For as long as I can remember, my parents have been divorced and I have had two separate homes.
My mom lived with her parents in Oakland, California and that is where I was raised. It was great to share those days with my grandpa from eating popcorn and drinking rootbeer to playing with trains. I don’t recall anything specific that he ever shared with me, but at 5 years old, I was deeply sadened when he died.
The good thing about having two parents and two homes, was having everything I wanted. I was an only child and I was spoiled. My dad always rewarded me for good grades. He used to pick me up after school and take me to karate classes. The crazy thing was this was like driving from Salem to Portland after school just to come back after karate. But that is how much my dad loved me. That was how much I was spoiled.
I loved my dad’s. I enjoyed my friends there every weekend. Eventually my mom got remarried and had 3 kids with my step-dad. This was rough for me because I was no longer the only child, and no longer was I spoiled. Sharing wasn’t my best attribute. My dad also remarried, but at age 12 I moved in with my dad and began middle school. I had my friends and I made new ones.
Somewhere along the way, I wasn’t getting the best of grades and I wasn’t being the best kid. But high school came and I joined the football team with my friend. I had never played before and so I was a wide-receiver and a corner back. Not that I was starting or anything, but I did what I could.
I was 14 years old when my mom had her 3rd child with my step dad. Because she already had my sister and brother, this new sister wasn’t a huge deal to me. The same year my dad and step mom had a daughter as well. I was again sharing my parents with a sibling, and I was still selfish and learning to share. After having 3 other siblings, this new sibling wasn’t a huge deal to a 14 year old like me, so I never had any pictures taken with her. I never really held her. I was a freshman and everything was new for me again. I was detached.
6 weeks into the football season I finally proved myself worthy to start on defense. Wednesday night the coach let me know I was starting. I was so excited to tell my dad. When I got my home my dad and step mom were crying. They kept saying “we lost her”, but I was confused. I knew they were talking about my sister, but I thought she got kidnapped or something. I finally figured out that she had died of what is known as SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. Basically, she just stopped breathing.
I was so distraught and depressed. For one, I was being selfish. For two, I never took the time out to spend time with my sister. This is what really got me depressed. At this point in my life I got obsessed with death and questioned why God would allow such a thing to happen. It didn’t make sense to me. My dad and step mom cursed God for taking their baby.
All I could do is ask why and look into the Bible to see if there were any answers. My obsession with scriptures like “an eye for an eye” came from my interest in some tattoos on my favorite rapper. But that is another story.
My step mom ended up giving me this bible that changed my life. There was so much good stuff in here and great poetry – which I really appreciated. Throughout my search for answers and facing my depression I just couldn’t do it on my own. I was desparate for love and attention – something I missed as an only child. But girls at school didn’t give me the time of day. Nothing ever worked.
So one day, my friend invited me to a youth group much like this thing tonight. He told me there would be free grub and maybe some cute girls. Open-mindedly I accepted his offer and came to a church for a youth night.
I do not remember the sermon given or anything really except for the fact that Jesus was tugging at my heart. I knew I was lost and confused in my life. I had been taking the wrong directions. Jesus was my answer. Jesus was my guide and my hero. I took the preacher’s advice and called on the name of Jesus. I asked him to be in my heart and take over my thoughts. Jesus right then rescued me from hurting myself and falling deeper into depression.
My thoughts and feelings on death changed. I looked at girls differently. I wanted to help others. I wanted to help people find answers. I felt Jesus lead me to a better way and a better path. My life took a 180.
The hardest thing was that even though all this occured inside of me, the outside didn’t seem different to anyone. I didn’t have a church to go to every week. I didn’t have great friends around me encouraging me to deepen my relationship with Jesus. I had to do it all on my own.
By God’s grace I was able to express myself and share my talent for poetry through music. I began writing raps and began sharing stories about positive things. That is how I really got into music. I wanted to share my new life and my new love with everything willing to listen.
God has done so much for me and through me since he chose me at age 14. I was 16 when I met Jesus. But the whole thing was lined up for something I didn’t see or understand at the time.
Now, I am married to a wonderful women that believes in God like I do. We adopted her nephew right after getting married. And we just recently had a child of our own as well. No longer am I lonely or depressed. I am definitely fulfilled by God’s love and he has blessed me with a family. Now my music means much more than it did 7 years ago.
This new found love has been the greatest thing to ever happen to me. And to think that a child with divorced parents, and a child with a sibling that died all of a sudden, a child that was lost and depressed and shy… to think… this child has grown into a family man that God intended on growing up. And look at me now. All because I accepted the gift of Jesus.