FAN STORIES

How has Tenth Avenue North impacted your life? Read through inspiring fan stories and submit your own:

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It had started on June 17, 2011 at a christian festival… where i came up to Mike Donehey sharing a little bit of my story and gave him a letter that explained the whole story because i knew he didn’t have the time to hear my entire story. After giving him the letter… I gave him my razor blade… and told him that I was done with it! No more pain. After doing that, I just went to see all of the artists performing on stage and stuff at the christian festival. I could tell that mike was impacted by it because he kept looking at me the entire time. After the christian festival was over… I saw that Mike ended up tweeting about me… of how i gave him my razor blade and how the song “You Are More” freed me. Later on, weeks went by and i found out that I’d just created a movement of “You are more than a cutter.” I ended up finding out that Mike shared my story to thousands of teens and adults in dozens of concerts in dozens of different states. I also ended up finding out that my story saved many girls and they gave up their razor blades. I was just shocked… I didn’t know my story could be that impactful. Now this year, June 17, 2012, will be my one year anniversary from being free from self harm. I used to think the choices I made was who I was. I actually believed in that my whole life. That was of a mindset I had until that day. I accepted Christ as my savior in the fall of last year… and go to children’s ministry now where I teach little kids about God. I am in the worship band for my church in Atlanta. I’m also in my own band. I’m involved with “To Write Love On Her Arms”, telling people my story and how Tenth Avenue North and God opened my eyes and saved me! :) And I can’t wait to celebrate my one year anniversary! So here I come, June 17th! :) I’m trying to prevent self harm now by using facebook, twitter and instagram! Thank you God for saving me :) so this is my story all, and the people who have been saved by this story… i’m glad to know that i’m not alone. :)

Submitted by: Leyanet

Tenth Avenue North changed the way I live my life. Their music helps me through problems and gives me answers. I am now becoming a fully devoted Christian, following what God wants me to do. Tenth Avenue North has helped me realize what I should do. If the band is reading this, thank you :)

Submitted by: Aika

I saw Tenth Avenue North in concert at OneFest and it brought me and three people, one family, so close. Closer than close, but I can’t forget about the bystander, Jeremy. He was a friend of my best friend’s brother. The cutest thing, I think he really grew close to God that night, as well as myself. I thank TAN every day. :)

Submitted by: Ashley

I had seen Tenth Avenue North at the Rock and Worship Roadshow on March 3, 2012 in Seattle. About two weeks ago, I was visiting family in Sioux City,  IA. I heard that TAN was going to be at a festival called Risefest. So my family and I went to go see them! The day finally came and I was so excited to see them again in concert! But my nephew Sam had doubts and started making fun of the band and telling me, “They’re probably not that good in concert Jessi!” I was angry, but I was reminded of a song from TAN called “Losing” and I started asking God to give me grace to forgive him, ’cause I feel like the one losing. Picture this: A huge crowd huddled around a big stage, I was in the front row standing next to two young ladies, as the crowd started to cheer when the band entered the stage. About halfway through I was singing and praising God when one of the girls next to me falls to her knees crying her eyes out. I knew how she felt because I did the same at the other concert. I knelt down and started rubbing her back and telling her “It’s okay.” She finally got up through her tears and held on to me for so long I started to cry along with her. It was then I knew how wonderful God’s love for us is. I could feel a wave of love coming both from the music and from God himself! Thank you so much TAN!! You impact so many lives with your music and Mike’s teaching!! Love you guys so much and I can’t wait to see you in concert again! This is how TAN impacted my life!

Submitted by: Jessi

I am bipolar and I used to cut and tried suicide twice. Listening to UR< helped me stop cutting. I went to a concert and got saved. Still trying to tell them thanks!

Submitted by: Cariah

Hello I’m Amanda, my story begins when I was in middle school and I had lost two of my best friends. I felt lonely and lost. I felt like no one accepted me or liked me. I was scared to make new friends because I feared they would turn away from me. I saw TAN in concert at a music festival in South Dakota. They changed my life with their music and message! I am now a stronger Christian than I was ever before. I am ready to take on the challenges I will face going into high school now and try to accept everybody. I will not be scared because I know I will always have somebody on my side that will NEVER leave me. I want to know what its like living for Christ. Thanks for getting me back on the right track TAN!

