Another year is quickly fading away. In less than 48 hours, for those blessed to experience the transition, we will be embracing the New with the power and diligence to forsake the old.
For me personally, 2018 has been excessively bittersweet. A great deal of pain, disappointments and unexpected events occurred this year. Yet all accompanied by great opportunities for spiritual growth. I watched God be a healer, provider and reconciler. I often take a moment to reflect on what was in order to prepare for what shall be.
As I share my heart on this final post for the year, I hear in my spirit to make this phrase a purpose filled priority.
As a foundational acronym:
Praise & Pray:
Inspite of the experience in hurt, uncertainty, grief, need, lack of direction, illness, rejection and delays.
In the arms of your Heavenly Father spiritually and mentally. Allow Him to touch those tender areas that no man can. Don’t forsake your body of the ease it requires to sustain this next chapter of your life. You’re going to need it!
Exercise & Eat Healthy:
Take care of your temple by committing to a consistent regime that promotes prolong life and stamina. This is not optional in order to bring what God has ordained to be reveal to and through you!
In your mind that the past is the past! It happened but doesn’t define your future hope by any means necessary! Use these experiences as growth tools knowing that God is STILL for you!
Walk into 2019 with gratitude no matter what your reality looks like naturally. God’s blessed you with more time, another day and another season. It ain’t over yet and the best is still yet to come!
Like a great deal of my fellow Americans, my heart simply aches over the recent events that have taken place in Charlottesville VA. It’s a national disgrace and I’m struggling to see a United front in and for “We The People”. Leadership has also delivered a stance a day or two late leaving me wondering if the good for us all is truly a non-biased priority.
My personal experience and view points regarding the topic of racism runs painfully deep. I was once grossly affected by the matter especially as a youth.
Like yesterday I can clearly recall walking to elementary school with my cousins and needing to run through several blocks to safety or risk getting jagged edged rocks slammed in the back of my head. I eventually mastered dodging the blows but only after being wounded on multiple occasions. This was a daily sprint and no way around the confrontation generated simply because of the color of my skin.
In middle school, a boy spat in my face and called me an ugly nigger. I tried to chase him down in flip flops but never caught up to him. I was left feeling like dirt on the ground as his warm thick saliva oozed over my eye and down my cheek. To this day, I believe spitting on another human beings is one of the worst forms of insult imaginable.
Not long after that another approached me and asked me to perform a disgraceful sexual act on him. I remember feeling so frightened for it took him repeating it several times before I understood what he was asking. He was seriously vulgar and I was just about 9 years old.
Several more instances happened thereafter which I won’t disclose but I remember developing the learned behavior of prejudice by the time I was in high school. All of my insults came from caucasian males and I grew a racist distaste over the very site of them. I put them all in the same category and couldn’t fathom any good at all. As an extended result, I didn’t socialize, befriend or seek to get to know anyone that didn’t look like me. I made the assumption that any race outside of my own automatically hates me and I them.
By the time I was approaching 20, a life changing event occurred that melted away a very deep form of racist hate that had been growing in my heart for years. I had rededicated my life to Christ after hitting some tough places and moved to a neighborhood where most residents did not match my skin complexion. I was overwhelmed by how I was embraced but still had guards up looking for hidden agendas. The acceptance just couldn’t be true as I considered my previous encounters.
Not long after that I befriended a beautiful Korean girl who had a Jewish boyfriend with the biggest heart I’d ever met. Truly the sweetest in my life up to that point. I genuinely grew to love them both and was blessed for these friendships.
I made a point thereafter to not classify everyone simply because of the ignorance of a few. God healed my heart of the deepest form of hate and I purposely sought out opportunities to get to know all kinds of people who were also willing to get to know me.
Today my heart is completely open and longs for diversity in my relationships. I no longer find contentment in surrounding myself with only African Americans. In fact I prefer to worship with a congregation with a healthy mix of all kinds of people. My current church fulfills that beyond description and I have sisterly/brotherly like bonds that far exceed color lines. Our bond is spiritual by the DNA we share through the sacrifice of our common father, Jesus Christ.
It’s a beautiful experience and I would have it no other way. Adding God’s revelation to my adolescent ignorance as I matured showed me the true definition of love. Had I remained stuck on my initial experiences I would have missed out on rapport with some wonderful people. That would have been my loss for certain if I had chosen to remain oblivious.
I pray for our country and won’t give up hope that we can put our racial differences aside, bond together as humans and demonstrate respect instead of hate. Globally, those with a racists agenda are truly the minority and can remain as such if the majority commit to condemn their behavior as completely unacceptable!
This may not come to pass in my life time but at least I’m living proof that with God’s love, even a powerful stance of racial animosity can be healed and conquered in Him. I’m living proof, He’s able.
Happy Thursday RBT Readers! It’s January 5, 2017 which means ITS MY BIRTHDAY TODAY !!!
I bless the name of the living God for allowing me to see yet another! I don’t take it for granted by far! When I turn another year older in the natural, guess what; So does The RealBoldTruth Blog website!! Yeah! RBT is 2 years old today!!
I was motivated to start this writing platform a couple of years ago on my birthday and we are both still here!!!
In the beginning, I was dealing with the desire to be free and heal from issues that haunted me in my past, my identity, depression, my mistakes, those who hurt me and so much more! Today, I’m so confident in saying that I’m completely free from many of these areas and humbled to be in a position to share my truth so raw, so real and so BOLD!
