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Classic Interview | Finding My Identity: An Conversation with Austin Carlile

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2022 3:00 am

Classic Interview | Finding My Identity: An Conversation with Austin Carlile

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 12, 2022 3:00 am

Pastor Greg Laurie sits down with Austin Carlile, former vocalist from Of Mice & Men about his journey to faith. Austin recounts the years he spent running away from God and how he came into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Although he was raised by Christian parents, Austin Carlile grew angry with God after his mother’s death and pursued satisfaction in a music career. Having spent years in the band Of Mice & Men, Austin Carlile had it all: money, fame, and a fast lifestyle. He performed alongside Kanye West, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, and others, but inside he had a hole in his heart that only God could fill. Diagnosed with Marfan syndrome and undergoing many surgeries, Austin had to turn to the one person who could save him: Jesus Christ. 

God had a plan for Austin's life, and He has a plan for your life. If you would like to learn more about entering a personal relationship with Jesus, just go to


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Everybody Greg Laurie here.

You're listening to the Gregori pod. Justin, my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry.

Just go to our website so thanks for joining me for this podcast he let's welcome off the Carlisle often while what we just met before the service and what an amazing story. You have the I can want to pick up on that lyric that you were just singing there and were you saying I need your love like a boy needs his mother's side right and so that was a big moment in your life a horrible moment a painful moment that I'm sure affects you to this very day. Still, and that was the day that your mother passed into eternity and you are very close to her.

She was a very nurturing mom.

She wrote notes and told you how much you love you all the time and in so your mom and dad your reason. A Christian home and your dad was more the disciplinarian your mom was more nurturing and you even said when you were speaking not long ago that you were more of a fan of your mom than your dad right so so here you are raised in a Christian home and and you have a call from your grandmother to good out of the hospital.

Can it take us to that moment. My grandmother called me. I was working at a barbecue restaurant at the time and she told me that my mother had passed out and I went to the hospital where she was and I got there at the same time as the ambulance and they were pulling my mother out of the back of the ambulance and that ended up being the last time that I saw my mother, I came into the room a couple hours later and they told me that she had passed away and my grandmother was with me and she took a left to go see the body and I took a right and I ran out of the front door of the hospital and I threw my hands in the air and I cursed God for the very first time in my life, and at 17 years while so this event just rocked your world. You're obviously angry at God, you found out what you thought your mother died of a heart attack but as it turns out, is it Marfan Marfan syndrome. So tell us what that is and what happened yes or she she had; Marfan syndrome and we weren't aware that she had it. It's a genetic tissue disorder to connective tissue disorder that's genetic and it was passed down to me. They thought she had a heart attack but she had an aortic aneurysm and her heart ruptured and date each day because of its genetically passed down. They assume that I had it at that time and used to play baseball and had stop playing ball to going to college and I found out that I had the mutant gene and I was positive for Marfan syndrome which there's no cure and that's why I'm so long in linking skinny and for my problems to heart problems to back problems to hit rid feet, neck, pre-much the entire body. So you cursed God, why did you curse God Austin where we see just like God abandoned you got field you what what brought you to that point.

Curse God because I serve God, right in the beginning. Growing up I was raised in a Christian home, my mom and dad were youth leaders and music leaders and elected orphanage for two years just to live on the kids and I was my parents heart hearts and my moms especially and she was the only person that I had. She was a single mother at the time my parents had been been divorced for a few years and she was all I had and she was my she was the reflection of Jesus and I have. I was I was so impacted by her in her life and what she did for us and so I curse God because I couldn't understand how he would take this woman that served him and loved him and reflected him away from her boy and left me with with nothing giving me this disease on top of that, seafront outlets or music 19 now you're getting into music and ultimately you start a band called, of mice and men and and you said that music became your new God so what does that mean became my new God. I put everything into it.

All of my time, my energy, my effort, heart, my finances, you know, I wanted to live and I wanted God to hate me as much as I hated him and I wanted all that anger and rage, and I found music is my new God because I could pour all of the anger and rage into it before I was into violence and running with a crowd that I should have ran with and music was an outlet for me so that I wouldn't pass away like some of my friends were go to prison because the lifestyle that I was living and so God for music.

Then in my words will save my life.

So your bread and a lot of success. You are up to her with all kinds of been through some of the band you toured with avenged sevenfold corn Linkin Park slipknot Marilyn Manson did festivals with the magic dragons. The 1975 Connie West. Many minivans like that. So you you knew Chester Bennington. He was of someone that you think you recorded the song with them or did something other than the eye.

We played a song together life for our world so that we do with that universal week we read of people. These horrible suicides of like Chester Bennington and in others who were at the pinnacle of success and it's hard for us to understand them either some young people right now. Maybe there in the music and that would be their dream to be in Iraq right and to have all that success in adoring crowds and thousands of people chanting their name it. I watch as a special on Netflix about VG you know the electronic dance music DJ and he was just have this amazing success, but ultimately he became a raging alcoholic. He was destroying his body and then at the end of the special which was really about is likely just black screen came up and said he committed suicide.

