- [Matty] If you are created to live a life which is entirely free, instead of living a life which demands and requires affirmation from others-- So I grew up on an estate in the inner city of Bradford and the environment was very negative.
I was being physically attacked and verbally attacked on a daily basis.
I was always encouraged as a child to have ambition and aspiration for my life.
But I guess in that environment it's not really encouraged.
I was bullied because I was different.
It made me put a lid on who I actually was.
It stopped because instead of being who I knew I should be, I started to be who the bullies wanted me to be, whoever in school said that I should be instead.
I just looked for ways to find security in the affirmation of friends rather than anything else.
For me, home was just a refuge from everything that was going on in the streets and the school and somewhere I felt safe.
But then, my dad had a severe epileptic fit and that just sent him into a bout of depression and anxiety.
Your dad is always like your constant source of strength when you're struggling, and to see that removed placed a serious doubt in my life of where my security came from.
My security was never fully replaced.
It was more of a continuous process of trying to replace it with temporary things.
This led to me being involved in the youth band at church.
It sort of gave me a fit in church.
And also in a sense, gave me a security in terms of feeling like I was good at something.
When I first started, it was really about me."
I was like, "Oh wow, I get a chance to sing.
I get a chance to be on that stage.
And then there was an event which happened, which just really changed my perspective on the whole thing.
What I discovered was that there was a deeper purpose to my life than just singing a few songs.
It was actually to help people find out who they were and find God as well.
So last year I was admitted into the hospital with what appeared to be pretty straight-forward appendicitis.
It wasn't until the operation that they found out that it could've been fatal.
It turned out if they didn't operate when they did there was quite a high chance that I could've died.
I was in the hospital for 11 days just recovering.
That whole event sort of just shifted my perspective to realise that every day is, in fact, a gift.
What I found is, in that time whilst I was out of church, what was more important was the intimate relationship with God and being able just to talk to Him.
Without the lights of church, without being on stage, I can actually just spend time with Him in the hospital bed.
When you know how much God values you, it gives you a sense of peace and a sense of security in that your value is no longer in stuff that you do, it's no longer in what people say about you;
but rather, it's in a God whose value is never-changing and you are able to face things with a more fearless approach than you were before.
Jesus, He tells me that I'm valued higher than I could ever imagine and that there's a freedom for me to live in which is so free that the opportunities are endless.