All my life I have always been told that I needed an influential role model in my life; somebody important to me... someone to look up to...
Growing up as a child; disowned by my father... and had a mother that had to work too often to spend time with me, help me with homework, or get to know me; just so we could afford clothes on our backs, food in our stomach, and a roof over our head (thank you by the way)... it was impossible for me to trust anyone; and even harder to look up to anyone... and anyone that I did start to look up to ended up leaving soon after.
Well; after many years of failures in my life and many years of hardships and attempted suicides I finally found someone of whom not only said they cared; but actually proved it to me... He also taught me that not every male abandons their children; but actually treats them with love, compassion, and forgiveness; as well as undiserving outsiders such as myself.
Shawn Withers has known me in my darkest times; as well as my best of times. I know that it's his job and duty as a Youth Pastor to treat people with kindness in their heart; but he takes everything way more than just his job.
Shawn accepted me when even my own family and friends turned their backs, allowed me to stay at his home with his family for nine days when I was not welcome in my own home (even though he was not really allowed to do), and he became like a father figure to me over the years.
I truly believe that Shawn was sent, by God, into my life to change my life; as well as to teach me that there is a light in this cold and dark world. Shawn is not perfect in any way (he'd even tell you the same thing); nor am I trying to make him seem it... I just wanted to say this point: "You are changed by every aspect in your life; the things you do, the people you are around, your beliefs, what activities you take place in, and the way you present yourself...what Legacy will you leave behind? I will end this with a few quotes to ponder...
"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it." -Des Cartes
"Maturity begins when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself" -John Mac Naughton
"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live." -Nathan Cousins
"Both tears and sweat are salty but render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change." -Jesse Jackson