When I didn’t know myself or who I wanted to be, I made up my mind that I wanted to be like everyone else in the streets: drugs, alcohol, violence, and a misunderstanding of what life is supposed to be like. During this time, my mother passed away. I began blaming my family for my situation. I was confused and angry at myself, causing more turmoil and destruction for my future.
Reaching out to people who I thought were good to have in my life, I found they only caused more trouble. Going out with those friends nearly cost me my life. We did the unimaginable. I hoped they would think I was cooler, and maybe I would gain their respect or trust.
The pressure made matters worse, until finally, we were charged for our actions. The justice system wanted to make us an example – if you were to make the same mistakes, you would be charged with the maximum penalty. At the trial, my so-called “friends” made me out to be the ring-leader – “the baddest wolf of them all.”
We were all facing 10 years in prison, but they made themselves out to be victims instead of the criminals. Due to lack of evidence, my sentence was dropped to six months in jail plus seven years of probation. The rest of them got 30 days in jail, plus probation.
In the middle of all this, I asked God for forgiveness, separated from my old self, and put a new me on. I had a choice: I could choose to keep those “friends,” or I could choose the woman I ended up marrying.
Now I know my place in life, and I have a purpose. I found a really good job doing what I love: cooking. I’m living my own happily ever after, devoting my life to God and my wife. I got off probation a year ago, decided to move from the projects I once resided in, and forgave the people who mistreated me.
If you ever have troubles, know that He will free you. Forgive yourself, and know that surrounding yourself with the right people will help you choose right over wrong.