When You’re In The Wilderness

When you’re traveling through the wilderness, and it feels like life is hitting you with everything it’s got, it’s amazing to finally look up and see the growth that has occurred. Like many of you, I’ve been going through a storm in my life and truthfully, it’s been extremely hard to navigate. I think the main lesson here is that I shouldn’t be navigating… period. But that’s for another blog post.

This season of my life has put me in some pretty low places and has had me asking extremely important yet vague questions. I’ve been so low that anxiety attacks and breakdowns often occur, and I’ve been so confused and full of questions like, “What’s the point,” “What am I even doing here on this Earth,” “What’s my purpose,” “If I’m supposed to go the heaven, and that’s the goal, what is the point of this lifetime,” the list goes on.

But with all of that said, just recently, I got a chance to look up and realized just how far God has taken me through this season. So here is a little bit of what I’ve learned so far traveling through the wilderness.


God Is Still With You In The Wilderness

I must say, I never thought God left me during this season; He’s been with me all the time, but He’s been quiet. It’s weird to move from a season where God is chatty, and I’m talkative, and we’re really “vibing,” and I can feel Him and see Him moving, to a season when I’ll pray, and I start to wonder if He’s heard, or if He cares, or if He’s a little too busy for me. But if I’ve learned anything from Bible stories, it’s that God is still there. He’s always there, even when you’re in the wilderness. That was true of the Israelites when they were traveling from Egypt to The Promise Land, and it was also true of Jesus when spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness. God was there, the whole time.


Perspective

If you take nothing else from this blog post, please understand the power of perspective. It truly can change your life, and it’s something I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. After weeks of breakdowns, crying, and then finally realizing that things aren’t going to change, I need to, I adopted a new perspective. Often times, it’s just that, understand that things won’t get better, but you can. More often than not, it’s counting your blessings a little more than you have in the past, or seeing a situation from some else’s point of view. Whatever it is, I promise a change in perspective will do wonders for you and your ability to get through this tough season. Keep in mind, much of the time, the season you’re in has a lot to do with how you wait. I’m sure the Israelites who ended up wandering for 40 years when they should have reached The Promise Land in 11 days could tell you better than I can.


Trials Produce Growth

I’ve heard it many times before that you can only grow when you’re going through something, and I am here to say that is true. It’s true for when you’re building physical muscles, and it’s true for when you’re building spiritual muscles.

You don’t build muscle by just hanging out and being comfortable. You build muscle by lifting, working, running, etc. That’s how you grow your muscle tissue. So that’s the same for your spiritual muscles. You can’t grow when you’re comfortable and what’s more uncomfortable and growth producing than a good ‘ole fashion test, trial, or walk through the wilderness?


Stronger

I don’t know what the Lord is preparing me for, but I do know He has taken me through the wilderness to prepare me, and because of that, I am stronger. One place, in particular, I have found myself to be stronger is in my mind. This wasn’t an easy one. I am a thinker guy, and because of that, I can think myself into great moods, bad moods, sad moods, whatever emotion, I can think myself into it. But because I’m only human, I often think myself into the lowest, most unhappy thoughts. This season has caused me to work on my mental. God exposed my weakness, humbled me to the ground about it, and then showed me that through Him alone I can overcome my thoughts.

He also changed my thoughts towards work. I find this so ironic that He changed my perspective on work during a season I’m not really working (full-time). Like LOL, God is funny! Despite not having a full-time job, He has shown me the importance of being grateful, being humble, stewarding small beginnings, and hustling. I always thought of myself as a hard worker, but this season and being an adult in general, has really taught me what hard work is, and how to stay consistent when you feel overlooked, uninspired, unappreciated, and bored.

To say the least, the Lord is working on me, in the wilderness, and for that, I am thankful.


I’ll end with this… recently, I heard a pastor say, something along the lines of, “Sometimes you’re not moving out of this season because you haven’t thanked or praised God yet.” That wasn’t the exact quote, but my take away from it was, you need to thank God for what He’s giving you, but you also need to thank Him for what He’s about to bring you into.

Praise Him for what you’re believing for as if you already have it and see what happens. Thank Him for what you’re believing for and see what He does. I find myself getting into a habit of always asking God for things, but rarely praising Him, or thanking Him for what I do have, and for the things He is doing but I can’t see. I’ve been making an effort to change this, and I hope you do too.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and be salt & light!

 

2017 was… My Year in a Blog Post

2017 was a lot of things…Empowering. Life changing. Crappy. Overwhelming. Heartbreaking. Devastating. Eye opening. A time for growing. A year of beginnings. A year of endings. A learning experience. Humbling. Confusing. Mind-blowing… I could go on. But here is my year in one post. Enjoy!

January-March

January to March was quite a blur, mainly because nothing really happened. I was in the middle of my final basketball season. But at the beginning of March, the game I’d played for 14 years was no longer a major part of my life; my season had come to an end. I was officially a retired college athlete… weird. 🙀 🤭 😔 So many mixed emotions but ultimately I felt as though it was a change for the better.

