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Grit & Glory, Songs & Stories

Oct 18, 2022

Last week, my friend Mike Foote shared how God dive-bombed his suicide plan and started him on a beautiful faith journey. Stay tuned for some gold nuggets from Mike as well the answer to last week’s Listener Challenge.

(To hear the song, read the show notes or email Mark, visit the Episode Webpage.)

(Mark) Welcome back Mike! So tell us about one of the best pieces of advice that you've ever been given. Maybe how you applied that in your life.

(Mike) You know, I guess the best piece of advice I've ever been given it, really relates back to what we were just talking about, which is just give it to God, you know? And I think that's for many of us, so much easier said than done. I also think there's many times we think we are, but we're not. Right? I'm giving everything to you, God. But then we realize, well, I was giving you everything except for this one thing that I really want. And you know, and it's a piece of advice that, and it wasn't just from people, I mean, it's in God's word. He tells us to do that. People through the years have told me to do that. And I just, I couldn't do it. I couldn't just fully humble myself, you know? And I think there's a lot of reasons for that. You know, I think there's the fact that, you know, we're all sinful. I'm sinful. Certainly there's the fact that, you know, like I said, and I don't wanna say that I didn't grow up with a dad. I have a stepdad and he's been my dad ever since I can remember. But, you know, there is definitely a level of distrust when it comes to relationships. I feel like when you have, especially with fathers, that kind of hurt, it's difficult to trust even to trust God. I found myself saying a lot, I know God loves me, but I don't think He likes me very much. Right? Like, I know He loves me, but He wouldn't wanna hang out with me like on a Sunday and watch football or something. So when I finally took the advice, which, and there was no, there was no thought, like, okay, I have to take that advice now. That didn't even come into my mind until later. It was just the final realization that I had to give up myself. You know, there's a pastor that I, I kind of follow on YouTube, and one of the things he likes to say is, you know, "God knocks us down so we look up" and God certainly knocked me down. I was down as far as I could be and still be alive. I mean, looking back on my life, there's so many times where I shouldn't be alive. Whether it be drug overdose, I mean, I should have been murdered, I'm sure more than once, been in some really dangerous places at dangerous times, doing really stupid things. But God, I know without a doubt that God had His hand on my life and He's had His hand on my life ever since. And that doesn't mean of course I'm gonna live forever. Doesn't even mean that I might live through tomorrow. But He had a plan for me, and He pursued me throughout all of it. And the best thing I could ever do was finally say, God, you are the God of my life.I've tried the job and I suck at it. I am gonna let you do that job from here on out.

(Mark) And that's a daily decision. You know, when we can decide, okay, from this day going forward, right? But tomorrow you have to basically say the same thing from this day going forward, I'm going to, I'm gonna let You run my life. I'm gonna do my part, but I'm gonna let You run my life.

(Mike) Yeah, you know my wife and I were just talking about that. And one thing that we have discovered is, you know, all of the big decisions are almost always followed by a ton of little ones. You know, you know this, right? Just to talk about a little, you know, personally, you know, I've always struggled getting in the word and praying on a daily basis, and you've been really encouraging to me to do that. And I don't know what it was you told me, I can't remember. It was something about start a new habit or something that really clicked in me. So I made the decision, I'm gonna get in the word and pray every day. Well, that was the big decision. The little decision is getting up every day. First thing I do, I come downstairs, I start the coffee, I've got my Bible, and I pray I have a prayer list now. I pray through every day. And I get into the word, even if it's just for a little bit. So the big decisions are great, but you have to follow them up with the little ones.

(Mark) That's right. And that's been a, that's been a new habit for you. And it became a new habit for me, something that I, again, I, make a decision to do every day. I set my clock accordingly. Right? So that's just something that we do. And I love to see that in you. Well, you know, most everybody that's listened to our podcast realizes that Grit & Glory, Songs & Stories was started because somebody said, I love your music, Mark, but I want to hear the stories behind the music. Well, we tell the stories behind the music, but I also like to find how a song applies to somebody's life. And, and today we're kind of featuring the song Imagine Beautiful. And I, I let you kinda listen to all my songs and then you picked this one, Imagine Beautiful. And I would love, to know, and I'd love our listener to know, this song, How does it fit into your story? Imagine Beautiful. How does it fit into your story today?

