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Ground Game

We, as people, especially me, want to go back in time to change the past believing that it will make for a better future. Thinking that if I did this one thing different, or made a better decision, or just went home another way, that life would be beautiful and without hurt. Imagining me still hooping, maybe established overseas or having that one chance in the league.

Even though I'm still in the storm, it's hard not to see what has been birthed as a result of my own bad decisions. I can't ignore the content that started poetry, which led me to doing open mics in downtown Raleigh and now on Instagram. Building my reputation and gaining fans through my words that a lot of people, mainly fathers and those who look like me, can relate too. I had no idea beforehand that I would be able to connect with men the way I do, when it all started I felt like the only one.

I remember my parents always saying "You're not the first and won't be the last," which I truly loathed at the time. Now, after creating the podcast which I don't believe would've ever matriculated without the pain of my decisions, I see the gravity of the statement. A truth that reverberates throughout many communities but I feel that permeates mine more than anyone else's.

The podcast allows me to speak on these issues, problems that I don't think I would ever tried to tackle without intermingling with Amelia's mom side of the family. I can say I've never been around people like that, part of the reason why I got caught up, but the mindset I still can't wrap my mind around. Experiencing what I did, and seeing what I saw instilled another element of a growing passion I find myself on fire for.

After the podcast came the blog, another space created to speak to my daughter's and to possibly help others in similar situations. My ability to not care what people think, which my teammates in college always expounded on, allows me to speak on my past and issues without fear of being judged. I've been told many times how my transparency while others are silenced by fear helps them open up and feel more comfortable around me. This was prevalent in various men's groups I've joined where we express ourselves in a safe place.

I've always had a passion for writing, and tried to write many novels growing up as well as while I was in college. After the commencement of my situation and my passion for the uplifting of the black community, I truly found a book and an outline that I am satisfied with, that I can use as my mark on society. I can see how everything has shaped my mind to become the person I am supposed to be.

Maybe, instead of saying I wish I would've done things different, harp on how my experiences have changed me for the better. If I hadn't I probably wouldn't be back on this walk with God, or have the mature mindset that I currently find myself dwelling in. I won't lie, it's hard not to relapse back into the man I used to be but I know what I want and am determined to never go back.

Now I find myself saying I can't wait for the man I will become rather than exclaiming that I want this season of my life to be over. Of course, I want to see Amelia and be a father to her, but maybe I'm learning all that I need and going through the necessary turmoil to be the father she needs. In the courts eyes as well, maybe I won't even have to have a trial and will be granted access to her life through the mediator.

Who knows, but God, and that's who I have to put my faith in. I've been getting stronger in my walk, sometimes I wish I never stopped and got discouraged last year but I'm here now. The promise is still here and like I just mentioned, I don't plan on ever going back.

I showed up to the church in my last post and got another good word, it seems like messages are speaking directly to me. Not all of the words, but the ones that matter the most. I think it's fascinating how all the parishioners in person and online can hear the same words but God speak to us differently. It truly speaks to his omnipresence and his love for his children.

The message was on the types of hearts, based out of Matthew 13:18-23 which talks about where the seed falls. It can either fall on stoney, thorny, in the wayside, or on fruitful ground. Pastor Ed made a great point, creating a parallel between UFC and fighting off the enemy. He talked about that the best fighters have a great ground game, which is when they take their opponent to the floor and it's more of a wrestling match.

This is often where the most bones are broken and losers fall victim to submission holds which is what we need to do to our adversary. We can fight the devil off standing up when everything is good, throwing bows at him with the Word of God. On the ground though, when it's up close and personal is when we need to suffocate our situation with the Word, when Jesus was tempted by himself all he said was "It is written."

The power of words, the power of the Word, can fight off demons move mountains and heal seemingly incurable diseases. I remember one time during my college days I was back in Raleigh and I felt a presence come sit next to me on the bed. Even though I wasn't in my faith I knew it wasn't an angel and immediately spoke the name of Jesus to pray it away. There was a time when I was younger, maybe middle school age when I saw one enter my room and into me after trying to hide under the covers instead of speaking the name of the Almighty.

There's amazing power in his name, and it's inside each one of us. I finished the Crazy Faith series by Michael Todd and now onto his Charged Up series. He made a comment saying that just like our phones, we all possess the power to be charged with the realness of God. Without being plugged into a power source we have the opportunity but never tap into it. Most believe that they have a purpose, and those of the faith know that each person is predestined to a specific talent or role for the Father in heaven.

What if we all lived out our purpose, what would the world look like. I believe I'm beginning to walk into my purpose, I feel as if I should be in the political realm. Maybe not so much a politician but an activists, an outspoken person to talk for the persons that feel as if they have no voice. Or are silenced due to their circumstances or where they stay, this is where people like me come in. Like Pastor Ed, my dad, or my spiritual mentor Pastor J, all put in my life to help my growth in various areas. That's why it's important to have a consistent, confident, and faithful community around me so that I can reach out and receive positive encouragement.

Especially while going through my current trials, I pray that I can be that same vessel for my kids when they become of age. I can't wait to get Amelia and to continue to father Amara, watching her grow weekly as she starts to verbalize more words.

I have to have a good ground game, being able to fight off the enemy and his lies with the God's Word. Speaking life through scripture all while suffocating the devil and his intended purpose to steal, kill, and destroy the life that God has promised me. I'm excited to see where my walk of faith will take me next, he already speaks to me in dreams I just pray that I am living the way that I need to. The way my daughter's need me to.

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you and will instill in you the faith that brings about a peace that surpasses all understand. A faith that will eradicate any and all past hurts and pains replacing it with unspeakable happiness and wisdom to move forward in life. I love you two so much, I can't wait until all three of us can spend time together and go to church.

Daddy will ALWAYS love you, I love you.

Amara's weekend trip to the beach, look at my pretty baby.

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