I Needed to Find Myself
HARDEST TIME OF MY LIFE: Hawk Nelson bassist Daniel Biro says high school in his hometown of Barrie, Ontario, was the hardest time of his life. "I felt like I was in a whole new world of cliques, older kids and strange faces," Daniel says. "Plus, my parents got divorced. I grew up in a Christian home, but everything just fell apart. High school is already so full of change, but it's harder when your family is changing too. I didn't have a place where I fit."
Looking to connect with someone, Daniel hung out with a group of guys who also felt they didn't fit in. "They weren't all bad guys, but they struggled with stuff," Daniel says. "They swore, smoked and stole a lot. I wanted to find my identity with them, but instead of being unique, I just became more like these guys." In less than a year, Daniel was arrested for stealing and sentenced to community service.
As strange as it may seem, Daniel was glad he got caught. "I remember even thinking, Yes, it's over. I don't have to do this anymore. Finally, someone caught me," he says. "I knew it was wrong when I was doing it, but I still did it. I was glad I got caught instead of escalating into more major theft."
A REMINDER: Getting arrested was a wake-up call for Daniel. He thought: What am I doing? "This got me thinking about God again," Daniel says. "I got involved with a church youth group. But I was still confused."
One thing Daniel did know was that God loved him and sent his son Jesus to die for him. "I knew that was true, but I was still struggling with life's hardships. So, after I got caught stealing, I got these small Jesus fish tattoos on my wrists. If I am sinning, this visible reminder stops me. It was a rededication. I haven't gotten any other tattoos. I don't even like tattoos, but I am glad I have these because of the reason for them."
A DAILY DECISION: As Daniel was trying to figure out his faith in Christ, he made mistakes. "I definitely wasn't perfect," he says. "I was listening to a lot of negative music and I hadn't asked God to be in control of my life."
As a high school sophomore, Daniel was kicked out of his mom's house after a big fight. For two weeks in the dead of a Canadian winter, he wandered the streets of Ontario like a homeless person and in clothes that were unfit for the weather. During this time, Daniel was shocked by the love and acceptance he received from Christians. One time, a Christian radio host he knew gave him an envelope containing $200. A note inside simply said, "Dude, get a coat."
"It floored me that someone would care for me, a messed-up kid, just because Christ cared for him and he wanted to pass it on," Daniel says. "It's funny how small things like that all brought me back to Christ. Every time I'd struggle, something small would remind me of God."
By his junior year, Daniel was making better decisions. He was working part-time and paying rent to stay with friends' families. He also started feeling more comfortable with who he was. He got more active in his church—and played more with the worship band. Soon after high school, Hawk Nelson formed. And not long after, Daniel and his Mom reunited and put the past behind them.
"Even though my high school years were the hardest of my life, I grew a lot during that time," Daniel says. "I figured out who I was but, more importantly, I learned Christianity isn't just a one-time decision. It's a daily decision."
Hawk Nelson won best band and best male vocalist for Jason Dunn in this year's Golden Ear Awards.
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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