Episode #296 — Behind the anthems of hope like “Wake up Sleeper”, there’s an extraordinary story. Austin French faced heartbreaking struggles in his youth – physical abuse, poverty & the persistent thought he wasn’t wanted in his own family. But a speaker at summer camp would kindle a faith that drives him to share hope and purpose in music all around the world today.
Austin explains what it was like to go from feeling unwanted to realizing how deeply loved he really was and had always been.
“That’s the most beautiful thing about the gospel. When we were so undeserving, we were so lost and gone – for me, I swore off Christianity – even then Jesus had already paid the price to show me His deeper and deeper affection. He had already rescued me.”
“Even today the more I learn and the more I discover how much He didn’t have to do it, how much I don’t deserve it, how incredible the Creator of the universe is – I see how much more wanted I am. It was a moment when I was 13. And I would say it’s not something I realized and then stopped. It’s something I learn more even now.”
Austin is willing to write from some pretty fearless places. His song “Why God” has the courage to ask some of the hardest questions we all face. It stemmed from one of the toughest moments in his life when he found himself asking, “Why, God?”
“I instantly felt shame and afraid, like I couldn’t say those words and be a good Christian. But then I became a dad a little bit later on, and I understood that season way better.”
“See, my kids aren’t bad kids because they say, ‘Why, Daddy?’ I have 2 kids in the ‘why daddy’ stage and they bring questions about dinosaurs, and the moon, and the sun, and every single booger that comes out of their nose! But they know, no matter the question, they can bring it to their daddy and I listen. I love them, and lead them through it. It doesn’t make them a bad kid. It just makes them a kid, and I’m their dad.”
Austin French is the dynamic recording artist with the powerful single “Wake up Sleeper” from the album of the same name. He’s also telling his incredible story in the new book Jesus Can: My Story of Emerging from Heartache to Hope.