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Wild Awakening: How a Raging Grizzly Healed His Wounded Heart (ep. 172)

Greg Matthews

John O’Leary is joined by Greg Matthews as he shares how past hurts can be healed, and today can be more impactful + joy-filled than you ever thought possible on the Live Inspired Podcast.

Greg Matthews has spent most of his life serving our nation. Looking at any one of his very long list of accomplishments would equate to more significance and impact than many of us could hope to amass in a lifetime. And yet, Greg never felt it was enough. He was incredibly driven… for all the wrong reasons.

Until a gruesome, nearly fatal encounter with a grizzly bear gave him an unexpected encounter with God and an inflection point that completely changed his life.

Greg joins us to share how past hurts can be healed and today can be more impactful and joy-filled than you ever thought possible.

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  • For over 27 years Greg is protecting and serving, currently as Anti-Terrorism Officer for Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Greg recalls a vivid + emotional memory of loading boxes into his father’s car. This shattered his foundation, leading him to believe he was unworthy and unlovable.
  • Greg shares horrific stories from the search of his NYFD Rescue 5 friend Andre Fletcher at Ground Zero after 9/11.
  • Every year, Greg’s dad would take him + his two brothers on a yearly hunting trip, instilling the love of the outdoors in them.
  • September 22, 2015: On a 10-day big game hunt in 14-miles in backcountry Alaska with his brother, Greg was attacked by a 650-pound grizzly bear causing severe trauma + bleeding.
  • Greg credits a multitude of physical and spiritual miracles, including the courage of his brother to confront the bear.
  • “There is purpose, fulfillment, and joy by pressing into your pain.”
  • Get Greg Matthew’s book Wild Awakening: How a Raging Grizzly Healed My Wounded Heart here.
  • Learn more about Greg Matthews on his website Chase What Matters here.

Greg mentions the importance of Live Inspired Podcast guest William Paul Young’s book The Shack. Tune into ep. 19 as Paul shares how to move past trauma, embrace faults and stay within the grace of one day.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Bible and The Shack by William Paul Young. We’ve welcomed William Paul Young as a Live Inspired Podcast guest. Listen to ep. 19 as William shares

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Sharing my wonderful heart.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My family.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Jesus Christ to thank him for knitting me together and saving a broken-hearted little boy.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t sweat the small stuff, and Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.”

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Your father in heaven loves you. Your dad loves you. It’s okay to love Greg. There is stuff that’s loveable within you.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Greg Matthews did everything he could to be the father and husband that Jesus Christ created him to be.


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