April-June In April, I honed my fitness, focused on me, and I took at 13-hour road trip by myself from Kansas to Georgia. At last, after 4 years of college, I was finally home! 🚗 May came, and I was feeling the travel bug. I “jetted”✈️(well… I few commercial) off to Europe to experience the wonderful country of Ireland. Being in such a different place and experiencing a culture different from my own allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for cultures out outside of my own. It’s always great to see life from other people’s perspective.

I also started making mini-documentary style videos. It was the beginning stages of Movers & Shakers.

July-September In July, I wrapped up my master’s classes and graduated! Two degrees!!!✏️📚🎓 I also started interning at CNN.

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In August, I won a contest/sweepstakes! What are the chances? I won the opportunity to travel with Goose Island to Elk Mountain Farms in Bonners Ferry, Idaho and be a part of their Road to the Harvest event. I also got a chance to meet one of my favorite YouTubers, Erik Conover.

As someone who is not keen on beer, it was an awesome opportunity to better understand how beer is made, what goes into getting the IPA you’re drinking from the field to the table, and much more. All in all, while beer isn’t my drink of choice, because of this experience, when I do decide to drink beer, Goose Island will be my first choice. 🍺

In September, for the first time in four years, I was home to celebrate my moms birthday! I also visited New York for the first time ever and completely fell in love with the city. I loved the walking, the hustle, and bustle, but came to the conclusion that while many people get their start ruffing it in the city of opportunity, I’m just fine creating and taking hold of opportunities right where I am. It was here that I also gained a great appreciation for my hometown, both the city of Atlanta and the northern suburbs where I’m from.

NYC
@ Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

It was also my birthday month, and for some reason, turning 22 sparked some major changes in me. You can’t do the same things and expect different results. So long story short, I started to act and carry myself like more of an adult and let me tell you, adulting is hard.

November was a month for the books. I launched Movers & Shakers, Dad Hats Only (my apparel company that specialized in trendy dad hats), and landed my first real full-time adult job. The full-time adult job had been a long time coming. So many nights of crying, wondering why my friends have been hired and I hadn’t. Finally, all of that came to an end.

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I promptly started my grown-up and professional job in early December and haven’t looked back since. I also promptly closed my new business, Dad Hats Only. It’s comical how short the life of that business was, but it truly taught me a lot about running a business. Plus, I read somewhere that the percentage of businesses that actually succeed are so small, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

I also celebrated my brother’s birthday at home, then Christmas, and set off for DC to end 2017 and bring in the New Year with old friends. In particular, my best friend whom I hadn’t seen in 3.5 years.

All in all, 2017 was a pretty good year. Definitely, a year for growth and I’m excited to see what 2018 has to offer. It’s going to be a great one! Comment below some of your highlights from 2017! I’d love to hear them.

As always, if you enjoyed this blog post, please be sure to share it on social media, and subscribe so that you never miss a post.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!!

Thoughts from 40,000 feet

Hey, guy! It’s been a week since I last created a blog post. I traveled the week prior and let’s just say it got the best of me. But I’m back, and while there will be posts about my trip in the future, this post consists of a few thoughts I had on my eight-hour flight across the Atlantic.


As I was on my way to the airport, I couldn’t escape a sinking feeling. I had scrolled through Instagram numerous times that day just to see graduation pictures. Since I graduated undergrad last year and am graduating from grad school this year, you would think this wouldn’t be new to me.

Graduation in 2016 was surreal. I had put in so much work to graduate early, and it was so gratifying, but unlike some, my time in education wasn’t over. I knew I’d pursue a graduate degree.

This year that is no longer true. Which if I’m honest, that wasn’t the reason for my sinking feeling. I think I’ll live without having to take another test or write another paper.

What is difficult to live with is the idea that this chapter of my life is coming to an end. High school came and went, and I didn’t really love it so when it was over I didn’t care too much. But college has been the best years of my life thus far. My time in undergrad and graduate school have truly been fantastic, and I think what scares me most is that in my head I believe life can’t get better than that because life hasn’t been better than that.

I know it’s a sad thought and to some quite dramatic but for me very honest and real. I share this because I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

To this day college holds some of my dearest memories with such wonderful people and often times you hear people say, “Those are going to be the best years of your life.” But what about the other 40+ years I’m supposed to live after college? Will they be as exciting or is the best behind me?

I look at my parents and other wonderful mentors in my life, and while they can say college was fun, all of them also say life gets better.

So with that, I have come to the conclusion that life is always getting better. High school was better than middle school, college better than high school, and I guess, the rest of my life will be better than college.

It’s a hard concept to wrap my head around. What could possibly be better than four years of minimal responsibility, major trial-and-error when adulting, and wonderful friends to get you through?

Overall, the uncertainty of this new chapter of post-college living sparked my sinking feeling. But if you feel the same way, we ultimately have to believe that the best is yet to come. College, as great as it was, was simply an appetizer to the main course, the rest of our lives and everything that has yet to come.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that college and its memories will always hold a special place in our hearts, and though it’s hard to see it go, we should look forward to creating a new set of “best years of our lives.”

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.