NFBy sharing the message behind the music, Christian hip-hop/alternative artist Nate Feuerstein (aka NF) hopes to connect audiences to Christ’s unfailing love to sustain them during life’s darkest moments.

Although the 23-year-old Michigan native grew up attending church, many real life struggles during his teenage years left him questioning the existence of God.

“I had a lot of problems growing up,” Feuerstein said. “My parents divorced when I was really young. My two sisters and I stayed with my mom for a little bit, but then my mom’s boyfriend was physically abusing me and one of my sisters. My dad took us from my mom and that whole situation got really messed up.

“Because of a lot of things that were going on, we kind of stopped having a relationship with my mom and didn’t really see her much. These experiences left me questioning a lot of things, and I went through my teenage years wondering if God was real. Obviously, that was a sketchy time in my life.”

A turning point came when Feuerstein realized that his personal struggles and burdens were too much to deal with on his own. During this time, he sought comfort by returning to church and found the answers he had been searching for.

“God kind of smacked me in the face one day and gave me a wakeup call,” Feuerstein said. “I started going back to church and this lady came up to me. I remember her saying, ‘I feel like I need to remind you that God is real and wants to have a relationship with you. You need to know that.’

“That was a total eye-opening experience. I really felt like God was smacking me in the face and telling me to look at the things around me, like the trees and people. With all the things in this world, how could there not be a Creator? That was definitely the turning point in my life when I knew that even though my walk with God hadn’t been on the right path, I believed there was a God. I also realized that I had no one to blame for my choices, except myself.”

During his senior year of high school, Feuerstein relied on his faith to sustain him when he received the devastating news that his mother died of a drug overdose.

“With her death, it made me realize all the moments that we will never spend together. It’s true that sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Even with all her struggles, she was still my mom and I loved her no matter what she did. With that happening during my senior year, it was a real struggle for me.”

In an effort to express his emotions, Feuerstein turned to music and continued to find strength in God’s Word.

“I always feel like I need to press into church and press into God more,” he said. “God used music to allow me to express my emotions, my pain, my anger and my guilt.

“I feel like God has given me the opportunity to write songs that admit Christians struggle and have serious issues they are dealing with. I feel like my music reflects those struggles and the need for a Savior.”

Today, as Feuerstein performs concerts and writes songs, he desires to help others who are hurting find redemption and restoration through a relationship with Christ.

He recently released a self-titled EP. By sharing his personal struggles with audiences, Feuerstein has been able to reach many teenagers and young adults who are facing difficult situations.

“Through all this, God has given me a passion for all the kids out there that might be going through some of the things I did. That’s why I rap and write songs the way I do, that’s why my music is raw and real. I believe music should have real meaning, for real life problems. God has used some of the worst things in my life for good.

“I’ve had kids come up to me at shows with tears streaming down their face as they tell me how much they can relate to the songs, which is really sad to hear about the issues they are dealing with as well. It’s powerful when someone says that God was moving them because of these songs and hearing my story.

“I still struggle with things, but I feel like God has been teaching me to trust Him. Because of the experiences that I have gone through in my life, I have the personality where I want to handle things on my own and I worry about a lot of things. I feel like God has been pressing into me and reminding me to let Him take control and turn my struggles over to Him.”