Gregg: I pastor a church in Charleroi, Pennyslvania. I had somebody approach me after church who bought Matthew’s newest album at his concert with Casting Crowns. She asked me if I shared Sam’s story. She said I had to listen to the song “Too Young Too Soon.”
My daughter Sam died by suicide a year ago due to being bullied in school. Being a pastor and a leader within our community, the news spread pretty quick. I wrote a Facebook post the day after she passed about forgiveness and to choose love instead. The local newspapers picked up on it, as well as the local news stations in Pittsburgh. We shared Sam’s story with the newspaper, which printed an article on the front page the day of her funeral. The headline was “Choose Love.” Three days after the funeral, the local news station aired an interview with us. We started an anti-bullying and suicide awareness fund and began working with several programs. One called “Samantha Speaks.”
Since then, we have been sharing Sam’s story and reaching out to those who have been bullied, and to those who have considered suicide. It’s hard to see so many teenagers who feel this way. That’s why it was so good to hear this song. And of course, as the song sings about a child named Sam, it really hit us. I know this song wasn’t written about our Sam, however, I want to thank Matthew for this song. I believe it was God’s message to us that Sam is not forgotten and that her story will continue to touch lives. We have seen a couple hundred people come to know Christ in our area after hearing her story and about forgiveness.