Submitted by: Amanda

It started a year and a half ago, my friend Axel was listening to some random song on his iPod and I got curious. I didn’t really want to ask what it was, since all he listened to was christian music, but ended up popping the question anyways. He told me he was listening to a song called “By Your Side” by a band I had never heard of. Tenth Avenue North. It sounded pretty good and had a nice beat to it so I asked my friend if he could load it onto my own iPod. Well, he ended up downloading the whole album instead. As I sat and listened to the melody flow and the beat progress the speakers of my headphones, the words started to speak to me. Soon enough, I was curled up into a ball on my bed crying. As Mike Donehey’s voice sang out above the music, his words of truth and love surrounded me. It had been so long since I felt loved. But, in that moment as Mike Donehey sang of the Lords love I felt it. A tiny sliver of hope rising inside of my heart and maturing into a new-found love. Until that moment, I rejected God just as my parents rejected me. It was most likely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to accept. Even to this day it’s hard for me to receive love with open arms, but listening to Tenth Avenue North helps me to see that God won’t ever reject me. And that no matter what happens, he will always be By My Side!! Thank you so much Tenth Avenue North, because without your music, I never would have heard Axel listening to “By Your side” and would have been stuck in the depression and rejection that ate away at my heart and soul.

Submitted by: Maddi K

I became a fan of the band in 2011. I guess you could say I was struggling. I’ve always believed in God. It was never a question or doubt. But I think in many ways I was disconnected. I’ve gone through so much disappointment in my life, mainly disappointment in myself. I wasn’t where I wanted to be or where I had imaged myself to be. I graduated college, but somehow in the past three years had not found the dream job. The job I did have, I was seeing failures come and go. I didn’t feel good enough. But somehow in 2011 that started to change. There was this pivotal moment when I subbing for a 1st/2nd grade class. I had gone out to the store during my lunch break for some reason was drawn to this one particular book. I started reading it that day and it had me crying. Literally bawling my eyes out. In addition I was currently writing a story of this girl who was going through some stuff. Writing is my deepest passion. Anyway, I was writing this story and searching for a song to inspire me or help describe one of my characters and came across a song. From there it led me to listening to several Christian artists and me writing in a journal to God each day, rediscovering my faith. I first discovered Tenth Avenue North in that journey. I was listening to Christian radio and each time their song You Are More would come up and I felt like God was speaking to me. Through all the struggles I have gone through in my life and all the pain of disappointment I fought through, I finally realized I was more than what I thought of myself. God had bigger plans in store for me. Since then the band has helped me so much. Through each song they encourage, inspire, and lift me up. I may still be struggling in this life, but now I know there is a reason. I still have not gotten the dream job, but I know for now where I am at is where I need to be for now even if it has it’s hurdles sometimes. It’s those hurdles that make me stronger.

Submitted by: Christina

The song “You are More” actually got me through high school. Every hard time I had and every time I found myself laying in my bed crying my eyes out I would put on their music and the words would dry my tears away. Without this music there is no way I would be as close as I am to God now. Thank you Tenth Avenue North, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.

Submitted by: Rachel

“You Are More” found me on my bathroom floor, crying, with blood running down my arm. I had cut again. I thought I was done with the cutting, I thought I had quit but no and I felt so much guilt but with the radio on and that song playing, God broke me, and through that song he healed me. Whenever I feel guilt or shame I can play that song, and well things are so much different. I was going to commit suicide about 7 months ago because I couldn’t deal with the guilt and shame of my past of cutting and sexual immorality but God healed me through that song. Tenth Avenue North’s music is more than just songs and lyrics, it’s hope, it’s love, it’s peace. They’re such a blessing to me and i’m eternally grateful to God for calling them and working in their loves, and to them for accepting God’s calling.

