Back in March 2015, I heard for KING & COUNTRY for the first time at Winter Jam. It was life changing, because it put into words thoughts about myself that I could not figure out regarding being a gentleman and showing God's love. Their songs have since become life anthems, cemented in my character and mindset. In March 2018, I was introduced to NF by a friend. Now, I don't really like rap, but I listened to him anyway. This was different. Just like fK&C in 2015, suddenly I had music, songs, lyrics that related back to another aspect of myself that I had been trying to understand. NF put to a beat my current season in life: to live life real.

It's probably something I've said it a million times to my friends and on social media: live life real. But what does it mean to live life real?

It means being honest with my emotions, transparent with my friends, open to loving correction, vulnerable enough to be broken, but strong enough to heal. It means being stable minded, not wishy-washy and tossed about, but firmly grounded in the word of God. It means to not only claim to do something but actually do it. It means that nobody has to second-guess my motions because there is no ulterior motives behind them. To give freely and be generous with God's blessings. It means operating in a spirit of excellence in all things. It means not letting my mind, emotions, and attitude be pulled down by life. It means to live my life in such a way that when I am accused, others willingly speak up, not from obligation, but because they have no doubt the accusations are false, for they know my character. It means to always show mercy, grace, and love, even when I don’t want to. It means to find my identity in God and to see myself through His eyes and who He says I am. It means everything I say, do, and think pleases God and lines up with the truth of His word. It means submitting myself to Him fully and allowing Him to use me for the purpose He has specifically created for me. It means operating in the gifts and talents He has given me to advance the Kingdom. It means letting the Holy Spirit operate in my life and take center stage. It means to devote myself to God and His perfect plan for my life. It means to intimately seek God, pursing righteousness in all my ways. It means more than I could ever written here.

For years, I’ve prayed that people don’t see me but God’s light and love shining through and reflecting off me. I’m a nobody from nowhere. I’m not special in myself. My purpose and calling comes from God. Without Him, I have nothing. I’ll spend my days wandering trying to find purpose without God. My light, my love, my gifts, they’re not mine. God made them, He gave them to me. I’m just a caretaker. To live life real, I can’t claim ownership. I must let my words be His and to speak only what He wishes.

That’s what I want increasingly more every day.

To live life real.