I woke up exhausted from a long night of performing and partying. I looked at my phone and wondered who I might need to call and apologize to for the night before. That was my first thought every morning. For three months, I had been out every night, drinking and fighting anyone who dared stand against me. It never failed that I would hurt or offend someone in some way. This was my life…but looking at my phone, I realized I didn’t want to be that person anymore.

I hadn’t always been this way. I grew up carefree and happy. My dad was a musician and played in a band. I can still picture him playing his guitar and singing with his friends. His passion was contagious, and I caught it. Music became my life.

My family wasn’t super religious. I guess we were what you’d call CEOs—Christmas and Easter Onlys. On Christmas and Easter, we’d buy new clothes and join other CEOs on a local pew. I did attend a few youth group meetings in my teens and learned a bit about God, but I’d never pursued a relationship with Him. If you asked me if there was a God, I would have said yes…but I didn’t know Him.

I moved to Tallahassee after high school and started up a band called Mayday Parade. We worked hard and ended up performing nationwide on The Warped Tour. We also landed a contract with Fearless Records. It was a musician’s dream come true.

Eventually wanting a more grown-up sound, I left Mayday Parade and started Go Radio. The music was positive and inspired people to reach for bigger and better things. We pushed ourselves to be the best musicians we could be and created a unique sound.

Life was good. I had a record label and a popular band that was traveling the country. But then my dad—my best friend and role model—died from a blood clot. And life went dark. I was 23.


That’s how I felt. Angry at my dad for leaving me and angry at God for allowing him to go. Surely if there was a good God who loved me, He would never have let this happen. My dad was a great man.

After his death, drama overtook our family. People I thought loved me disappeared from my life forever. They wanted nothing to do with me or my siblings. I felt betrayed once again.

My heart hardened, and I turned away from any belief in God. I became an angry, self-proclaimed atheist, angry at the whole world.