Submitted by: Rachel

I’ve been a fan of Tenth Avenue North for about four years, despite not being a Christian during that time, I’m 38 years old from Newark, England, who’s life began to fall apart three years ago. I was self employed when work and money just dried up, I struggled to cope and sank into a steady depression fuelled by alcohol, I shut myself away from my partner and my two young kids and spent what little money I had coming in on cider and wine, leaving my partner to deal with everything else. At the end of last year I managed to get a full time job and regular money, but my problem with the alcohol was getting worse. One Tuesday evening in March this year things at home come to a point where my partner told me it was over, we still live together but as a relationship goes it over and I was devastated, she told me in uncertain terms there was no going back. I descended even further for the next week, I wasn’t eating and drinking more than ever, the suicidal feeling I had fought over the last few years came back and I knew at that point things had to change. My partner is a practising Christian, I asked if could see her Pastor, I had to speak to somebody to make some sense of everything, I met with him on the next Monday, confessing all that had happened over the last few years and my alcohol problem that I had hidden from everyone. The next day things felt a lot better, then that night I got a message in my head, I had to listen to “Healing Begins”, the message was coming to me over and over again, I’ve had this song on my iPod for 2 years and listened to it about 30 times, but I couldn’t get this urge out of my head, so walking home I put the song on, it was as if these lyrics were written for me, they described exactly how I had built up walls to hide my problems from everyone, even myself and it was time to let these walls come down, I cried as I listened to the song over and over again that night. I took the song as my anthem, my guide to getting better, for the next couple of months it was the first thing I listened to in the morning and the last thing at night, it was there when I was troubled and there when I was happy. The next night after a stressful, long day at work I got home and instead of reaching for a can or a bottle the thought of drinking didn’t even cross my mind, usually if I tried not to drink I would get edgy, start walking around the house until I just had to go get a drink, that night was different and before going to bed, after listening to Healing Begins, I prayed for the first time in my life for the strength to get through this. On the 29th March 2012 I had my last drink, as I write this that was 25 weeks ago yesterday, on the 1st April 2012 I walked into Church for the first time ready to start a new journey, it’s not been an easy ride, at times it was painful when the withdrawals kicked in, but my life is now so much better, I’m back in control and was Baptised back in July. I can’t thank the guys enough for their songs, not just Healing Begins, but others like By Your Side and Strong Enough to Save helped also and the new album is just brilliant. I believe God used their music to get through to me that night, that urging to listen to Healing Begins that night was a message that I could no longer ignore, it brought me out of the darkness and allowed Grace to collide with the dark in me, sparks to fly, I am forever grateful. I will be the first in the queue for tickets if they ever decide to tour the UK.

Submitted by: Wayne

The way Mike explains where fear comes from has completely changed the way I view life. I mean, why believe a lie? That’s so stupid! And “Losing”…this song has meant so much to me. There are so many people I could hate, but when I think of this and how Jesus doesn’t hate me even though I deserve it, just wow!! Forgiveness can be so hard, and it helps me just to know that someone else feels the same way I do. Thank you so much ,Tenth Avenue North, for letting God use you to touch my life. Your music is a HUGE inspiration to me!!

Submitted by: Audrey

I was born into a Christian home, but I felt alone, abandoned, unloved and hopeless… among other things a lot of times. This is when I first heard “By Your Side”, it automatically became my favorite song. As I continued to digest the meaning of it, God spoke to me through so many tribulations and kept reminding me that I am His, that He’ll never leave me and that He loves me. That was exactly what I needed to hear and Tenth Avenue North helped me realize that. With “You Are More” too! When people provoke me, hurt me and take me for granted I somehow come across “Losing” and am once again reminded of the truth, to forgive. Tenth Avenue North has helped me see light in many things, and even though I’m not from America I hope to see them live someday! Many thanks for all their creativity in the best Christian way possible, I am who I am today because of it all.

Submitted by: Alexandrea

I have been a fan for almost two years now. First heard of them at a Third Day concert where Tenth Avenue North opened for them… the song “By Your Side” has always spoken to me. I will be in my bedroom crumpled on the floor crying while listening to that song… I really don’t know why, I just cry during it. At the first Tenth Avenue North concert I went to, during that song, I could feel that God was there in the concert moving throughout the people, including myself. Since that day, I haven’t been the same. I can really tell the difference! If you think God can’t do anything, think again!

