They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. What if we lived in a world where people actually operated by this principle? It’s always easy to look at someone else’s life and point out what they could have done differently. But what does it feel like from the inside looking out when all that you have in your arsenal is a pen and a pad; with an unwritten story of redemption that needs to be told?
Much of my young adult life was spent making poor decisions and having to live with the consequences of those actions. I did not know my true identity which is why I found myself searching for answers in all of the wrong places. At the age of 22 I found myself locked inside of a jail cell facing more time than I could count. I knew from that moment forward that my life would never be the same. I had no vision for the future because I couldn’t see past my circumstances, but God had something much larger in store.
This may sound crazy, but going to prison for five years is one of the best things that could have happened to me. This is where God got a hold of my heart and transformed my life from the inside out. I had no choice but to grow up inside of those walls. This place of captivity changed the way that I viewed myself and the world around me.
I wish I could say that this was easy, but it never is. Sometimes it’s the hardships in our life that develop our character more exceedingly than any other season. It takes pressure in order to break through a persons mindset; it takes pressure to break through old habits. Pressure breaks certain elements into dust, yet, diamonds are formed when exposed to extremely high pressure. The truth is that pressure makes us who we are. Just as gold is pushed through a fiery furnace to strip it of all impurities (dross), the struggles in our life can shape us and mold us, ultimately preparing our hearts for a higher calling. It’s a matter of perspective, and our response is to this is critical.
Battles are fought in our minds. “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” As we focus our minds on positive thoughts (even in the midst of chaos), we claim the victory within; thus moving us forward towards our destiny. Forging a path through our past, God connects the dots in our life going backwards. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds as God speaks through our various circumstances. As we begin to trust in Him and move past our own insecurities, we find ourselves walking in a pathway to peace. This is the first leg of our journey as we step into His promises.
I am learning to welcome every challenge as an opportunity for growth. I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. The world is telling me that I’ll never be good enough, but the fire inside is getting brighter every day. I know that I have been created with and for a purpose. I am focussing my fight, and standing firm in the middle of the opposition. I am more than a conqueror; believe it or not, my story is the greatest asset that I have.
We all have a story to tell; many of us don’t realize this until we’re asked to tell it. It all begins with how we choose to think. If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand. Seek Truth. Inspire Change. Find Your Purpose.