Singer Returns to His Christian Roots
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“It was fear and anxiety driven,” Dylan Jarvis said while thinking back on his years of drug abuse. “I was living off Fruity Pebbles and dope, just fighting for my life every day. Your whole everything can fit at the end of a glass pipe and at the end of a little bitty spoon.”
Dylan is an up-and-coming country music artist whose songs speak about the perils of substance addiction – a subject he’s all too familiar with. Dylan grew up in a small church his father pastored where he learned about God and started playing music. At the same time, his mother was struggling with alcoholism.
“I loved her so much,” Dylan said. “My main thing, my main worry was her dying. It was causing a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear, and a lot of panic.”
At twelve-years-old, Dylan’s friends exposed him to drugs. Prescription pills, weed, cocaine, meth...he began taking anything that would help numb his anxiety. His father tried to rein him in, but that only made him rebel more.
“I got extremely addicted,” Dylan said. “The withdrawal symptoms were so bad that you'll try to go for anything that can help you. If they told you that you could eat dirt then I’d eat dirt just to try to feel better.”
This went on through Dylan’s teens and into his twenties. All the while, he continued to do the one thing he truly loved – writing music. Then one day, while in the middle of a drug deal, his guitar was stolen. Dylan was devastated, but his father prayed and told him God would return it.
“My dad’s like, ‘Your guitar is coming home in the name of Jesus.’ I did not believe it at all,” Dylan said. “This guy calls on Facebook Messenger and I answer. He goes, ‘Is this Dylan Jarvis? I was walking my dog through the middle of this field and I walked up on a case. I have your guitar.’ He said my name was on a pawn receipt that I had put in the case where I kept my guitar picks and he used that to figure out how to contact me. God kept my guitar safe for six months and got it home to me. It just made me know that there is God out there and He loves me and He knows me by name.”
Dylan began to see more evidence of God’s presence in his life, even as he sank to the lowest depths of heroin addiction.
“I met this kid,” Dylan recalled. “He goes, ‘I want to introduce you to somebody.’ He takes me into this house and there's this lady there. She walked up to me and she placed her hand on my chest and she just said this really quiet prayer. When she did, it felt like lightning struck me from my left shoulder to my right hip and I fell to my knees. She lifted my face up and looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Enjoy your life, Dylan Jarvis, there’s big things planned.’ I had this awakening moment, like I’m brand new.”
He believed that it was God giving him a chance to get clean, so he stopped doing drugs. Later on, while taking a barbeque grill into a local neighborhood to sell, Dylan was held up at gunpoint, with the gunman forcing him back into his truck.
“I'm sitting there sweating, freaked out driving my truck,” Dylan said. “He’s like, ‘Look, I want you to pull into this cemetery.’ I was like, ‘Holy cow, he’s about to kill me.’”
Dylan then pushed his foot parking brake. Pretending the truck seized, he got out and quickly grabbed a baseball bat from the bed and started hitting the man. Believing he killed him, Dylan turned himself in to the police. He was nailed with charges that could put him away for thirty years. While in jail, Dylan asked for a Bible and began praying for God to deliver him. At the same time, his grandmother was put on hospice, dying from lung cancer.
“My grandmother meant a lot to me, everything to me,” Dylan said. “I hit my knees and I'm crying out really hard to God. I hear them call over the intercom. They said, ‘Dylan Jarvis pack your bags, you're going home.’ I was like, ‘Man, this is the best gift anybody could have ever given me. How could a God be so loving and be so perfect and love me and care about me so much?’”
Dylan’s grandmother bonded him out, but when she died shortly after he was overcome with grief and his anxiety resurfaced. He relapsed and overdosed.
“I felt myself die,” Dylan said. “I felt my spirit fall through my body. I could hear these things and it was like they were laughing at me. There's tons of fear that came in, but daddy told me about the name of Jesus. I'm trying to say His name as hard as I could, then, ‘Jesus!’ I stood up and I grabbed my bottle of dope, threw it in the toilet. I'm praying, ‘God, this is everything. I’m praying in The Holy Ghost, I’m praying in tongues, I'm crying out to You. I’m giving You every inch of me, You can have it. My life is Yours, let's go.”
Dylan then went to a Christian rehab center where he spent a year studying the word of God and building faith to overcome his anxiety. He got clean and has stayed clean ever since. His mother, whom he worried about for so many years, is also on the path to overcoming her alcoholism. Even his charges were dropped after the man he beat recovered and was apprehended in a drug bust. Dylan is now pursuing his passion for music, wanting to share his story of God’s grace and enduring love through songs meant to inspire hope in those who feel hopeless.
“My heart's all Jesus, my hearts all on God,” Dylan said. “He's there guiding me, He's there with me. I'm not scared. The fear got taken. If it's a spirit of fear, spirit of anxiety, spirit of depression, I'll call it out like, ‘You have no authority over my life, none whatsoever. Cover myself in the top of my head to the soles of my feet under the blood of Jesus.’ I know I don’t deserve it, but I also know that I have to tell what Christ has done.”
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