“You can’t be holding on to the past and at the same time have open hands to receive what God is trying to give you in the now.” – Devon Franklin
For a long time I lived for the validation of others. Subconsciously and unintentionally, but that fact still remains. But God, over the past three years, has shifted my mindset and grown me in ways I was not expecting. This growth has been painful, stressful, and at times, more than I thought I could handle. Yet, I am still here. Still changing, still growing.
You know those first ten to twenty seconds when you first wake up in the morning. Those first seconds of total freedom. You are aware of your life, your beingness; but you aren’t yet aware of all the “other” going-on’s in your life. In those first grateful seconds, we are the most thankful that we’ve made it through our night, and we’ve reached our glorious morning. The morning that is only gifted to us by our Lord. These moments of perfect peace.
Change is here.
I’ve spent a lot of time in second place. I’ve let other people place me there, or I’ve unintentionally placed myself there trying to be the best for others. Trying to be everything for everyone but myself. No more.
I’m 9 days away from 30. Honestly, I was feeling bad about it. There are certain goals and accomplishments I haven’t reached that I thought I would have by now. So, I’ve been throwing myself a pity party over the course of the past few weeks.
However, as I was packing up my apartment today, preparing for my move, I realized that this is an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a time to leave the hurt, the anxiety, the fears, and the bad memories in the past. I’m moving on. As I packed, I began to throw away things that were cluttering my life. Things that I’d been holding on to that I should have been let go of. As I packed and tossed, I felt better. I felt confident in my decision to move forward and let go of the past and some poor decisions I’ve repeatedly made, especially involving others.
In this season, I’m choosing to be selfish. I’m choosing to do things my way, in my time. I can no longer be in second place. That is not my ministry. So, if you see this bold new Justin, you better act according or get out of my way. It’s my time.
One of the most valued lessons I’ve ever learned has come over these past few weeks. That lesson was strengthened by a conversation I had with a friend today.
These past couple of weeks, God has been gathering me. Every time I turn around, He’s teaching me a new lesson, convicting me in areas that I’ve clearly missed the mark in.
Over the weekend, I traveled to Austin, TX to participate in the African American Book Festival. It was definitely a major milestone to be able to speak to a room full of book lovers and fellow writers, and to present my latest book “A Vision of Victory.”
For the next 30 days, I’ve decided to abstain from social media and sex. I’ve deleted all the apps from my phone and made a reluctant, if I am being honest, promise to God that I would not share the intimacy of my soul with another person.
Daniel 9:23 says, “The moment you began praying, a command was given.”