If I were to be honest, writing my feelings, experiences, and even my opinions down on paper is something that I prefer NOT to do. I like the tranquility and peace of not having to hear the criticisms and critiques about my life from those who do not intimately know me. You see, everyone has an opinion...whether grounded in fact or fiction, people feel the need to voice it now-a-days...and if you are not careful, their opinion becomes your reality.
My entire childhood was a struggle. Growing up poor, absent father, living with a family member who struggled with mental illness, watching my mother battle depression, carrying the scars and secrets of things family members said and did to me...I can go on and on...but those experiences (And many more like them) began to shape my view regarding how I fit into this world. Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit? It is a emotion where you feel as if you cannot genuinely be accepted by anyone. It is a feeling where you become a chameleon and adapt to your environment. It is a feeling whereas you forget to explore who you really are, instead, you live your life to please others. It becomes your sole mission. This is problematic because you never experience the true blessing in exploring how awesome you are...and how amazing your life truly can be.
My escape from my childhood reality was music. I would go Into my room, turn off the lights, put on my choir albums and direct the choir in the dark. That was my niche! I did not have a melodious singing voice like my cousins, I was not able to play the piano as good as others
in my family and I could NOT dance...but directing the choir was MINE. In my head, I directed choirs across the globe. In my head, I was world renown. In my head, I won Stellar awards, Grammy awards, Soul Train Awards and other achievements. As I started to move from the four walls of my room to directing choirs into mainstream church, I finally felt a sense of belonging. When people saw me, they knew me...for once they knew my name...they loved me...or did they... What I realized in this process was this...people can love you for your gift and not love you. Much of the love I received throughout the years of my childhood and most of my adulthood came from church folks...and it was false. Much of the accolades that I received was based on what I did, instead of who I was. My importance was based on how I made someone else FEEL...the chameleon was still in full effect and on display for all to see. I was back at square one.
I HEARD the call of God on my life. A pastor...
Me? You must be out of your mind. (Yes, that’s what I said to God.....more than once I might add.) Every excuse that I could think of became my reason for not heeding to the call. Yet, God continued to confirm the call...and I kept running. FAST. I did not know what I was running from or where I was running to, but running seemed better than actually facing my reality or my destiny. To face it, I had to face ME. I had to confront every insecurity. I had to dig up all of those things stemming from my childhood that was said or done. I had to release some of the narrative i said about myself and begin to embrace what HE had for me. I had to strip myself of wanting the approval and/or validation from anyone other than HIM. I had to face the harsh reality that I’d lose people who I thought were friends. I no longer had the option to be a chameleon. I no longer had to accept the crumbs given from a false master who never wanted to feed me in the first place. This would change the course of my life...forever...I decided to stop running.
I finally said...YES!
It was NOT just a call to pastor. I finally said yes to embracing the “Botiwa“ that God originally created. I accepted the fact that my name meant “Bridge Over Troubled Water...and my impact in this world comes from the strength, the fortitude, and the courage that is needed to help people cross over from trauma to triumph...from victim to victor...from stressed to solace...from religion to kingdom...from death to life. My yes, was simply a submission to His plan for my life. My plan brought me false glory and recognition....His plan for my life brings glory to Him while simultaneously I receive joy, peace and favor. My yes was a choice but not an option. I believe that my yes has and will continue to make an impact in this world. That one simple yes will unlock purpose And destiny in the lives of many...for future generations. That one simple yes will bring forth people who were destined for hell, but are now Kingdom bound. That one simple yes will be the catalyst for tearing down the principalities and rulers of darkness over this region. And there is more to come. I do not have all of the answers but, wherever He leads, I choose to follow because my yes to Him went far deeper than a position or a title. My yes, saved my life!
can I ask you a question? What has God called you to that you’ve struggled to say yes to? Business, school, ministry, service.... I’d like to be accountable with you to help you cross into your full yes to Him. Running in place gets you nowhere....fast!