(Mike) Well, what I thought of when I started listening to it was, you know, what we started talking about, which was that time, about nine and a half years ago, when things were over for me, or at least, so I thought, and I couldn't imagine anything beautiful. It was so dark around me. The way I've always described it is like everything was in shadow. And even the faces of my wife and children would look sinister just because of how dark everything was. And I couldn't imagine anything.

I mean, the best I could think of was, can I just not be in pain for a little bit? But you know, as I'm listening to your song, it just occurred to me that I can, I can imagine now and well not even, I can look back and see all of the beauty that God was doing in my life. And now I can imagine walking with Him, being with Him, working with Him on a daily basis and seeing things I never thought I would see. I mean, imagine beautiful. Imagine watching my daughter walk down the aisle. I mean, I was probably days away from never experiencing that. And for them not having me there, and just the ability to see, the ability to see beauty at all was really not possible for me at the time. And it took a really long time for me to, to really be able to, to kind of get outside of myself and be able to, I don't just look around and see other people for who they were, which were, you know, these are also God's children. I mean, for me, in my life, for years, people were either objects for me to use for one thing or another, or you know, with my horrible self-confidence and people pleasing, I would use them to feel better, try and make them like me, things like that. But Imagine Beautiful, you know, in the line "all the things that we could do". I just see myself walking hand in hand with the Lord with that. And just seeing, and it's not just, I mean, imagining our ultimate destination, you know, being with Jesus and the Lord in heaven, but imagine the beauty of suffering in this life for Him that's a beautiful thing as well. And there just knowing that when you're walking with the Lord, there's beauty in everything because He promises us that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. So, I mean, I feel like there's just so many things I could say about it. And one thing I would say too is I, I love it because I think, I hope people who listen to it, you're not, to me, I didn't feel like, you know, you listen to songs that tell a story and they're great. I love those old singer songwriters, but this one, I immediately knew the story and it was my story.

(Mark) Yeah I was surprised when you first told me that connection you have with Imagine Beautiful but I see it now.

Last week’s Listener Challenge was to find the “What’s Different” in the song. If you have yet listened to Imagine Beautiful, you can hear it on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music…or if that’s easier. Here’s the hint I gave last week:  “it’s in the chorus”

And here’s the answer:

The 1st chorus of Imagine Beautiful goes like this:

Imagine beautiful, all the things that we could do

Imagine beautiful, on the journey with you

Imagine beautiful, we are stronger than before

Don’t know where we’re going

But there’s so much more

Imagine Beautiful

In the 2nd chorus, instead of “Don’t know where we’re going”, it says:

Who knows where we’re going, and there’s so much more

Then in the 3rd chorus it says:

God knows where we’re going and there’s so much more. Imagine Beautiful

Did you catch it? Maybe you need that little bit of hope today. Whatever chorus fits your life best right now, there’s so much more!  So let the music help you connect with God right where you’re at and truly to allow yourself to imagine beautiful in your own life!

I hope Mike’s story will reach many, many people that that might be desperate for something else. And we know what that is. That's a touch from the Lord and a new life.

(Mike) You know, I just wanna say one thing real quick. It's just that, you know, the enemy wants to convince us all that we're alone. We're the only ones that have gone through this, we're the only ones that have struggled with this. I was sexually abused when I was a child. That's not something I never wanted to talk about, but I did. And I can tell you that was when I first came to Celebrate Recovery, one of the first things I was finally able to talk about. And that was the start of the healing for me. So whoever's listening, you know, you've, whatever you've gone through, there are people who have gone through it and have come out the other side of it. And that's what it was for me, sitting around a table with a bunch of people, you know, a bunch of guys who had been through and were going through what I'd been through at least something similar. And they had somehow made it through with God's help. So please talk to somebody. Know that you are not alone, that God is with you, that He grieved when that happened to you, whatever that was. And He is ready if you are. I'm telling you, if you are ready to give up control of your life and say, God, your will be done. He is ready right now to connect you with a ton of different people who can help you and to shower you with just amazing blessings to get you through each and every day. And it's not gonna be a cake walk necessarily, but you're gonna be so amazingly glad you did it.

(Mark) Right on. That's fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate you taking the time here late at night to be able to do this with us. It means a lot to me personally and I’m sure it means a lot to our listeners as well.

If you’re listening today and can relate to Mike’s story or you want to know how you can experience a new life with God too, I’d love to hear from you. You are not alone. Shoot me an email at or through the GGSSPodcast website. Imagine beautiful is for you as well!