You Love Me, You Love Me, You Love Me...

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Read below my prayer to God. Just so you know, this is how I talk to my Abba, I hope you are not offended but, if you are, let's be honest: Ya know I don't really care...

Man, God,  so much has happened in my life in the past month. I had to come face-to-face with my humanity. I had to come to the realization that in life there are ups, there are downs and there are so many places in between. In short, shit happens. I can choose to wallow in it (which I did for about ten days) or I can get cleaned up. I can ask your forgiveness, receive it and kick rocks.

If I have learned anything from you within the past two weeks it is that I am yours. Though I stumble, fall and even forsake you, I am your boy. Just as in these past weeks weeks my earthly Abba has reaffirmed his love for me and devotion to me, so did you. You reminded me that even when I fail him, that even when I fail people and when I fail myself that I can run to you and receive help and mercy in my time of need. About a week ago I drove down to Reidsville at like eight at night just to be with my dad. To spend the night and just be with him. He was there for me, there to love me, affirm me and tell me that things would get better. That though life seems like it is over that if I keep going, things will get better. I will breathe again. I will smile again. I will live again. Life is not over. He told me that every time that I am breathing is a time to see things get better--to see to it that they get better. Just as dads do...even for a near thirty year old son. If my earthly father does that for me, how much more you, the one who has known me from the commencement of time?

Life has been crazy, but thanks to you and the wonderful family and friends that you have given me, I am seeing some light. I will never forget the grace, love and mercy shown me by my baby, Kelly, thanks for the gift that she is, Abba. My twin brother Dee and Courtney. Mom, Dad, and my step-mom. My sister Keisha and Kenny, Von and Shannell, Telly and Penny and Aron and Vickey. Real talk, without Jesse and Mille, I don't know how Kelly and I would have navigated this.

You know what's weird, at the time when I should have been driving into my broader family and community I pulled back. I isolated myself. But thanks be to you, they did not give up on me. Tonetta drove from D.C. because I wasn't answering her calls--she is a true evidence of Grace. It still blows me away that folks doubt that she is yours and has a love for you that rivals any of ours on our best day--but I digress. Pastor Smith drove down from Hillsborough and took me to lunch and spent about three hours with me--I mean, honestly we didn't spend that kind of time together when I served under him--gosh that made me feel special. Pastor John and Nathan came over--I knew that Pastor John would; despite our differences, that man loves me and I know that he wants the best for me. Thank you so much for that man! Oh, and then that Sunday night your sweet Martha came over to love me and hug me and to give me her sweet and affirming, "baby...". Jake--what an amazing dude--cried with me, held me and was there for me. Charlton--gosh I love that dude--was there praying and giving me the space that I said I needed. Jonjo text me and said, "Ok, it's time to get yo black (bleep) out of bed." and made me smile and laugh like only he can do! Tiffany called and said, "RAY MCKINNON!" in that Tiffy voice--dang I miss her. Josh gave his hugs complete with sound effects. Elisa cleaned the house and was her normal sweet self. Then there was Neal who dropped by and said that I was being uber dramatic in typical Neal fashion--It was so great seeing him on the couch, watching TV and eating as I came from the back. Josh L., my fellow progressive, was the constant...he was there for me and with me through it all. There are so many who I am leaving out. It is so crazy how truly loved I am, thanks, Dad.

You know, in the middle of all of this, the enemy of my soul had me convinced that I was unloved, unwanted and a used up commodity that was now fit only to be discarded. It is amazing that in the thick of sin, life, mess, chaos or whatever, that the enemy can convince you to believe such ridiculous lies. He actually had me convinced that I was unloved! The funny thing is that he was not able to convince me that you, the Lover of my Soul, discarded me, so he went to what he knew would hurt almost as deeply: my people. The reality is that I was never, in any of this process, less loved by you nor any of my people. It was through this that I was finally able to see how loved I really was and to receive that love..

God thank you for your grace. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your people who shone through your goodness.

Father, grant it that I--and all who read this--will never live less loved. Grant it that I will always combat the lies of the enemy of our soul with the truth of scripture. It's not over. The best days have not passed. I look with anticipation toward the future you have for Kelly and me. We are excited, daddy, about Hickory and Christ Church. We are, as you know, also scared as all get out. We're going your way, Abba!

Love you so much,  God,



Enemy of my soul:

I look back now, I look at how you tried to break me to take my life, my peace of mind and drive me crazy. My self esteem, my dreams, my destiny.So, God allowed it, because He knew He had big plans for me. But you can't mess with my mind anymore; this is it, done. It's a wrap! I'll holla!

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