Submitted by: Hannah

The first time I heard Tenth Avenue North I was about 12 years old. That was the first time I heard the song “You Are More” on TV. It was the song that made my day. I was going through a time of depression with having a dad arrested and mom being so mean to me… By the actions that she does or her words. Hearing “You Are More” made me feel that God is telling me you are very valuable to me and I love soo much that I died for you!! Man, you guys (Tenth Avenue North) are Awesome!!! Thank you sooo much!! Love you guys!!

Submitted by: Lucy

My wife and i were going through a very difficult time… I thought it would be healing to take her to a Casting Crowns concert, loe and behold the opening act was Tenth Avenue North… The both of us really resonated with “Healing Begins”… Man I love that bass riff… I was a bass player in a very rucous band called the Happily Rejected… It was very damaging to my marriage – late nights, drugs, alcohol abuse… I gave it up as soon as I started to realize that being a father and a husband was much more important… After a while my wife got me involved with the church band and I played bass for the church band. It was then when I realized how amazing christian music was… I started listening to it solely… It has every genre you can imagine and when you sing in God’s name it gives you a feeling that is indescribable .. After leaving the concert many years ago, I got home and one of the first things I did was pick up my guitar and learn a scaled down version of “By Your Side.” That song has such power and beauty… anyways, HERE is my attempt at that song many years ago.

Submitted by: Matt

I have been diagnosed with multiple different mental illnesses since I was three years old, including ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, and Borderline Personality Disorder, just to name a few. My current diagnosis is Schizoaffective disorder(a more severe form of Schizophrenia), ADHD, and Asperger’s Syndrome. I was in 2 residential treatment facilities as a child, and was hospitalized about 12 or 13 times as a child, and twice as an adult. All but one of those times was because I almost tried to commit suicide, and the one other time I did try. I had to be placed in an ICU for 2 days so they could monitor my heart, and it was at that time that I really started reflecting back on my life. I had been bullied pretty much every day from the beginning of 7th grade all the way to the last day of high school. I have been called “Pumba” from the movie The Lion King because of my weight, I have had milk cartons thrown at me for four days straight during lunch at school, and at one point the bullying got so severe that we had to consider filing charges against a mother because she threatened to kill me, just like I had supposedly threatened her daughter. My family had basically been shunned by almost everyone at one of our former churches because I was “different from the other kids”. I had been a Christian my whole life, but around age 17 or 18, I started looking into other religions, such as the Wicca religion. I had recently started to lose interest in that religion, and had begun looking back to Christianity. I was still a little wary – until tonight, that is: March 3rd, 2013. I went to Tenth Avenue North’s concert as a gift from my mom, but little did I know it would change my whole outlook on life in less than 7 hours. When they started playing the song “Worn”, that was when I started bawling. Like Mike said, it seemed that the song was written just for me. I have been so worn out from all that has happened in my life, that I had just given up on everything. As they continued to play, I couldn’t stop crying, and was wiping tears from my face non-stop. It was then that I realized this was God working through the hands of Tenth Avenue North to speak to me and tell me that he really is there. I have recently dropped out of college because I was starting to have doubts about what I wanted my major to be; It had been Human Services, specifically a Mental Health Counselor so that I could help others like myself. Now I am 99.9% confident that IS what I want to do, and, if possible, I would now like to incorporate the love of God into it. I hope that this story reaches everyone who has ever felt like me: worthless, a failure, and just that life is not worth living anymore. Because that is not true at all. Although you might not see it right now, God DOES have a plan, for each and every one of us, even those who stray from the path. Tenth Avenue North has completely changed my whole outlook on life, and I plan on spending the rest of my days living for God. Thank you, TAN, thank you so very much.

Submitted by: Cynthia

Hey :) my name is Hannah! Tenth Avenue North has made an impact on my life as well as some other family members! My mom had taken me and my cousin to a TAN concert and she was on her phone the whole time so she didn’t really listen… but she took us to another TAN concert and after their 2nd song (Strong Enough to Save) she tapped my shoulder and her face was red as a tomato and she said, “Anyone got any tissues?” We both laughed and during Worn she broke down again and next thing i knew she was lifting her hands in worship! I know, i know that must sound regular to you… but i haven’t seen my mom lift her hands ever since she stopped going to church!!! so thank you Tenth Avenue North :) love you forever!!!

Submitted by: Hannah N