overcoming average(?)

because it’s something the world just needs less of


with 11 comments

this is hard to write about. i kind of need to though.

some months ago i went through a very freeing spiritual experience. also, the recent theft of my music equipment and subsequent donations of music gear that i received had also brought up some issues for me. on top of all this, i’m currently going through a book writing discussion questions in preparation to start leading a small group for guys that grew up like me. this ended up being kind of the perfect storm of introspection. honestly, i know this is good for me in the long run, but this really sucks right now.

up til now, it was definitely a subconscious thing. i know what made me confront it though. of all things, it was the intense generosity of my friends and family. after all my music gear got stolen, people were coming up to me left and right offering their sympathies, money, and pieces of equipment. i couldn’t believe it. it was overwhelming generosity and made me feel so loved on. people truly cared about me and were willing to show it.

and i felt like absolute crap.

nothing added up. i couldn’t figure out why people going out of their way to be a blessing to me made me feel so guilty. in total, i was given over $1600 and a few hundred dollars worth of equipment, and as absurd as it sounds i felt like i was that exact dollar amount of a burden on the people who gave it. and my poor wife; she was so on board with just emptying our savings to buy some stuff back and instead of appreciating her heart i just lashed out with how irresponsible that was, especially considering how little money i’ve been making playing music the past year. i knew how irrational these feelings were, but at the same time it felt so strangely in line with how i live life. i had to think a lot about this and then talk to my wife to figure out what the discrepancy was. i didn’t really like what i found, but at least know i know what it is.

my entire life i have felt like a burden to everyone around me, and guilty that my life would so weigh them down. i know such blanket statements tend to be exaggerations typically, but every word of that statement is true. i think i figured it out when i was a very small child. i remember the day when i learned that my mom and father were never married. i also remember the day when i put together that we didn’t really have money. then i put two and two together and realized that my mom would be so much wealthier if there wasn’t some other mouth to feed, that she would be so much happier if she could go out on a date and not have to worry about abandoning some little kid to do it, and that her life would just be that much easier if some little kid hadn’t forced his way into the universe. no one told me this lie, but i believed it. i had believed it so much that it had become true to me. now i know what it means when people talk about God setting them free. after this recognition of the lie, i had one of the most powerful feelings i’ve ever experienced. i can honestly say it changed me and sort of scared me. i literally said to my wife, “i wonder what it’s going to be like to be loved and not feel like i’m a burden,” and then caught the smallest glimpse of what that really meant. it’s the kind of love that God wants us to feel, and the kind of burden he took on himself so that we could be free.


Written by matt

May 26, 2009 at 2:02 am

11 Responses

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  1. Great post friend!


    May 26, 2009 at 4:42 am

    • Don’t you ever feel like you were a burden to me. I would have done anything for you. You are a gift from God to me. Who needs to date when I had such a great kid at home? You brought so much happiness to my life. I will love you forever and be grateful to God for giving me the best son anyone could hope for. I love you!


      May 26, 2009 at 5:59 am

  2. Thanks for sharing Matt, what do we have to do to get more blog posts out of you?


    May 26, 2009 at 7:05 am

  3. thanks for sharing your heart dude. that was the most honest thing i have read in a while.

    your a gifted writer.


    May 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm

  4. hm, good post. thanks for sharing your thoughts!


    May 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  5. Matt– I know how you feel, and i am so proud of you for expressing such a tough thing with such grace and honesty. You and I struggle with some of the very same issues– overall, I think you do a much better job. Let’s keep working on encouraging each other, ok? Luckily, we also both married extraordinary women; that was just one of the gifts God has poured out on us. You are going to do an AMAZING job leading your new group.


    May 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm

  6. That was beautifully written Matthew! I was there with your mom in the delivery room, and I’m here to tell you… you are loved! Not only by your mom but me too. Our lives would not have been complete without you in them. You have brought such joy and “laughter” to each and every one of us.
    I’m glad you have found some peace within and you can put those thoughts behind you. Live your life happy and free from all those negative thoughts!!
    We love you and Amanda dearly,
    Aunt Jamie & Uncle Mike

    Aunt Jamie

    May 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm

  7. Matt, that is really powerful. There are few people in the world who know true freedom.

    Leah Vis

    May 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm

  8. Matt, How we could love someone so much and not know what was in his heart! You have a whole big Barrett family that doesn’t see you near often enough but each one of us LOVES and respects you and your precious Mom. Aunt LoraLee

    LoraLee Barrett

    May 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm

  9. Bah. I was keeping it together until your mom’s comment. BAH I SAY.

    In all seriousness, I can relate to so much of this. I still struggle with feelings of unworthiness, and don’t know that I pray enough or try hard enough to overcome them. I think I, like you said, am actually scared of what that would look like.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. You are a wonderful person, a good man, and are going to be an incredible father when that day comes. Many blessings on you, my friend.


    May 27, 2009 at 5:33 am

  10. […] aren’t finding the answers they want. Most of this project is going to be based around this blog post, and this one. I’ve gotten a decent start at it, and I hope to finish it some time before the […]

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