Former Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile is opening up about his religious awakening and why he moved to Costa Rica, in a new mini-documentary for the faith-based organization I Am Second. Watch the video in the player above.

In the short film, the singer gets emotional sharing his personal tale of losing his mother to Marfan syndrome (a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues), and how that drove him to discover music. He also discusses his drug and alcohol abuse. After learning he had Marfan syndrome (which he inherited from his mother), he still performed with Of Mice & Men even though he was in severe pain every day. He explains that he would dislocate ribs while performing on stage and pop them back in, an incredibly painful move which led him to self-medicate.

Carlile says, “In October of 2016, my doctor said, ‘You can’t do this anymore.’ Every time I was singing, I was tearing holes in my spine. And the pain was because spinal fluid was coming out. The doctors told me, you can’t be in the band your body needs to rest. Everything that I was, was that band. And I walked away and I knew God was calling me to do something different, but I was so confused as to what that was.”

Austin left Of Mice & Men and moved to Costa Rica to teach music, coach baseball and to help his father run audio for their church.

While in Costa Rica and struggling with the pain, Carlile prayed to God saying, “‘You have to take this from me. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know why you’re putting me through this.’” He admits that praying didn't help his pain, but the next day he went to church where he saw a group of missionaries, who were not from the area. He introduced himself to the group and after a few minutes a young lady told him that “‘God, the spirit, is telling me that you’re having some back issues right now.’”

Carlile continues: “Then and there they laid their hands on me and prayed for me and I started from standing with them praying, to my knees, and as they were praying for me, God was telling them different pains that my body is having. And I started to break down. And they prayed for healing, they prayed for restoration. I’m not usually a sensual, touchy-feely kind of guy, that’s not my thing. Crying in public isn’t a big thing. I stood up after that prayer and I could touch my toes for the first time in like two months. I stood up and I took my back brace off. I went out and was playing football and playing in the waves. My dad kept saying ‘Take it easy, take it easy, don’t overdo it.’”

The former singer then shares a story about how he had a storage unit back in the States filled with everything from his childhood. Three weeks after his healing, the storage unit was auctioned off. He begins to break down saying the only things he wanted out of storage was his mother’s ashes, his family photos and letters from his mother. The new owners of his possessions wouldn’t return his belongings. “I thought it was so wild that God healed me and then took all this from me,” he says. “I saw it as God saying, ‘You wanted to be a new man, you’re a new man in me… here we go.’”

Carlile concludes: “The people that have followed me, they have to know what actually brought me through all these things and that was Christ. He’s so important to me because I don’t have anything else… I don’t have anything else but my heart is more full than its ever been in my entire life."

Just last week Carlile was admitted to the Stanford University Hospital saying he was suffering from a number of “gnarly” symptoms. He took to Instagram and wrote: “Won't go into detail about what they think it could be, but have a few days of testing, testing, and more testing to find out exactly what's happening. No matter what though, I'm at peace knowing I'm in God's hands as I face this new obstacle.”

Last month, Carlile shared that he was not interested in returning to Of Mice & Men, but plans to return to music once he’s healthy. Meanwhile, Of Mice & Men are working on a new “heavier” album with Lamb of God producer Josh Wilbur.

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