One of the most vulnerable moments in Jay DeMarcus' new memoir is when he shares that in his early twenties, his then-girlfriend decided to give their baby up for adoption. Though it's taken many years of healing, the Rascal Flatts star says he's come to terms with the decision.

In Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakeable Hope, DeMarcus shares the story of how a woman named Maggie, his girlfriend at the time, got pregnant after the condom broke the first time they had sex. The life-changing event came just as DeMarcus was establishing a successful career with Neal Coomer as the Christian duo East to West.

As word about DeMarcus having a child out of wedlock began to spread, the industry turned its back on him, and the duo lost their record deal and many connections they'd built over the years.

"I felt like I let everybody down, including myself, and I can't tell you how badly I beat myself up, thinking about all these people who counted on me, and I let them down in one night in one instant," DeMarcus explains to the Boot. "It was something that I knew I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life."

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In spite of the many years of guilt and pain he endured, the singer says he has found peace in the decision, knowing that he and his ex-girlfriend helped bring light into two people's lives when they were struggling to have a child of their own.

"Knowing that there was a couple out there who had been trying to have children for so long, and that we were able to bring some joy into their lives during a season of life when they were struggling to conceive, really does bring me great joy. And the fact that she was placed with wonderful parents who loved her, cared for her, raised her -- in that way, I'm at peace about the situation," he says.

The book marks the first time DeMarcus has ever addressed the situation publicly. He says he wanted to offer readers hope in their own times of struggle.

"What I wanted to do was convey to people that when you feel like you fail, when you feel like you've done something that you're gonna have to carry for the rest of your life ... it's okay to feel hopeless," DeMarcus reflects.

The musician admits that the episode challenged his faith and, but he pressed on to form Rascal Flatts with his two roommates, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney. He married former Miss Tennessee Allison Alderson in 2004, and the couple have an 8-year-old daughter named Madeline and a 6-year-old son, Dylan.

Shotgun Angels chronicles many of DeMarcus' defining life moments, including his beginnings as a Christian singer and his journey to Rascal Flatts. The book is available now.

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