Finding RefugeWhat does it mean for God to be your true refuge?
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If you would've told me when I was a kid, that I would be in and and out of prison, overdose on drugs to the point of being comatose for three days and see my brother get murdered all before the age of 19, I would've never believed you. No one could point me out on the playground from all the other kids, and know the monster I would one day become. How does a boy go from playing little league baseball, to stealing cars, selling crack cocaine, robbery with a firearm, and kidnapping 5 people? I can't say I remember a certain time when things changed. Some people say you are a product of your environment. To an extent, I agree with that. But, I think a lot of things contributed to my downfall. My father leaving the five of us. The abuse, the desire as a kid for acceptance but never receiving it . I never would've imagined one day I would be facing 45 years in prison for aggravated robbery with a gun, and five counts of kidnapping. As I sat there in my cell, awaiting my trial, I starting thinking about everything I had been through. The time we broke into the wrong car, to see a guy come out with a 9mm in his boxers trying to blow my head off. I'll never forget the day we took those hits of L.S.D., and waking up three days later to find out my heart almost exploded and I was in a coma. Or how about the time, we were pushing crack on someone elses turf, and the rival dealer running us off the road and getting thrown through the windshield. It was all funny back then. Smoking weed until we passed out, only to wake up and do it again. The years passed by without me never even knowing it. It seemed like at one point there were so many people who wanted to kill me, I didn't know how much longer I would live. Sleeping with a gun, the paranoid feelings followed me everywhere. One day a car load of rival dealers drove down my street with all of their guns pointed at me. I was certain that day was going to be my last. Then the incarceration, how did I manage to always escape serious time? Suddenly, the sound of a key in my cell door brang me back to reality. It was a C.O. (Corrections Officer or Guard), "Patrick, I've got some bad news for you." I almost had to stop from laughing. Wait a minute, you've got some bad news for me? Let's see, I'm about to do 45 years in the penintentiary, how much worse can it get. "Your brother, Larry, was stabbed to death last night in downtown Cleveland".. It's like everything was in slow motion. I saw his mouth move, I heard the sounds, but it took a minute for it to register. So while facing 45 years, I find out my brother, Larry, was dead. Immediately, I went into an animalistic rage. I started throwing chairs, it took about 10 guards to get me in my cell. I never saw him get buried, never went to the funeral, I spent the next month in solitary confinement. The guy who killed my brother, never went to jail, and today he is a police officer. Is it jus-tice or just-us? I never would've imagine what would happen next. After three and a half years, I was released from prison. Not 45 years, after three and a half years. Something happened in solitary confinement, that words will never be able to adequately convey. I had an encounter with the Creator of the Universe. Jesus Christ, revealed Himself to me in a way I never dreamed was possible. It was purely supernatural. From that moment I was forever changed, and miraculous things started happening almost immediately. Writing was something I used to do to relieve stress in prison. I never had a dream to be a musician. It was theraputic to me, like a release. I never would've believed that only 10 years from the day my brother died, I would be writing this and things would be the way they are now. I've had the priveledge to travel the United States, and other countries to share my music with people. People like me. The broken, the lost, the outcasts, the rejected and forgotten, the imprisoned, the addicts, the upper class and the lower class. Who would've thought that one day someone in the United Kingdom would buy my record, or someone in Sri Lanka would be inspired by one of my songs. Or that Australia would welcome me to do a month long tour. Who was I? Just a kid from the streets of Cleveland that society had written off as a lost cause.. Who am I? I am the rose that grew from concrete. I am a survivor of the cruel streets of south-east Cleveland. I am someone who has shattered statistics, broken the curse, lived through death. I am a warrior who triumphed over my enemies, I beat the odds, I walked through darkness, only to find the light. I've engaged in a battle that's been raging since the beginning of time. I've overcome my past, my pain and my struggles. I should've died, overdosed, been hit by bullets, been sentenced to life, I should've went back to jail, I should've stayed in the streets, fufilled statistics, stayed hooked on drugs, became what they said I would be.. nothing. But I became something. He had a plan, a future, a destiny that He placed inside of me since the creation of the world. No bullet could stop it, no drug could sedate it, no person could steal it, no prison could bind it, no demon could hinder it, because greater is He that is in me than he that is in this world.. All I need is one mic, one stage, one soul to speak to. One chance to lead the wild into the way. You can have the cars, the money, the fame and fortune. My music is reality, not entertainment. So when the lights go out, you will still hear my voice. The trends will die, the images pass, but His word will continue through the corridor of your mind and soul. It pierces and divides, it rips through lies. It brings men to their knees, the proud resist it, but the humble receive it. Amazing grace how sweet the sound.. that saved a criminal like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind but now I see.