April 24th, 2010 | By Sonnie Johnson
Whenever things get tough in my life, I start to think back on the past. I’ve learned there are no new lessons, just lessons learned the hard way and forgotten. Even the most self-reflective person falls victim to apathy. And it is in this moment God hits you with a dose of reality.
He took me away. I was only an infant and my mother was addicted to crack. My father wasn’t ready to be a single father, so he gave me away. I found an Angel on earth. God gave me my mother.
He took me away. I was always one to question, so he sent me a pastor who welcomed debate. In the youngest years of my religious up-bringing my pastor preached self-sufficiency, the power of faith, and an always open mind. I had a spiritual guide sent by God
He took me away. In high school I got Honor Roll without even trying. I did the minimal to succeed and spent the rest of the time skipping. When I was forced to switch schools my junior year, I was awakened. One old bald teacher asked questions that made me think, this was a foreign concept. I was used to regurgitation. God blessed me with the true method of learning.
He took me away. I was surrounded by conservatives that preach liberalism. Single mothers who pay all their bills on time will encourage you to get food stamps. First generation fathers convince their sons abortion is acceptable. Former felon turned business owner proclaims “The man in trying to keep me down”. God gave me a sense of humor for irony.
He took me away. I love a bad boy. A crisp white tee, fresh braids, and an attitude to match. Crohn’s stopped that fast. It’s hard to deal with the drama of a hard-headed stubborn male when you spend every other week in the hospital. God knows better than you, I’ll leave it at that.
He took me away. Away from his church, away from school, away from my family and friends, and away from my own personal desires. He took everything from me and I was left wondering what was next. For a long time, I wondered what was the purpose. Why did God put so much time and energy into guiding my life, even when I had turned from him?
Only now that God has built me back up do I understand the wisdom in his plan. He knew I needed something strong in my life that wouldn’t let me stray to far and he blessed me with Mary. Before she gave birth to me, someone slipped something in her drink. She hasn’t been right since. Though I wasn’t perfect, I knew that my actions held consequences.
He knew his church wasn’t what it used to be. At 16 I began to wonder why the church had never built anything. Not to be funny but since I was 6 there was a building fund to buy land adjacent to the church. My Grandmother forced me to attend meetings, so I know the county was selling the land to the church at a reduced price. To this day, no land. You get a message, with no real community outreach just judgement, criticism, and a collection plate.
He knew schools were no longer teaching the truth. I did three book reports on Langston Hughes and was never told he was a Communist. No books available to me at the time revealed this fact nor did any teacher correct my error. And don’t even get me started on W.E.B. I would love to ask just one English or History teacher for the truth about him and the Eugenics movement.
He knew I had surrounded myself with people who had already surrendered. They are in the same place now as they were when I left. No progress, no advancement just a bunch of complaints. I love to talk so I have two options; complain or speak out. When in Rome……..I’d still be there complaining.
He knew that when I set my mind on something I wanted, or something I wasn’t supposed to have, there was no stopping me. Even to my own detriment. The hardest transition is taking your personal desires and pushing them to the side to do God’s will. It leaves you wondering what could’ve been, if you don’t have the faith to put it all in God’s hands.
He took me away and he placed me in this bubble. In this confined space I have reaffirmed my commitment to God, I’ve captured my history, I’ve build a new group of friends, and now I’m fighting the last step in the process. Why? I know what God has in store but I can’t help but want what I want. God I am a work in progress. Please keep your hands on me.