“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.'”
My journey started like most journeys, without any prediction, planning or perspective. Most journeys are wonderful that way. We don’t notice small details, opportunities for growth, and changing wind patterns until we find our self in the midst of something troubling and traumatic or tremendous and terrific. Wonderfully, we don’t get to choose our journeys.
They often choose us.
When my lonely walk down a dirt path began I was praying and wondering aloud what God’s plan and purpose was for my life.“What do you want me to do God?” I prayed. I prayed that same prayer for a few days in March 2010, sitting in meditation waiting, wanting and longing for God to speak to my heart. The good news is He did.
He said write.
I know many of you reading this right now find it hard to believe God would actually tell anyone to write or to do anything for that matter. And I’m sure many don’t believe He spoke to me. I get it. And as many of you ponder my words I’m without little doubt that more than a few eyes are rolling.
Like I said. I get it.
But this is more than a story; it’s the truth. Over and over I would hear in my silence the word write. There was no audible voice pur se; it was just a continual wave of urges that wouldn’t allow me to separate myself from the constant thought or internal nudging to write.“What do you want me to write?” I said impatiently. “I can’t write a novel or book. I have no idea where to even begin, “Just write,” He said.
So write I did.
Over the past four years I’ve written roughly 351,111 words and 300 pieces on my first site, mybabyr0c.
I touched upon everything from the great Jackie Robinson to the top ten Michael Jackson songs (the top 5 when he was black and the top 5 when he was white) of all-time. I have researched and written about superheroes, and the virtues they embody, and the reasons why men and children become angry. I have shared with my readers that my son Ryan met Picasso at McDonald’s and that another one of my boys, Bryce, never wet to bed when he was young because as he stated: “the pee stayed in his underwear. “
I even wrote about LeBron James.
All of the pieces were written with complete sincerity and transparency with the goal in mind of developing an authentic voice. I have shared my thoughts, opinions and beliefs, valuing the importance of not coming off as an obnoxious know it all do gooder.
I hope I was able to accomplish that.
The writings were the beginning of a journey in which God enabled me to create mybabyr0c; a journey, and a journal, that has created significant growth in my life, and from that growth I’ve been encouraged beyond belief.
I hope others have been encouraged too.
During this past four years of writing I’ve come to realized that I love Lenny Kravitz and his talent more than I thought I did, and while growing in that realization I wondered aloud, more than a few times, why I can’t be as cool or good-looking as he. With each passing day I’m beginning to grasp the fact that I don’t need to drink orange soda every day, and that God loves me more than I could ever imagine. I understand I don’t have to hate anyone under any circumstance just because they hate me or because they have hurt me, and I still believe Sting to be insanely talented and that he will always be my favorite artist. I’ve also discovered that the pure silence and quietness surrounding ones thoughts, dreams, and hopes is the best sound that can be heard.
Silence isn’t only golden; it’s purposeful and meaningful.
Over the past seven years I have intimately become aware that my wife is greater than I first thought and that having a family is a blessing; not a burden. I have grown in the fact that inviting God into my daily activities each morning, and thanking him for being responsive to my plea at the end of the day, is the single best thing I can do every day.
Finally, I recognize that I’m more blessed to have my children as my children than they are to have me as their father, and that my parents are the smartest people I know. I have also become more conscious of the fact that I have more questions than I do answers and that all of my questions have one answer- the same answer -God, and that writing my thoughts down has better prepared me to discuss what I believe and why I believe, all the while enabling me to fulfill God’s command in 1 Peter 3:15-17:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
In the end, I’ve come to believe that James Taylor’s song Fire & Rain and Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins to be two of the best songs ever recorded and that during my journey I have noticed that I’m not an expert on marriage, parenthood, friendship, love, on doing the right thing, character, the bible or anything, but that I’m only an expert on me and me only. I know me better than anyone else except for God.
And I know if God can transform my life he can transform anyone’s life. This I do know.
Welcome to the next part of my journey, welcome to shawnbbailey.com.