjoyed Matthew's songs as they are often stories...the music and lyrics are used by God to speak to my heart. Thanks for being obedient to our Lord in your ministry. May God make His face to shine upon you and show you His glory!
9/23/2010 7:09:07 AM
Tonya United States
Wow. I am at a loss for words! Amazing...I am sitting at my desk at work trying to stay composed. And now I will find a concert close by and cant wait to get the new cd!
9/23/2010 7:10:13 AM
Stephanie United States
Our area doesn't have a K-Love station near enough to listen to in the car, but PTL I am able to listen at work through the internet. However, Linda's story and Matthew's song touched me so much that I had to stop listening. I had tears flowing and wasn't able to do my job. I'm anxiously waiting on the release of the CD so I can hear all of the stories.
9/23/2010 7:11:11 AM
Loreta Willkomm United States
Loreta Willkomm
Dear Matthew: I wanted to say that your last song has touched me.  My husband of 12 years left me on Sept 5 for another women and on Sept 9 God took my daddy to heaven.  This song gives me hope to see my daddy in heaven soon.  It gives me courage to take the next step for me and my children, step children and granddaughter..  We are all hurting and I do feel God strength to continue everyday  to following God's will, being obedient and to love my husband as God would ask even through this divorce.  Please pray for us.
9/23/2010 7:12:00 AM
Wendy Appleton United States
Wendy Appleton
I listen to K-love on the way to work each morning. Today as I arrived at work, you played Matthew West's new song. What a blessing to Ryan's family and many, many more who suffer hardship and loss.  As christians we do not grieve as the world grieves because we have hope in God.  We know that He is good in hard times as well as when life seems to being going smoothly. We know that it is His desire to be glorified regardless of the circumstances and some times, as in ryan's story, He is most glorified when He takes His children home.  

Thank you to Linda for being so brave and sharing with us on the radio.  Thank you to Matthew for a beautiful new song that I can share with others who are also grieving.  thanks to K-Love for being a part of my mornings and the hour long drive to work.  God is good all the time and in all things!
9/23/2010 7:13:48 AM
Tristina United States
I cried.  I lost some one close to he in a tragic accident.  Justen, and his story is amazing and this song is the story of his life and my life and his families life.  some people may have seen the memorial on 680 near san ramon right after the alacosta on ramp to the freeway thats where Justen was responding to a CHP call and was struck by a drunk driver.  His family were full of grief and I was full of questions.  I remember what I was doing and where I was when I got the call.  So fresh in my mind and I remeber talking to his family and how shattered they were and how I was afraid would lose faith that they would fall in a hole and never come back.  Thank you Lord they are full of faith still.  I cant wait for the CD to come out.  
9/23/2010 7:14:25 AM
Kaitlin Jones United States
Kaitlin Jones
I am so thankful God made it possible for me to hear the interview and Matthews new song. My grandfather is currently going through the last stages of COPD and it has to be one of the hardest things my family has eveer went through to see someone we love struggle day in and out, not being able to do anything but pray. We have all asked God at many times why he has to suffer and why he can't just go peacefully.. But I know that is not our choice, its all in Gods hands. -Last night we had the meeting with hospice to prepare for what is to happen. I have been some what angery with God, and never have before.. This song has really touched me in ways you can't even imagine. We all have struggles and sadness we have to deal with but this song just shows its all apart of the bigger picture that God has created. I pray that God bless all those that hear this song, and that many are inspired by this tragic event. May we all gain strength through God in ways we never thought possible!!!

Psalms 40:1-3  
9/23/2010 7:22:46 AM
Chachi United States
An amazing, amazing song filled with such hope in the promise of our Lord to destroy our death forever. May the mighty comfort and saving power of Christ overwhelm families across the world that have struggled with tragedy such as this. Great song Matthew! Thanks to K-Love for continuing to provide radio filled with God and Christ message of love and hope!
9/23/2010 7:23:00 AM
Karen United States
To the wonderful people at K-Love and Matthew West,
I was listening to Linda's story and Matthew's beautiful song this morning and I was so touched.
I lost my precious Dad 11 weeks ago and there is such a hole in my heart.  This song has really helped me to remember that I will see him again one day and we will rejoice in knowing that God has brought us home.
I can't wait until the album comes out so I can share this song with my mom.
I can't express in words how much you all at K-love radio mean to me and how much the music keeps my focus on God.
Many Blessings to you.
9/23/2010 7:24:27 AM
Denise United States
I listened to Matthew West's song written in honor to Ryan and his family just a few minutes ago. I had tears running down my face as I heard Matthew's "The Reason for the World." I thought of my own son, who is still on this earth, but struggles with bipolar and anger issues. Without God by my side, I don't know how I would make it through the tough days with my son. I pray for my son every day--for him to learn how to deal with the illness and manage it successfully once he's out on his own. Most of all, I pray he finds the Lord to guide him though his life. Some days I'm overwhelmed with the challenge of raising a child with a mental illness. Matthew's song this morning reminded me that our struggles and tears are wiped away in Heaven. Thank you, Matthew, and K-Love for sharing Matthew's inspiring and comforting song.
