Growing up my identity was all about basketball. It was my world and at many times education came second. I never thought I would ever pursue a Master’s degree.
In my earlier years of life (elementary & middle school) I was all about academics. In fact, in middle school, I once had a 4.0 gpa and an overall 3.5 gpa. As I entered into high school, my life began to shift. My priorities, my decisions, and my mentality was slowly walking away from being a great student.
I was reminded, parents should celebrate their student’s achievements. You never know, it could go a long way!
I began to feel like no one cared if I did good, that it was pointless to give my all in my academics. To be honest, I began to lose hope in my future. My identity was shaken and I slowly began to become someone I never thought I would be.
By the age of 17, I had 3 minor in possessions (alcohol), I was on probation, I had to do 40 hours of community service. I was smoking weed everyday. I even began to sell weed. I was skipping school and as I mentioned above, my grades dropped tremendously. I had a 1.2 gpa the last semester of my junior year of high school. I was headed for a life of destruction.
The enemy had a plan for my life but so did God. I’ve learned that darkness cannot overcome the light. I know sometimes it may feel this way but the truth of the matter is, light always wins.
In Ephesians chapter 2, in the first 3 verses, the Apostle Paul starts off by sharing how those who are not in Christ are people who live after the desires of this world, the desires of the flesh and are children of wrath, that we are lost without the love of God in our hearts. Then there comes verse 4. In verse 4, there are two words that changes everything: “but God.”
Note: The Apostle Paul is speaking to the Gentiles in Ephesus but the same that is true of them is true of us!
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” – Ephesians 2:4-5
Even when I was out dead to the world, God was wooing me and pursuing me. When I was hopeless, high out of my mind, feeling like I wanted to give up on life, God was still saying, “son, you are my beloved.” He made me alive, just as He has made every other believer that was once spiritually dead. It is because of His great love that He never gives up on us.
Wherever you are on your journey in life, I pray the unconditional love of God and His grace meets you as He met me. We may have different stories but one thing is certain, a life with God is so much better than a life without Him. I pray you believe the same. God bless!