I Stand Alone; I Do Not Fail. Anyone who knows me well, knows that these two statements are near and dear to my heart. One is tattooed across my left arm; the other on the right. They serve as constant reminders of the definition of manhood, for me.
Sometimes, a man has to stand alone, with no one beside him, save for the Lord above. There are times in life when everyone…and I do mean everyone…will disagree with my stance. It takes a real man to stand on his own priciples despite the opinions of the peanut gallery. Even the well-respected among family tend to question my judgment, at times.
It becomes frustrating to learn people lose faith in you, but in reality, it’s not surprising. You see, God’s word tells us to trust in Him because man will fail you. I have to be honest: going again the grain of family reasoning is a trial. It’s a lot easier said than it is done, because Satan has a way of causing me to second-guess my decisions from time to time, especially where my family’s well-being is concerned. Those are the times I stare in the mirror and repeat the words permanently inked into my skin.
I Stand Alone
I Do Not Fail
I am a man who believes in his gift. I am a writer. For better or worse, I will be a writer until the day I die. I believe I was given the gift to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s my contribution to the world, and long after I’m gone, my legacy will be my writing. I believe I’m good at it…really good at it. I have a story to tell; the type of story that will someday cause the masses to stop what they’re doing and ponder the meaning behind my words. I believe that bold statement, whole heartedly. God didn’t give me this gift to simply waste countless hours laboring over a computer screen, instead of engaging in a more productive career choice. No, my friend! This is the work, I was called to do! I think that needs repeating, eliminating any confusion.
This is the work, I was called to do!
I believe in my talent, because it is beyond me. I had a close friend tell me once, “I would have never guessed you wrote this story! It’s so unlike you. The voice of the story could have been written by a scholar, not mister average Joe standing in front of me.” That, my friends, is a gift from the Lord. Because I believe that, I believe that every hour spent writing is an hour spent doing what I was born to do. I can’t stop it; I can’t turn it off. And I will never deny it.
The day will come when my writing will be discovered by the world at large. The talent I knew of all along will finally be released from the box of captivity. Everyone will see what I have always seen. Skeptics who once told me to give up and try something else, will be the first in line to receive my autograpgh. Family members who chastized the time spent in my mental man-cave, will suddenly forgive all the late night writing sessions. Critics who never gave my work a first glance, will clamor for five minutes of my time. When that day arrives, I don’t plan to spout, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah…I told you so”. I plan to use that time as my platform to glorify the Lord; the one who gave me the gift in the first place.
When others turn their backs on my talent, I still have me, myself and I to believe in. Let the rejection letters continue; let the denial emails come forth; let the scoffers scoff; let the haters hate. When I encounter opposition, I still hear God’s voice whispering to me to keep going. I hear my Lord bid me to continue the work. In the midst of opposition, I praise the Lord and continue to write for Him. With that attitude, I don’t fail because I never give up. I’m never alone in my endeavor because He is always with me, when no one else is.
I wrote this during one of those times of struggle. It was one of those times when it seemed the world was mocking my talent. I didn’t retreat into submission; I chose not to wallow in self pity. Instead, I prayed to God, to grant me the strength to persevere, then got down to business. I wrote two short stories and a memoir piece over two days time.
Someday, my son Nate is going to happen upon the journal I’ve been writing specifically for him, over the last ten years. When he finds it, I want him to know that his dad refused to quit on what he truly loved to do, even when everyone and everthing was against him. I want my son to see that trust in the Lord and diligence will bring victory.
I’m not in this for money, fortune or fame. Sure, those are nice byproducts of success. I’m more interested in spreading the message over the world, whatever that God-given message may be. I write because I have to, and when no one stands with me, then I ‘ll stand alone and I won’t fail. I have a story to tell. Someday, you’ll want to read it.