9/23/2010 7:35:58 AM
Lori United States
That testimony was awesome. The nother mentioned that she cant wait to get to heaven to introduce you to her son Ryan... I think he was the one that personally introduced you to her & his whole family through his death. It brought to my memory the book the shack... amazing how Gods plan is not always like we preceive... He is a Awesome God. SmileSmileSmile
9/23/2010 7:55:01 AM
Auburn United States
I dont know if this is the right comment area but, I LOVE fall too Lisa, but my birthday is in December, weird right? i get Christmas and my birthday. Fall and Spring are my favorites. Summer is TOO Hot and Winter is Too cold to do anything.  Fall and spring are full of color and smell wonderful. the burning of crisp leaves and the blooms to the small flowers. it is a treat for the senses.
9/23/2010 8:02:24 AM
Will Bolin United States
Will Bolin
Matthew's music is such an inspiration to me and my family. 8/30/2010 we lost our little girl she was a beautiful baby almost 2 months old. I've worked in EMS for 7 years, I'm a new paramedic and me and our middle son 8 years old tried to keep her with us but it wasn't in God's plans so we could use some inspiration. I'm not sure how to carry on in my line of work after this and I'm not sure how to leave my wife and kids and return to work please pray for us.
9/23/2010 8:14:44 AM
Charles J. Bos United States
Charles J. Bos
I heard the Interview and song this morning and I feel I should share our story.  My wife and I live in Virginia, she runs our ranch and I work for the US Army doing Satellite training for Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those preparing to go to both places.  On Labor Day we received a call from a cousin of Linda’s say that her brother was involved in a motorcycle accident near Ardmore OK and that he had been airlifted to a large trauma hospital in Dallas TX.  He was not breathing when the park ranger came upon the scene; God blessed this encounter by letting that man have the past experience of being a Medic for 7 Years in the military in Vietnam.  He revived Mike on the spot and called for the medical air evacuation.  Linda flew to Dallas the next day and has been by Mike’s bed ever since.  Mike is her last remaining relative and they were very close as well as being a brother and sister in Christ.  She is still standing watch over him as I write this and we are all praying for his recovery.  The song Matthew wrote Ryan and sang for his Mother Linda touched my heart so strongly that I am trying to get a MPEG copy of the file so my Linda can play it as she stands watch over Mike.  Matthew’s Song and the Story of Ryan and his family is truly a gift from God.  Thanks so much for the support that will bring.  May God Bless you all, Charles  
9/23/2010 8:16:34 AM
Christine Hollenbeck United States
Christine Hollenbeck
My husband heard this song on his way to work this morning and emailed me as soon as he got there.  Next Tuesday we say to goodbye to our foster child of one year who has brought our family great joy.  Although we don't understand how the child welfare system can send him back to an unstable and unsafe environment, we know that God has a plan for Isaac.  Our 9-year old daughter, however, is completely distraught to lose her little brother and has been questioning why people are allowed to hurt children, how God could allow this, and why we have to live lives that seem to be full of pain.  Could you please let me know how I can get a link to the song to listen to it and share it with our daughter?  Sometimes the right song can help calm our minds and understand God's plan better than anything else. Thank you.
9/23/2010 8:21:14 AM
Mary United States
My good friend just lost his wife yesterday to colon cancer, she was quite young, 38.  I have been trying to make sense of it, they were the most compassionate couple, their love for each other was truly inspirational.  
Hearing the story of Ryan, Linda and Matthew this morning could not have come at a better time.  I sat in my car just weeping listening to their song.  It was exactly the answer I was looking for.  It doesn't take away the sadness or the heartache knowing the devastation my friend is feeling, but it made me see God's work in our lives.  Often times I wonder where the good is, where exactly He is going with this "mysterious ways" thing, but Matthew really helped give me perspective into His will.
Thank you for that Matthew, Ryan and Linda, thank you Lisa and Eric.
9/23/2010 10:03:13 AM
Shane Nugent United States
Shane Nugent
Hey Lisa and Eric,
I was driving in our church van this morning when I heard the interview between Matthew West and Linda.  WOW it was powerful!  I do not consider myslef to be an emotional guy, but wow something happened in my heart this morning during the interview and before I knew it, my eyes were filling up with tears.  I am a father of 3 small children and God reminded me this morning how precious they are to me and how I need to take every opportunity to express God's love for them and my love for them.  Wow thanks so much for playing the interview on the air this morning.  I am Student Pastor in Bossier City, La and I am preparing to preach this Sunday.  I was wondering if there is anyway possible that I could get a copy of the interview from this morning, I would love to play it as part of my message on Sunday.  I am preaching a message that I have titled "Pointing People to Jesus" and I feel that the interview would be a great tool to share as a testimony during my message.  Thanks so much for your ministry to the world.  My radio stays on K-Love and there is nothing like riding down the road and listening to my 8 year old son Praise Jesus with the music from K-Love.  

