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Steven Curtis Chapman On His Parent’s Example, Music, and God’s ‘Glorious Wrecking’ Of His Plans

Photo from Steven Curtis Chapman’s Instagram

Steven Curtis Chapman On His Parent’s Example, Music, and God’s ‘Glorious Wrecking’ Of His Plans

By Movieguide® Contributor

Steven Curtis Chapman recently sat down in the familiar white chair for an I AM SECOND video and shared how his faith and vulnerability carried him through different seasons in his life, including tragedy.

“[A]s a little guy, I got to see the change that Jesus would make, in a heart, and in life in my own dad and my mom and my whole family,” Chapman said. “It didn’t fix everything. There was still a lot of ‘We’re still a mess’, but there was this hope.”

That faith made an influence on him as he pursued being a performer and a songwriter later on.

“When I was in high school, I was kind of the the back in the shadows guy and the guitar player, and songwriter,” the singer said. “ But I had this dream that someday maybe I could sing my songs. Well, as God would have it and write the story, I did get an opportunity to to make a record and record some of my songs and get a record deal.”

God must have had a hand in his songs, as he shared how even early in his career his music impacted others.

“You kind of feel like a friend, just, you know, sitting down in the car beside me just telling me your story and encouraging me in my journey,” people would tell Chapman.

He continues, “Really, my songs, I’ve just been kind of tearing pages out of my journal of my life and saying this is what I’m learning, this is what I’m struggling with. Taking three steps forward. I take two steps back some days, 20 steps back. And I’m going to talk to you about that journey as honestly and as vulnerably as I can.”

The 59-time-Dove Award winner shares that same vulnerability about his marriage to his wife of 37 years Mary Beth and raising six children. Like many newlyweds, although the couple knew marriage would be challenging, they didn’t know at first how hard it would be.

“I began to realize God was revealing a whole lot of my own brokenness, and I saw the things you know, pulls back the curtain and you see things about yourself that are not good,” Chapman said.

They had three biological children (Emily, Caleb and Will) and adopted two girls from China, Shaohanna Hope and Stevey Joy and thought their quiver was full when Chapman met, on another trip to China, a little girl Maria Sue. Initially, they both agreed it would be too much to take on another child, but they soon had a change of heart as he recounts the story:

“My wife was not with me, and I called home ,and I said, ‘Sweetheart, I met this little girl her name is Maria. She needs a family.’ My wife stopped me in the middle of my sentence and said ‘Don’t even think about it. No, there’s no room here and we can’t do this, you know?’ And I said ‘I know. I know. Just pray for Maria. She just needs a family’ And I don’t know why she grabbed my heart like she did. And I came home from that trip and by the time I got home my wife had paperwork, waiting on the kitchen counter, that she’d already started the adoption papers for us to go back in and get Maria and bring her home.

So that’s how we became the parents of six children. Not only would we adopt our three daughters but my wife and I would start an organization called Show Hope that helps families that want to adopt that can’t afford it.

This miracle of adoption… we say it was like the glorious wrecking of our plan and threw our lives upside down in so many ways. But also, again, just brought so much goodness and richness into our lives.”

The Chapman’s “mountaintop” experiences would be derailed by the “deep valleys” when they lost Maria Sue in 2008 after an accident at their home right after her 5th birthday.

“For a guy who’s a fixer to ultimately face the most unfixable thing you could ever imagine as a parent as a husband, How am I going to lead my family through this? Knowing that most marriages and families don’t survive the loss of a child because grief, and that kind of grief, is so devastating,” Chapman said.

The Chapmans eventually went through counseling together that allowed them to work through the tragedy and the strain it was putting on their marriage. “We still have plenty of days when the weight of grief comes and knocks the breath out of us again. Tears come freely without warning or even any explanation sometimes. We know there’s a day coming when every tear will be wiped from our eyes — just not yet,” Chapman said.

Chapman used song to work through their loss as well as reported by Movieguide®:

“Because when I’m sharing my story, I’m really sharing my family’s story,” Chapman explained. “I’m sharing my wife’s journey alongside me. So it’s been a decision that we’ve made together, but it really has been also just — I feel like it’s part of what the calling [God has placed on my life] has been.” The singer-songwriter shared that he finds the most comfort in Old and New Testament stories of people who overcame great struggles and defeats.

“The story of Peter, you know, walking on the water — it’s not just the story of him, ‘Man, he walked on the water,’” Chapman said. “What I’m encouraged by is the fact that he sank and he took his eyes off Jesus and he freaked out and he feared and Jesus pulled him up and he learned from that process.”

He continued, “I’m so glad that God didn’t edit out those vulnerable places in the lives of even His followers in Scripture. In fact, He let some of those most vulnerable failures be written right into the story, and that gives such encouragement to me. … Even as I’ve had this platform and this opportunity, it’s been very important that I stay very honest and that’s really the only thing I have to offer, anyway, is just the honesty through my music and my songs.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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