Wayward Musician Changes His Tune

“What happened was it killed the fear. It made me feel like I could dance better, I was better looking. The things in my life that I was worried about, being accepted, it kind of made those go away,” Jason Fowler says of his heavy drinking days.

As a child, Jason vowed he would never become an alcoholic, like his father, but not long after taking his first drink at 15, he was following in his father’s footsteps. 

“It started out as ‘Okay, we’ll have a good time.’ And then it went from there to ‘Okay, if I’m not feeling good, I’ll drink,” Jason says. “Or ‘I’ll just drink because I’m bored, or I’m a little nervous.’ So I would use it medicinally.”

Jason’s heavy drinking, and eventual drug use, made for easy acceptance among his friends. He also discovered his love for music and at 16, started playing the guitar. “My uncle taught me how to play a couple of different chords and a couple of different scales. It was a new way for me to find attention,” he says.

Jason continued playing and dropped out of college to pursue a music career.  “I found that the better I did, the more attention I got, the more I felt I was loved. And for a long time in my life, I ended up searching for that love through music.

He traveled with several bands, living the life of a musician, but he still drank excessively, causing problems on and off the stage. “I actually got kicked out of one of my bands for drinking,’” he recalls “And I never thought that that would be possible. How do you get kicked out of a rock-n-roll band for drinking?”

Afterwards, he started own band and began attracting the attention of fans and record producers. “We ended up winning a quarter million dollar record deal, and I felt like ‘Oh I have arrived. I felt like, this is it. I finally made it. But the problem was, I was still there.”

The band recorded the album, but the label was sold before it got released. 

“I placed everything in music. So much so that I forgot about everything else important to me in my life, including myself,” he says. “I thought that if I had made it, everything was going to be okay. And once we got the record deal, and lost it, I was so distraught and hopeless I didn’t know where to go or what to do.”

Jason pushed on and landed a solo record deal, but by now, he was too drunk and strung out to perform and lost the deal. Just three years after making it big, he was living on the streets. “I was getting the money for drugs and alcohol by playing music wherever I could, mainly for the drug dealers. And I wanted to be that 15-year-old looking in the mirror and saying ‘you’re going to be somebody.’ But the problem was is I was looking in all the wrong places to find that love.”

Jason wandered the streets for two years, and ended up sleeping outside his drug dealer’s house, but even he didn’t want Jason around and forced him to leave. “I‘ll never forget that time because, I had a moment of clarity, I realized that nobody had done this to me. That it wasn’t my dad, it wasn’t my family, it wasn’t my friends, it wasn’t God. That I had done it to myself. And I said ‘God, whoever you are, whatever You are, please help me out.’ It was raining outside, I had my guitar, and nowhere to go,” he says. “I hadn't seen, like the most important people to me in my life. I hadn't seen myself in awhile. And I wanted somehow to go home. I wanted to go home.”

Jason called his parents, who brought him home. By now his father had gotten sober and helped him get into a Christian rehab program. A few months later, Jason attended a men’s conference – which ended with an invitation to accept Jesus into his life. “At that moment I said ‘You’re the love I’ve been looking for, Jesus.’ And I asked Him into my heart, and I told Him to take everything that I had and just do what You will with me, you know. I’m going to give everything to You.”

Jason stayed in rehab for another year and grew in his relationship with Christ. 

“It was amazing because it’s like a country song backwards. I started getting everything back in my life, instead of losing everything, and He was making it even more wonderful than I even could’ve ever imagined.”

Jason has been sober for 10 years and today leads praise and worship at his church. He and his wife run a homeless ministry and he is recording music again – with a very different focus. “Jesus made a place in us where He fits perfectly. He’s the one that fits there. He’s the one that I’d been looking for. And He’s the one that when I finally asked for help, He’s the one that helped me. He’s the one that made my life new again, made me a new creation,” Jason says. “It’s just amazing, the life that I have today, by just giving it all up to him.”

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