"Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone." -"Lead Me" by Sanctus Real
Matt Hammitt had performed his hit song, "Lead Me," almost a thousand times. And every time he sang, the lyrics echoed the voices of his own family. His marriage was strained. His kids were growing up without him. Matt's good intentions could no longer sustain his family; he needed to be a man of action. Yet even as he told his Sanctus Real bandmates that he was leaving the band to invest in his family, he wondered: Was it really possible to be present at home and still provide financially too?
In Lead Me, Matt identifies the tension many men experience when trying to balance work and home life. With bracing honesty, vulnerable storytelling, and practical application, Matt challenges you to be faithful both to God's vocational call and to His call to lead your family well.
Discover the extraordinary joy of actively and intentionally pursuing your wife and children. Matt reminds us that it's messy. It's difficult. And it's the most rewarding thing you can do, beyond following Christ.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Matt Hammitt is a singer, songwriter, and speaker. He was the lead singer for the band Sanctus Real from 1996 to 2016. Matt is the recipient of three Dove Awards and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Read an Excerpt
I couldn’t quit the band. I had a wife and four children depending on me to provide for them. There were mouths to feed, a mortgage to pay, and medical bills to sort out. How could I give up my sole source of income?
But my family needed more than financial provision. Something that another million streams of “Lead Me” couldn’t give them. Sarah and the kids were hungry for me to provide for their emotional and spiritual needs, and I knew it was time for me to do more than just sing about it. I had to step up and be the man I was called to be, to move beyond my good intentions and take action as the spiritual leader of my family.
Throughout my career, I encouraged people to keep dreaming. Dreams are important, even biblical, but when your personal life is stressed to the point of collapsing, I think it’s a sign that you may be chasing your dreams in the wrong direction.
I didn’t have to give up crafting words and music for a living. I needed to find a new context in which to use my gifts, where I could be present and attentive and provide financial support for my wife and kids.
As much as I had leaned on it, a career in Christian music was not my provider. God was. I would have to trust and let go, believing that just as God brought my career with Sanctus Real at the proper time, He would provide each step of the way.
I planned to meet with my bandmates in person, but first I wrote a letter to pave the way.
Chris and Mark,
I’ve wanted to talk with you both over the last few days, but I was concerned that I wouldn’t remember all I needed to say in the moment. I felt that writing this letter would give me a sure opportunity to be clear and gracious with my words.
How do you tell your closest friends that the life they’ve known for twenty years is over? The threads and layers of the life we shared were complex, woven together through time, love, brotherly struggles, and common accomplishments. Our bond was spiritual and emotional, and marked by our physical presence in each other’s lives for almost twenty years. I did my very best.
As a husband, father, leader, and friend, I’m accountable for the things in my life that feel out of balance. I’m responsible to listen to God’s voice and seek what He is trying to teach me in my restlessness. My natural inclination is to strive harder to fix things and to come up with solutions to keep things moving forward at all costs. However, I think Saint Augustine said it best when he wrote, “Lord…our heart is unquiet until it rests in you.”
I felt the weight fall from my chest as I wrote down the words I had bottled up inside.
Obedience requires action, sacrifice, and hard conversations with people you love. Sometimes obedience requires loss and causes questions that are difficult to answer, because walking in faith can’t be perfectly explained. It’s not right or fair to keep what God has been speaking to me hidden. Everyone is searching for direction, and I need to speak out. I’ve come to the place where I know, without a doubt, that God is calling me to step out in faith and walk into a new season, apart from the band.
There was more to the letter I wrote my bandmates, but most of all I wanted to tell them that I loved them and that I was committed to finishing strong.
I boarded our tour bus late on a Thursday afternoon, knowing we had a long ride through the night. I’d practiced the speech that would follow my letter a thousand times over in my head, hoping not to stutter, praying the words would come out right.
The bus lounge was quiet, with only the hum of the engine to soothe my nerves. I had planned to call the band together but found myself alone with Chris and Mark, and one spilled word gave way to another. I explained how I’d felt spiritually restless for so long, how each time I performed “Lead Me,” it burned in my chest that I was not that man. Those words I had written years earlier were still the cry of my heart.
The words I had rehearsed escaped me, and I began to speak from the heart. I let them know that I loved them as brothers, bandmates, friends. They were my family too. But my marriage was strained. The kids were growing up without me. Bowen had made it four years, but the reality was that his disease was progressing. Most of all, I knew that God was calling me to step into a new season of life.
The room became quiet. I took a long breath. “Guys, I’m done,” I said. “It’s hard to say, but…for good.”
Mark got quiet, but Chris became understandably upset. Sanctus Real had started as just him and me, at Toledo Christian School. We were just kids.