Life, Moving Forward

When It Felt Like Everything Fell Apart

When it felt like everything fell apart

The battle.

It was the year 2011. My life was slowly beginning to fall apart. I had lost some close friends I trusted, was lied to by multiple people, lost a job, lost one of my best friends to a tragic death, and I had moved back home with my mom and was sleeping on the couch and in a bed on the floor in the basement.

Everything seemed dark to me. I wasn’t questioning God and wondering why I was going through this valley. I understood life is not perfect, and everyone at some point has to go through something tough, I was just wondering how long the dark season would last.

I don’t know about you, but when I am in darkness, my heart, my thoughts and my emotions seem to be off. My heart is usually heavy, my thoughts are distorted, and my emotions aren’t as controlled as I would like them to be.

So what did I do?

I got away…

The summer of 2011, I spent in another state with one of my closest friends. I had saved up some money before I lost my job. I just needed to get away from home, gather my thoughts, think a lot and begin to work on what my next steps would be.

We can only be in the valley for so long. At some point, we have to come back up.

Feeling lost, out of place, not significant and wondering when a change was coming, I decided I would not complain and mope around. Instead, I would fight back. Yes, the universe and my world were dark, but there is a greater power in me that is capable of shining light.

I needed God to begin shining His light!

My friend that I was staying with in 2011 summer, I remember attending a church service with him. I don’t remember what the minister was saying; I just know I got extremely emotional and began to cry. I remember my friend looking at me in disbelief and shock as if he’d never seen a “grown man” cry.

At this moment, he didn’t judge, or tell me to suck it up. Instead he asked was I okay and just put his arm around me (I guess he gave me a bro hug).

I just needed support. I was grieving and mourning for months. The weight of the world and all of my thoughts got too heavy for me to carry alone. So I just cried. I let it out and released everything. I’ve learned that crying is good for the soul and as ET the Hip Hop Preacher once said: “Don’t cry to quit. Cry to keep going.” That’s what I was doing.

The darkness began to fade away, and I knew one day God would allow the light to get brighter.

All felt lost and apart but having friends and a God that cares, I knew there was hope. 2011 was one of the worst years of my life. Tough as that year was, I needed to go through it. My valley experience in 2011 allowed me to see and feel what it is like to do life alone. I’ll end with this: Life is not meant to be experienced alone.

From the bottom of my heart. I love you. I thank you for reading this. God is good even when it feels like everything has fell apart.

Summer 2011 in Memphis, TN
My best friend’s brother and Unc at the funeral.

 

Life

Believe In Me

Believe (1)

I had just turned six years old. I remember my Dad handing me a brand new watch, which by the way broke the same day. I’ll save that story and my thoughts toward that watch for another time.

Turning 6 was exciting. I was no longer in kindergarten. I now felt like a “big kid.” On the day of my birthday, my Dad and I had an important conversation. He said to me, “You are six now. You know right from wrong. You have more responsibility now, and I expect you to do the right thing.”

After hearing these words, I remember riding away on my red bike replaying these words over and over in my mind. I kept saying to myself, “I am six. I have to be responsible.” At this moment, I felt good. I felt important. I felt I was in control, and I could make important decisions. I felt like someone believed in me.

I am convinced what people want and need is for someone to believe in them. When someone close to you, looks at you and says words such as: I believe in you. You got this. You’re the right person for this job. You can get this done; something special happens to a person’s trust and confidence when you have people that believe in you, support you, encourage you and help you grow.

Here’s a two-fold question:

Who are the people in your life that you are encouraging, supporting and pouring belief into?

Are there people in your life that’s speaking into your life, dreams and purpose?

I remember back when I was playing basketball at the University of Detroit. I was in the weight room getting some work done and in there working out was NBA player Willie Green. Willie played at U of D and was having great success in the NBA. I asked Willie a question. I said, “Hey, Willie. What separates you from other players?” Willie responds, “When I am in the gym, no matter where I am at or who is in there, I believe I am the best player, and I go out there and play like that.”

That conversation happened in 2008, and it has stuck with me ever since. Now I didn’t go on to go to the NBA like Willie, but I did sharpen my belief toolbox. Did you catch what he said? “I believe I am the best player!” Belief starts with you. First you have to believe in you. If you don’t believe in you then who will?

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Your level of belief can take you far in life. Others may not believe in what you believe in or see what you see, but you have to have faith in your belief system and trust that what you believe in can become possible.

Response Time:

Share how you manage to have a great belief system?

Share some challenges you have with believing in yourself and/or your dreams.

P. S. I look forward to hearing back from you! #Believe

Christianity, Life, Moving Forward, Uncategorized

I Am Adopted: Why The Role Of A Father Makes A Difference 

Throughout my life, I’ve felt the ups and downs of life. What I mean by this, I have felt what it is like to be loved, and I have felt what it is like to be hated. The hatred that I felt may have been my perspective, but it was real.

I want to invite you into a reality that I faced growing up and the reality many others have faced and are facing. This post is quite lengthy, but I guarantee you will not regret reading.

As a young kid in his teens, I faced emotional abuse.

