At some point in life, most people approach a devastating crossroad that seems overwhelming.
Some of us, unfortunately, have experienced such turbulence on multiple occasions and even repetitively, to the point where all hope is lost, including faith in ourselves and our spirituality.
This is what happened to me.
Living the High Life
In 2013, my life was on the upswing.
Transitioning from a divorce, my sole purpose for existing was to continue working hard, keep income steady and stay busy with things and people that brought me joy.
At that time, I was directing a collegiate readiness program, teaching students in a social/emotional behavioral modification program for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), running a fitness boot camp on the weekends, playing in a local football league, working DePaul Blue Demon games and on my seventh year as a member of the Chicago Bulls entertainment team. Yes, I was extremely busy, but I loved every minute of it.
After enduring so much loss and heartbreak from the divorce, particularly with losing my son, I was finally able to regain my footing and start putting the pieces back together.
I felt, in essence, “free to move about the cabin” and so I started to rebuild life as best I could. The only drawback was the pain from not having my son, so I pulled back on hours with CPS and mentoring youth collectively.
It was time for me to live for Morris.
But mid-year, 2013, it all came crumbling down.
Before I knew it, I was lying on a cold table in the Emergency Room at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center with a torn ACL and meniscus to my left knee, an injury suffered in a football game. I was also unemployed and trying to figure out if I should take my last $6.00 to buy toilet paper for the house or invest in a can of fix-a-flat to re-inflate my rear tire and be able to get back and forth to interviews.
In 2008, I was in a massive home that I owned, raising my son in a beautiful suburb and operating with an annual salary nearly six figures.
Now I was alone, in a rental situation and sitting in the LINK office with nothing but my depressive thoughts and a pair of crutches to lean on.
“After all I’ve done, why are you doing this to ME, Lord?,” I asked during my second hour of waiting for the rude state employee behind the intake desk to call on me.
No more Bulls games. No more lakefront boot camps. With no insurance to get surgery, my knee was massively swollen for nearly four months from all the primary damage, so I was losing my body physique from not being able to get to the gym.
The empty space in my heart became the same size as the place I was renting, so I found myself wasting time with women whom I wouldn’t have otherwise been interested in, had the situation been different.
Hell, even my dog suffered.
The last thing on my mind was walking up and down 16 flights of steps from my upstairs bedroom to the main level, and then another 12 steps into the basement to feed her or let her out. And because I just wasn’t going through enough, the landlord also called to let me know that I needed to vacate the premises in two months when my lease expired, as they had decided to put the house on the market for sale.
I wanted to die… or maybe the closest thing to it, I guess.
But things eventually calmed and I was able to at least stop the bleeding. I finally found employment and started taking baby steps to regaining a sense of normalcy. Slowly but surely, the storm was passing.
At the tender age of 45, I’ve learned that the Creator has a way of getting our attention. In my case, I had gone too far off track and lost focus of what God tasked and became too consumed with what I wanted to do, not what I was sent here to do.
All the activities I were involved with were taken away from me. He silenced my noisy life filled with ripping and running, and forced me to sit down and listen to the silence.
As I began to recover emotionally, physically and somewhat financially, I began to tap back into my spirituality and reconnect within.
“I need you to do what I sent you to do, not what you want to do” was all I heard. “I got it,” was my only reply.
To this day, almost four years later, the lessons from these past few years have been the most profound. I now know, and teach unto others, that nothing good comes from disregarding or ignoring God’s direction. When He has an agenda for you that means you have been selected for a very specific purpose. When we veer off that path of purpose, the travel becomes extremely arduous and sometimes, the next exit ramp is quite far away.
Once I figured things out, understood and accepted that God placed a heavy load upon my shoulders, my purpose and direction became clearer than ever. “To whom much is given, much is expected” is certainly accurate, but what is also true, is that life will take undesired twists when we fail to do what is expected and serve in accordance to His will.
I don’t know where you are in your life, but if it’s chaotic, submit to silence; you may find the answers you seek. But it’s up to you stop, sit still and listen.
Morris is on Facebook.
Event: We are thrilled that Morris will be a part of our 5th Annual relationship panel, He Says/She Says, at The Black Women’s Expo on Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. See you there!
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