2017 was one of those years for me. Emotionally and physically I went through it. From getting sick early in March to battling with the sickness for the rest of the year put me on a rollercoaster ride I did not expect going into the year. I had aspirations that 2017 would be the year that I got back on track physically. Let’s just say that did not happen.
2017 was the year I learned a lot about myself. Through sickness, self-reflection, dealing with anxiety, making some poor decisions and going through counseling for a few months I was finally able to connect some dots and answer some questions I always had. For one, I am not as crazy as I thought I was! That’s a relief. 🙂
As a man and as an athlete, I was taught to fight through my emotions, not to feel, just tough it out and if you do feel it means you are soft. Years and years I suppressed my feelings. In tough pressure like moments, I would resort back to childlike behaviors and coping mechanisms that are quite frankly, not healthy. I never knew why I would resort back but I’ve learned this is what the brain does when it does not know new healthy ways to deal with problems.
I remember the first time I went to a testimony service. It was around 2005, the year God led me to surrender my heart to Him. I was 17 at the time. The pastor got up and said, it is time for testimonies. I wasn’t too sure what he meant or what was about to happen next. Over the next 20 – 25 minutes, members of our congregation began to share about their life and about the big God they serve. Stories of God’s faithfulness. Stories of hope. Stories of God coming through and providing just what they needed. Although this was a new experience for me, being there and listening was quite encouraging.
I pray often that my life will serve as a testimony of how good God is.
Water lines coming down my face.
Walking through a dark and deserted place.
Dim light in front of me.
Shadow behind me.
What a reflection.
Melodies in my head.
Singing, “we’ve come this far by faith.”
Wondering what’s it going to take?
Deep, deep in need.
God is faithful. Need I say more?
It satisfies me to know that God’s faithfulness does not depend on me. His faithfulness is rooted in His love. Love is who God is.
Over the past year, I have been learning and I am continuing to learn how to live from God’s love and not for God’s love. His love has already been given to me through Jesus. It’s a beautiful thing. Really it is.
Faithfulness is a byproduct of being committed to something. A commitment is when you choose to be fully in mentally, emotionally and perhaps spiritually and physically. Throughout my life when I choose to commit to something, I am usually faced with immediate challenges. I know many of you may be thinking, that could be a matter of perspective. While this could be true, I believe a test comes after you’ve been given an assignment.
Think back if you will to school. Remember when your teacher would give out the first assignment of the semester? That first assignment would be the first of many worksheets that would build up to a test. I’m not sure if you thought like that but each assignment given was a build up to understand all that went into the first big test of the semester. Perhaps, making a commitment and being faithful is the same way. Continue reading
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.
Pain, suffering, mentally challenged, physically struggling, emotionally up and down but spiritually holding on to the truths of Christ. Can you identify?
Life as we know it is full of various experiences. These experiences begin to shape how we respond to life, to people and to our emotions. I’m not sure about you but often times when I reflect on my past experiences, I tend to remember all of of the pain, suffering and the bad. If I am not careful, I can begin to look through the present through the lens of a painful past.
What I have to constantly remind myself, is that our past is there for a reason. I once heard a wise man say, “God never wastes an experience.”