To be transparent, it was my earthly dad who did all of the emotional abusing. As a young teenager, he shared words with me that you do not say to another human being let alone your own son. Hearing such demeaning and life sucking words created in my life fear, insecurity, a lack of confidence and a false belief in my identity.

I began to believe in the words I was hearing. Often as a teen and even as a kid I would hear, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words would never hurt.” Whoever created this rhyme and words I would like to meet them face to face and share some choice words with them (kidding but not kidding).

Words do hurt. Words are painful. When a kid, a teenager should be experiencing words of encouragement, words of love, words of comfort, words of affirmation but instead receives the opposite this creates voids, holes, and gaps.

For me, my heart sank each time I would hear such words. I remember my heart breaking over and over again. Early on when the heartbreaking words were said to me, I would share some choice words back, and that led to more harsh words being said back to me. Eventually, I would do my best to fight off and ignore the words I was hearing. I would stop saying words back, and this led to my heart becoming numb.

What I continue to see:

Now, at the age of 28, I work with a lot of inner-city teenagers. Many of these teenagers are facing and have faced the battle I faced as a teenager. Many do not have a dad in their home let alone in their life. Some do have a dad around and like me, their dad share words that are not helping and only hurting.

A Father, the role of a male figure in the home and a child’s life is so important. Sometimes I do not think dads understand how much of their presence, positivity, care, and words can affect their child’s life. If they did, maybe they would learn to become the type of Father they need to be.

I have shared my emotional abuse that I faced with others, the disconnect of not having a loving and comforting Father and I realized I am not alone. I’ve come to learn that all people have issues, baggage, deal with life’s experiences and tragedies in different ways. How a Father deals with life will either have a positive or negative effect on their child’s life.

I want to share with you some mind-blowing statistics about kids that grow up with an absent Father:

1. 5 times the average suicide rate:
2. Dramatically increased rates of depression and anxiety:
3. 32 times the average rate of incarceration:
4. Decreased education levels and increased drop-out rates:
5. Consistently lower average income levels:
6. Lower job security:
7. Increased rates of divorce and relationship issues:
8. Substantially increased rates of substance abuse:
9. Increases in social and mental behavioral issues:

(These stats along with the full article can be found here: https://thefathercode.com/the-9-devastating-effects-of-the-absent-father/ )

Now that we know all of this information, what does a person do to overcome the emotional abuse, the lack of love from a Father and the absence of a Father?

First and probably the most important step is to forgive. As a young adult in college, I found myself on my dorm room floor crying. I was crying because I was reliving and remembering all of the words that were said to me from my dad during my childhood and teenage years. Through the pain, hurt and tears I came to a place where I knew in order to move forward from the pain, I had to let go and forgive.

I’ve learned that the longer I held on to the pain the longer I would stay in prison. Unforgiveness, carrying hate and anger is like being locked in a prison and drinking poison. You slowly begin to die inside and I was tired of dying. Maybe you are too…

Let us turn to the Gospel! Stay with me. Something good is about to be shared:

Then there came Romans 8:14-17

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

I was suffering internally. Like most with an absent dad or a dad that was emotionally abusive, I needed love, comfort and to be uplifted. I needed to believe I had a purpose, and that there was a Father that loved me for being me.

At age 17, when all felt lost and like the world was crashing down on me there was God. A Heavenly Father that opened up His arms to me, who looked at me with splendor and said, “come, my son, let me be your Abba Father, let me be your Daddy God.”

Up until 17, I called my earthly dad, “daddy” but I now had a Heavenly Father that wanted to replace all of my evil thoughts toward my earthly dad and begin to experience the unconditional love of my new Daddy!

So many people that deal with “daddy issues” view their Heavenly Father through the same lens as they do their earthly dad. I am here to share with you; our Daddy God wants to show you what real love is like. Our Daddy God wants to pour into your life and build you up. Our Daddy God wants to heal your heart and help you overcome your pain. Our Daddy God wants you to forgive your earthly dad. Our Daddy God wants to set you free from your past so that you can move on with your life.

To move forward, you have to confess the anger that is in your heart. You have to forgive. Forgiveness starts with your acknowledgment of your pain and hatred.

Pray this prayer aloud:

Daddy God.

It is me. Your child. For so many years I have been carrying around this heavy weight in my heart. I realized today; I cannot move forward with hatred in my heart. Daddy God, I am asking You to perform surgery on my heart. I know it may take me a while to get over the absence of my earthly dad and all of the pain that he created for my life, but I am ready to move along with my life. Will you become my Daddy God? Will you show me what a real Father is like? Will you help me release all of the pain and will you fill my heart with unconditional love?

I am your child. You have adopted me. I am called to be the light of the world. I am a part of Your chosen generation. Give me purpose. Give my life meaning. Help me see others the way You see me. Help me love unconditionally like the way You love me.

I leave everything in Your hands, trusting You know what to do with my life, my mind, my spirit and my soul. I am Yours, and You are mine, and together, we are going to be just fine.

Thank You for loving me, Daddy God.

Thank you for holding me in Your arms.

P.S. I pray the love of the Heavenly Father meets you right where you are reading this. Just know you are not alone and God can do a major work in your life. He did it for me and He can do it for you.

God bless you. I love you. Please share this with others and pray for all those that are hurt from their earthy dads.