“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight”
Proverbs 3:5,6 is a scripture that explains how I came to know God through my experiences. Reflecting back, I can see how God was always with me. How He guided me along a path that I chose to veer from by the choices I made. Those choices caused me pain and confusion. But as a loving Father would do, God gently pushed me back on track. If I fall down, He picked me up or if I turned left, He would turn me right.
Mother always said growing up, “Vernon, follow your instincts and let your conscience be your guide.” She was talking about the little light we all have inside of us. God truly guides us even at times we are far from him. The subtle voice that tells us right from wrong? That’s God. The voice of reason spoke often but I seldom listened.
I was a bright kid who learn fast. I always enjoyed mind games (like chess), and my favorite subject in school was math. I grew up during the period when kids were seen but not heard. I played football, basketball, and baseball all year round at the Fleishman Boys club. I earned A’s and B’s in school. I didn’t know older guys looked up to me because I did what I supposed to do. But still, there was something inside of me that liked what others were doing, like stealing, robbing, and getting high.
It was the lack of love I had for myself that scared my personality. I believed I wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything. As a result, I created a false representation of myself to hide my insecurities from others and myself. I did it in the name of pride. My pride demanded that my reputation be better than my reality even though my reality was fine. Pride controlled my actions and fear controlled my pride.
Fear, like love, is a gift from God. God gives us natural fear to help us avoid harmful situations. There are fears that keep us from becoming our true self who God intended us being. For me, not understanding this kept me acting on self-will only wanting to satisfy myself. This encouraged me to make choices only on how I was feeling. It’s the main ingredient for self-destruction.
The road to God is different for many people. Some people raised in church and taught at a young age how to acknowledge God. But I believe most people have gone through an internal battle with themselves and then surrendered to God’s will after a life long battle with their reality.
My reality was that I grew up not knowing who my father were and built a resentment toward my mother who showed me nothing but love. She gave me structure like making me do my homework as soon as I got home from school, buying me what I needed and not what I wanted, and demanding I be in the house before the street lights came on (I hated those street lights).
One of my biggest down falls was trying to understand everything and if I didn’t understand it I would cry foul and become angry and rebellious. I was leaning on my ability to understand but God hadn’t given me the capacity to understand so it was painful.
Having a child on the way I turned down an offer to play college football. I didn’t want my son to grow up away from his father. It was a decision I had to make and at times I didn’t think I made the right choice. My life was falling apart as I began to drink beer and smoke weed. At times, I became frozen within my self-doubt asking God, “Why me?” But God had a calling for my life. If God want to use you first you must get some experience in the wilderness.
Even though I was drinking everyday having a child kept me off the streets. (Let’s just say, I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for God blessing me with Little Vee). God was directing my path. Having a son forced me to take a look at myself. I wanted to become someone.
God has blessed me in so many ways. I help people with addiction, speak to kids who don’t know their fathers, and speak with men who are going through a divorce. All of my life experiences were a benefit to me and others as I offer blessings and my services. There was a time I didn’t have any hope or didn’t think I had a future. ‘BUT GOD’.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” GOD IS GOOD!