For His Glory,
Shane Nugent
Student Pastor at Cross Point Baptist Church
9/23/2010 10:05:03 AM
Kathy United States
God's timing is so incredible!  Last night I had an email from my mom telling me about my cousin Judy who has been told she has 2-3 months to live.  She is frightened b/c she has not been to church "enough" while she's been ill, so her sister has said she will try to go to church more herself and offer extra prayers for Judy.  My parents will be visiting IL next week and will be able to talk to Judy and Nancy.  Nancy remembers how our grandmother was "waiting to go home" and told Mom that "Lutherans face death so much better than us Catholics".  Now I'm not saying anything against Catholics, but praying that Mom and Dad find the right words to let them know that it's not about how many times you go to church, or anything that you do or don't do.  They need to understand that Jesus has done it all for us - because He died and rose, we have the right to go home to our Father.  I heard exactly those words in your song this morning, and I hope that I am able to find the lyrics to send to Mom and Dad for when they talk to my cousins.  
9/23/2010 11:54:16 AM
Brandon United States
Is it possible to get the lyrics to this song added to your lyric search on this site ASAP?  So...very...powerful.  I was driving to work and the song gave me chills, made me cry and smile at the same time.  I can't wait to get 'home'!
9/23/2010 11:57:34 AM
Kari United States
The 16 year old boy of my daughter's dreams was lost one month ago today to a car accident.  She misses him so much, but also rejoices at his reward in heaven.  A few days before, he had texted her that he wanted the two of them to re-set their youth group on fire together.  Just like Ryan, he is reaching so many through his death that he might not have in his life.  The song and the interview were beautiful and left me crying most of the morning.  Thank you and God bless! <><
9/23/2010 5:17:46 PM
Alexa United States
I was so touched by this story on the radio this morning, but missed the song Frown
Is there any way you could please put it on the website or announce another time it will be played?
I love everyone at K-Love!
9/24/2010 1:21:22 AM
Traci Jones United States
Traci Jones
Thanks K-Love for sharing the story of Ryan, it really touched my heart as I have several health issues since I had cancer. I'm a survivor of 4 yrs and lost my dad 7 yrs ago and miss him horribly. I do know one day God will let us meet again in Heaven.  As I listened to the story of Ryan and how Matthew touch Ryan's family I just sat in aw because life is to short and never know when God is going to call us home.  I try and live each likeit will be our last, but it is hard to do.  I'm so blessed by my doc's during discovering my cancer and taking care of me and still doing doing so.  God has blessed my life in so may ways.
Thanks Matthew and K-love for sharing Ryan's story and for the song you wrote for the family.
May God Bless us all every day.
9/24/2010 3:36:27 AM
Cheryl United States
I was on my way to school when I heard this song and just balled my eyes out. I can not wait to get this song on my iPod!
9/24/2010 2:56:44 PM
mary ann United States
mary ann
i lost my son at age of 3 1/2 in a tragic firework accident. my other son who was 7 at time was burned to but survived. i miss my son jade so much. this song is so beautiful. i struggled everyday still even though been 4 yrs. my friend recently lost her 4 yrold in a drownign accident. it is hard to lose a child, this song is wonderful.
9/24/2010 6:24:19 PM
Christine United States
I was on my to work when this story was on the radio and I heard Mathew's song.  I was so touched by it and wanted to leave this comment.  I have been through so much loss in my life that I often ask God why and when is it going to be enough.  I lost my mom when I was 4 yrs old; my sister was coming home with a brand new car from the dealership with my Dad when they were in an accident.  My dad died instantly and we took my sister off life support the next day.  She was 19; I was 22. 6 months later we lost my step mom and my 3 dogs. This put my brother into a tail spin and he got into drugs and homosexuality.  He died 3 yrs ago of HIV.  I am the only one left.  I always feel so alone and wonder why am I still here on this earth.
9/26/2010 9:33:09 PM
Laura United States
you are all so strong and brave. I pray that you continue to find the strength you need in life. You are all such an inspiration to people who's faith is tested often.  God bless!
9/29/2010 10:03:58 AM
Angie United States
I heard about this interview the afternoon afterwards. I am a regular KLove listener, however, had not listened much last week and wasn't able to listen to the interview as I was attending the funeral service of my 4 mo old grandson, Lyric River. I have been told by a friend that did hear the song though how awesome it is. I was already aware of Ryan's story and how his life has touched so many. My grandson's life and death has changed lives already. I pray that many more are changed. Can't wait to be able to buy the CD to hear all of the awesome music that I am certain is on it!! PS...I guess you can tell by his name that music is an important part of our lives!
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