What what happened to me. What is it like to be at the top and then be so despondent you would say I want to take my life. I've been there.

As we just talked and I work on your green room.

I attempted suicide. I thought that I had nothing and then when I was in the world and getting that success from the band I still had that hole in my heart and I still had to this day I see it now is in the cross shape hole and I didn't know what I was seeking. I kept trying to fill it with all these other things and the more success the band would gain more parties and and getting to go to these different places and hang with these cool people and I kept pouring I kept finding my identity in the band and in my success and you know the world and Satan offer on one hand this live, say, finances will make you happier. This new car or the social media things are.

These parties are this this outfit and on.

That's a lie. All of that stuff is so temporary and superficial. And that's the stuff they pump and I wonder the same thing when you get to that level and you have all these things of the world says will make you success will make you happy and people are still so empty and I see now that it's because they don't have Christ, but then there constantly searching for new things and constantly searching for things to feel that in their in their life, so that they can either feel nothing or feel something and that's impossible without Christ and that's what I had to learn the hard way is I knew I needed Christ. I knew that that was who I needed to turn to be had. I filled my life with all these other things just because I didn't want anything to do with him and the moment when I finally gave my life to God and started following God was because I saw that no matter what success the Vanderbilts no matter what I did. This was after a world tour with with Linkin Park and I was still so antsy and I knew that I had to get my foot out of the world and into Christ because I was just going to keep doing the same things over and over and over so you're on the road, your bus was known as the party bus.

You know in your you're drinking alive near smoke a lot of weed and all that and and you said that you felt empty hurt and lost.

And so, your dad, your mom is really gone on to heaven, but your dad who you probably don't of the close relationship with. At that point because he sort of a representative of God to you in a way you call your dad and would just save your data.

What are the say to you, I asked my dad what am I doing like he could answer for me. I asked him what is the purpose of this what is the meaning of this is expressing how hurt and and how lost I was and I felt and I never like to talk to my dad's like you said he was that representative of God, and I was so angry with him when I was a kid now as an adult we become so close and especially now as a believer him and I've just solidified that because I respect how he disciplined me and I admire and I'm grateful that he wash my mouth out with soap and spanked me and told me know it's a big part of why am the man that I am yeah a part is watching and you which are that's a very good but I called my dad is he was. He was a pastor and in you know he does have his life altogether, but us as Christians don't really have our lives together anyways but thinks the God we have we have something we have everything through him but I called him because I knew the answer to his site.

I knew the answers to my own questions already and his response. All of that was sadly where is God in your life and that struck my spirit. Instruct me because I knew God was there. God is everywhere, but when he said where is God in your life. He met where you where you bringing God into your life where you walking with them. Are you talking to him leaning on him. Are you still running from him and I was I was battling him tooth and nail to run the other way and you can't you can't ice you can't spend all that time resisting someone that you can't resist and I spent all of my resistance on someone that I can't resist. So what happened in Austin. I went back down into the bus and party yeah but the next few months been turned into a year. My spirit Hearing that where is God in your life where is God in your life and that's what prompted me because I knew that God was right there. God just wanted me to come to heaven exactly how I was with exactly what I was going through with all of that pain that hurt all those things in my heart that I didn't want to give to him. God already knew my heart and he loves us and he loves us so much that he gives us a choice to love us. He doesn't just say you love me that's not true love, the choice he gives is that choice and he was talking to my heart to get me to make that choice and it took a year to I try to get my life together. Try to become sober and it wasn't working. I was just spinning my wheels and one day we were in the studio recording the same studio as Whitney Houston were she didn't and we are in New Jersey and are our apartment was overlooking a graveyard and I don't know if you've ever been to New Jersey but he got to add a graveyard to have an apartment overlooking something for it to be dreary and sad, just not what you want to be the people in Jersey are great and the sandwiches but I I was coming off of opioids and I stop smoking marijuana and I couldn't get therapist trying on my own as I got to get my life altogether before come back to Jesus had to get everything together. He's not want me like this. I know how you know supposed to be and it didn't work and I was writing lyrics for a song I literally put down the pen overlooking that cemetery and I said okay.

Got I'm done. No more me no more trying no more of me no more. Anything that has to do with anything of my own strength. My own own knowledge is not much I need you and I said I need you. I crave you I desire you. I have to have you because I can't do anything without you I said I give up and I gave my life to him and when I when I prayed that I told them use my hands use my feet use my talent. Use whatever gifts you get any and and you take the wheel and you go because I have no idea what I'm doing and he took the wheel three months after that he actually took me out of the band and that started this whole journey up to where I am now but because of my Marfan syndrome I had had hit the small, but hip surgery rib surgery, heart surgery, foot surgery, ear surgery countless back procedures who in here has had an epidural many moms I've had about 20 of those I've had about 40 or 40 sets of trigger point injections and while on our last tour that we ever did.

