A near-fatal attack by an enraged grizzly leads to an unexpected encounter with God for alpha male Greg Matthews in this gripping and engaging story of survival and faith.
Greg Matthews was the ultimate poster-boy for masculinity. Avid hunter and outdoorsman, Air Force and civilian firefighter, EMT, rescue helicopter pilot, fugitive recovery agent, Ground Zero volunteer and more, Greg had spent his whole life striving to serve others but for all the wrong reasons. After his parents’ divorce when he was young, Greg believed deep down that the only way he could be loved and valued—by his father, by his family, and by God—was if he earned it through daring, high-stakes, high-risk—what society commonly refers to as “manly”—achievements.
But everything changed when an idyllic hunting trip through the backwoods of Alaska turned into a harrowing fight for his life. Greg was attacked by a grizzly bear—but the gruesome, nearly fatal conflict offered an unexpected encounter with God. Greg’s eyes, and more importantly, his heart, were finally opened to the lie that he’d internalized as a child: that his dangerously high-risk achievements were the sole signifiers of his worth. The road to recovery was long and painful, but it forced Greg to come face-to-face with the long-held view of manhood he had absorbed as his own identity. The relentless grizzly uncovered something in Greg’s heart: that he was being pursued by an equally persistent God, who loved him unconditionally.
A gripping tale of survival and a rebuttal to outmoded notions about masculinity, Wild Awakening offers an alternative way of living in the world, allowing them to finally see their value in God’s eyes.
Greg J. Matthews has been an US Air Force and civilian firefighter, emergency medical technician, special operations rescue technician, rescue helicopter pilot, fugitive recovery agent, World Trade Center attack first responder, and international consultant on emergency management and security. He currently serves as the US Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division antiterrorism officer. He is the founder of Chase What Matters ministry (ChaseWhatMatters.today). He lives in Plano, Texas, with his wife of seventeen years, Rhea, sons Casey and Benjamin, and daughter Ciara.
James Lund is an award-winning collaborator, editor, and author who enjoys helping people develop their voice and message. He is a publishing veteran who has worked with bestselling authors, public figures, and leaders including Max Lucado, George Foreman, Tim Brown, Kathy Ireland, Jim Caviezel, and others. Three of his projects have earned the ECPA Gold Medallion Award. He lives with his wife, Angela, and children in Central Oregon, where he enjoys hiking, rafting, softball, and performing music with friends.
"Sometimes it takes something dramatic to reach the hidden places in us. It did for me, too. This is a powerful story about the healing every man needs."
– John Eldredge, New York Times bestselling author of Wild At Heart
“The attack was sudden—and horrific. Survival seemed impossible. Greg Matthews not only lived to tell this incredible story, he discovered what it means to really be a man. Don’t miss this inspiring read!”
– Dr. Gene Getz, author, The Measure of a Man
"Greg Matthews is a real man and Wild Awakening is a great read. It is for men who like adventure and want to be all they can be for their country, family, friends, and God. I encourage all men to follow Greg’s example. Buy and read this book. It will make you a better man."
– Robert A. Schuller, author and Pastor
"Greg J. Matthews’ story of survival after an encounter with a ferocious Grizzly is harrowing, powerful and inspiring. Greg’s storytelling is enthralling and his vulnerability is deeply moving. Wild Awakening is a gripping read and will help you lead a life of greater purpose."
– John O’Leary - #1 National Bestselling Author of ON FIRE, inspirational speaker + host of the Live Inspired Podcast