I don’t have enough words to thank those who have been with me throughout my writing and healing journey. Your comments, words of encouragement, and overall support have helped me find my voice as a writer. I’m well on my way with my first novel due out in just a few weeks. Could not have made it without those select few who have cheered me on consistently along the way! I’m eternally grateful!
I’ve learned so much about myself and spiritual connections that this year, RBT will be sharing those learned nuggets to give them away in hopes of helping those who take the time to read. Please Stay Tuned!
Again I thank you all and pray that what ever happened or didn’t happen last year that you find a healthy way to put it behind you and embrace what God has next for your life. Get excited with me in knowing God is still able and forever for us!
I took the time to interview my younger brother who I feel has an amazing testimony! I have been there to watch him evolve from an immature boy to a very polished, responsible and focused man. His challenges as a 2x convicted felon which robbed him of a decade of his life, has now been turned completely around! He gives the Lord Jesus Christ all the credit for where he is today! Be encouraged and share his story with someone who may very well need it!
As a child growing up in Philadelphia, Times were good and times were bad. My mom was and still is a workaholic. She was there, but not there. My Father, well let’s just say that he’d rather do drugs then get to know his sons or, stepdaughter.
There isn’t too much that I can say about my dad. But my mom, she always managed to make sure that, every holiday whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or Birthdays, her children had what she could give them. Another good moment is when my sister scared the life out of my brother and I by acting like she was possessed. She painted her face white and wore this all white gown, and came down the steps. When my little brother and I saw her we immediatly started crying and was scared to death! Till this day I still bring that up and we just laugh.
Two things that I despise about my childhood is, not listening! and not paying attention. By age 14 is when it all started. The streets of Philadelphia had me in its cluches. I started smoking marijuana, drinking and hanging with the wrong crowd. I began thinking that I was untoucheble. I was into all sorts of illegal activities! My judgement and my sense of self worth was gone. I cared less about school, authority figures and family members who saw me traveling down the wrong path. I had no care in the world! I did not pay attention or, listen to anyone’s advice.
My first time being incarcerated came at the age of 18. Yes, I was scared but I still had that “I do not care” attitude. I still had a child’s mentality who thought the world was his!
It wasn’t until I heard those huge steel gates close behind me and lock, that I realized that what everyone was trying to get me to see is finally a reality.
I would spent the next 5 years wishing that I would have listened and payed attention.
Being in prison at a young age made me feel like an animal. I did not like it so I started acting out. That rebellion came out of me again. This was in the 90’s so back then sentences were like 2.5 to 3 years in length. My sentence was 3.5 to five for robbery. I ended up doing the whole five years when I could have been releases in 3. All because I wanted to act up.
Three years into my sentence I learned that its not all about me! Those streets didn’t care about me! Those clowns I hung with didn’t care about me either! I discovered that I was in jail because I followed instead of leading. I had to take control of my own life and not end up back behind those walls.
When I was finally released in the year of 1999 I was happy! 23 years of age now, I told myself I was going to change. During my time in prison I grew to let things go quickly. When released, I had no unresolved anger or, depressive issues. I figured hey, God gave me another chance to do something better with my life so, I have to take it.
I signed up for G.E.D classes that I failed! I was jumping from job to job. It was hard being an ex-convict. I felt like life was playing a mean joke on me and at some point the punch line would kick in.
In the fall of 2002, I moved out of Philadelphia, and relocated to Roanoke Virginia. I wasn’t alone! I move down there with a girl I met and her daughter. Most of you know how this story goes, never bring the sand to the beach! That’s what I would hear older guys say but didn’t know what that meant at the time. That joke that I felt life was playing on me only got worse!
That sand that I bought to the beach changed! She started kicking me out the house, calling the police, being dissrespectful, until I ended up at a place and doing things I know I should not be doing.
In the fall of 2006 I ended up being convict of unlawful wouding, and sentenced to another 5 year prison stay. This time wasn’t like the last time. I acually tried to change! I listened and payed attention to those who saw me walking the wrong path. This was the act of pure self defense, but no one knew that except for myself.
Now as a two time fellon, I really had my thinking cap on and my priorities straight! I knew what I needed to do.That second time in prison really opened my eyes wide! While incarcerated I managed to finally get that G.E.D under my belt as well as a trade. I told myself that I was going to take charge of my life and STOP acting like the world owes me something. I was released in the year of 2011. That first year was of course hard having to now put down two fellony convictions instead of one on job applications. I kept my head up though! It wasn’t like I did not have a job, I just wanted a better job. So, I took that G.E.D and went to college in 2012.
By that time I was and still am involved with a beautiful woman! I know she has my best interest at hand and loves me for me.
I graduated college in 2015 as a Communication Design Major and had a job in the field before I graduted making Magazines, Business Cards and brochures for companies in my Area.
I also married my beautiful queen who was the right woman for me that same year. Finally God has recently blessed me with a great employment opportunity with full benefits and I am now in training to become a supervisor. Life is good!!!
Today I feel like there are no more jokes being played. I was the only joke and I played myself! God has been a major factor in my life and he was the missing piece of the puzzle. Without Christ none of this would have ever been possible. The funny thing is that, He has been there all along waiting for me to aknowledge His presence.
The advice that I would give to a young men headed in the same direction I walked is, take a really close look at yourself and analyze your situation. Ask yourself two question: Do I know God? and Do I want to know God?
There is nothing wrong with failure if it’s for a good reason. We are bound to make mistakes, but its not the mistake you made or make that hurts you. But its how you handle the Consequences that follow that make you a better person. I can say that, my actions made me a better person today and for years to come.