I was singing and every time I would sing. I was in more pain than usual to the point of where I couldn't I was throwing up and having to be in a ball on stage singing into the mic is up and I was having so much pain in the back of my head in my back and we had to cancel the tour and I found out when I flew to Stanford I flew from London to San Jose and they found out that I was having cerebrospinal fluid leak CSF leaks and the sac that surrounds my spine which is full of all the fluid was had tears in it and every time I would sing my spinal fluid was pushing out to my back and it was toxic to my body and was making me sick and I toured for about a month like that and that was the final straw. My doctor said as soon as I got there in October 2016. They said you can't do this anymore. Austin and they had been telling me that for for five years but I kept pushing on this music was all that I had music saved my life and I have to do it have to do it even if it kills me and I got to the point where it could've the five you mix in Whitney Houston. It's interesting them that studio because you know she had huge success, but she died effect will be of a drug overdose and I read an interesting article about Olivia psychologist wrote a book she mentioned Whitney Houston and she mentioned Michael Jackson.

She said people think drugs kill them. She said drugs didn't show them the problem was they were always trying to hit the high note.

The idea was they were searching for something maybe something they fold up moments. Maybe something like you fell in performances before thousands of people they were trying to maintain that high and drugs was a way to artificially may be replicated, but they weren't able to do it. Ultimately, that became their demise. But you know so you think of the course. Whitney's life took and we think of the course of your life.

Talk about same studio were you both recording and now here you are today and you know you're a Christian, but you're not living a pain-free life you're still battling Marfan syndrome and you but you're telling me an amazing story that you're engaged in and tell me where you met your Rob right to be. I III stepped into a dream about my fiancé but I met my fiancé in the hospital at Stanford University. I was speaking at accident in San Diego at a church and I had to cancel my flight to Goose Creek.

At the very next day so that I could fly to Stanford because I was having an allergic reaction glued to my ribs and my I was looking like this and my doctor flew me to Stanford and on the Monday following two days after that I met my body and she was a patient at Stanford for about three years I've been there for seven and we had never met and we met in the hospital because she has a brain tumor and praise God that the cancer is not there anymore.

And that's something that we had something that we we bonded on when we first met a because of our health and we saw that's we we met someone finally understands. But we bonded more. When I prayed with her prayed for her tumor and when I pray for her tumor. I pray for God's will over her tumor. I didn't demand healing. I didn't. She's wasn't healed so I do pray hundred more times. I pray for God's will. And she called me back and how much that impacted her because she said everyone demand healing. God can do anything he wants us. She said God left this tumor in my head for a reason and God can do whatever he wants with with anything of my life and she she recognizes that is something that God is using and for the past three years, and raising her little girl and raising being a single mom with this issue its turn her into a warrior and there is no way that we either one of us would have been prepared for each other unless it was for what God was doing in our lives and leaving in our lives medically and just like Esther for such time as this.

You have no idea the things that God is bringing you through in building through you in doing to you. Even as painful as they may be because he uses every single thing for his glory and his word and I all can't believe I'm saying this on stage with Greg Laurie but I hated the verse delight in the ways of the Lord will give you the desires of your heart for two years. I'm delighting in you. God, I'm delighting in your ways that love you know and not getting the desires and in my 69 and Paul and maybe a house in not getting my desires and then she walks in my life and I see now that my desires are what God's desires are because it's God. God's heart and it's him through me and my desire and something that he needed me to have so that I can do what I'm called to do as a person that I can confide in lead on a best friend and a woman that is going to be my ribs and my rock and she can be with me and I can pour into her as she pours into me and beautiful.

I know, what would you say I mean your story so powerful. You know, even after as a Christian, your your suffering, you're honoring God your suffering.

The Lord is brought you and your fiancé together, but think about a young person right on listening to you and that you live the life they dream of the rockstar life success. Boehm all that goes with that and and what would you say maybe your your someone's looking at you think I was saying how their life. And then there's somebody else and I'm I'm addicted right now to drugs and I can't get off drugs like Schreiber, I'm addicted to alcohol and I don't see a way out for me and there's even someone listening right now that's contemplated suicide.

Maybe even someone who's attempted suicide like you did, what would you say to that person the sum of that's come through this. What are your words to them right. God is right there. I asked my dad where is God in my life and he was right there. All I had to do was reach out so much of the world. They put all of these ideas out about how to make your life better and how to get over the addiction and how to get over the depression and how to live your best life, but it always is about you know your heart and you can empower yourself and you can do this and you and you gotta be the best version of yourself and they're all wrong because it's not you all have fallen short of the glory got all have are going to fail and fall short.

It's God and it's leaning and relying on and trusting him and having a relationship, a living breathing relationship with your creator that is going to get through what you need in life not to come to Jesus and become wealthy all of a sudden or hyper grace or anything that some of the world likes to say Jesus is pick up your cross and follow me, and he never says it's going to be easy, but it's a lot easier to overcome depression, addiction, any of these things that we deal with when you have Jesus with you, everybody, Greg Laurie here.

Thanks for listening to our podcast and the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to By the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God.

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