Healthy Heart – Crystal

Last week, we spoke about COPs or Casualties of Purpose. During last week’s posts, I’m sure that most of you got a chance to see a side of me not normally observed. Like many of you, I have been the victim of injustice, the victim of scandal (and the progenitor of it) and I have battled bitterness. Is it completely gone, no. Has the anger and rage drained from my heart for what was done to me, no. Am I still pissed off as hell for losing “family”, friends and loved ones because traitors lied and cowards backed them? You bet you’re a– I am!

Am I attempting to heal, yes. Do I want to be bitter all the time, no. I’m exhausted with not being able to trust people. And the more people confirm my distrust, the deeper in the pit I get. Even coaches have issues. I work everyday to get better. I don’t want anyone else to be in pain because I couldn’t forgive. I’ve lost enough. Haven’t we all?
There is a female friend in my world that I am coming to love. She works with me and she’s a great person and has conquered much in her young life. Her name is Crystal Brown. I met her only a few months ago. There are few people in my life who entered without drama and hate drama as much as I do. The thing that always amazes me about phenomenal women is their ability to smile and light up a room even after tragedy attempts to darken their world.

Crystal Brown is a pastor, motivator, entrepreneur, author and all around amazing talent! There’s nothing she can’t do! Any man would be lucky to have her (hint, hint: she’s saved for real, she’s a real woman AND SINGLE!!!) I recently read her book, “The Burning Rose”. It talks about her life, specifically her exhausting season of domestic abuse that almost took her life. After reading the 179 pages that encompass her book; after rereading some of the crazy chapters and stories in her book, I only had one question for her. “Crys, how were you able to forgive after all of this? How are you even able to smile at men or risk finding some lying fool who will waste your time? From what fantasy or alternate reality world do you actually still believe God to bring your dream-come-true love story after the nightmare town you escaped from? How do you live your life with that gorgeous smile, seemingly unafraid of past ghosts coming back to haunt you?” Getting to know her is a journey that keeps creating questions and awe. W.A.W…

When I mirror my life to hers, our pasts of the broken present and shattered futures, lying friends and influences, twisted logic and insane justifications for continuing to speed down insanity lane with no seat belt and brakes; I still wonder how she does it? I’ve spent time with her on two occasions and the smile on her FB pictures are as genuine in person as they are online.
Spending time with Pastor Crystal further exposed my failure as a coach to keep my heart pure from bitterness. As I stated last week, so many successful people speak of their journey from the finish line. I am not one of those. I want you to know that we can walk through pain and struggles together. Crys and I both love transparency of faults. Perfect people are liars and terrible coaches.

Crystal laughed to me when I asked her about her transformation. She told me this change has only happened in the last 2 or so years. She told me how life had broken her and she found herself having to reassemble the puzzle pieces of her life. A woman once said to me, “Adam, do you know how hard it is for a woman to forgive and love again? A woman can love without trusting but she cannot trust without loving.”
I’ll let Crystal finish this post out…
A.W.W.
Adam has asked questions that have repeatedly been asked the moment people parallel my story with my appearance. Yes, I have almost lost my life at the hands of a man I loved. Yes, my heart has been broken by men, family and “church family”. I carried bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred as a shield of protection to ward off potential offenders so forgiveness was far from my mind in the beginning. How could I forgive someone who disregarded my love and sent my every acheivement up in flames?

I found out that forgiveness would not be automatic, it would not come easy, it would make me feel foolish and weak but, it would have to be a choice. I had to weed through the pain and grief that held my emotions hostage and make a decision. Would I hold on to unforgiveness and stay locked in a world where depression ruled and smiles didn’t exist? I chose to release myself and that release took four years. Four years of laying hatred and fear out in prayer. Four years of counseling to wrap my mind around my worth. I had lost all sense of self-worth and had no clue how to regain it. Then God would plant people in my life who would make it their business to inform me that I was valuable, phenominal and worth it.

Adam sat and asked me the why’s and how’s but it wasn’t hard for me to muster the answers. Time is what it took to forgive and it was not easy but it was freeing. I still had failed friendships and relationships during my healing because I didn’t know how to distinguish intent because of my desire to be accepted and wanted. Remaining open to the possibility of love again has been a choice because of hope and chance. There is still a chance that my next encounter will be my best encounter. So to answer Adam’s question of “How does she do it?” My answer would have to be, “NOT alone.” My first smiles were borrowed smiles until I learned to love life and make my days bright by seeing the good in them. Now my smiles are all mine as I choose with great discernment who enters my life, what I accept, what I believe about me and I continue to remember words from those who care “I AM PHENOMENAL.”
Yes Ma’am… W.A.W. YOU ARE…
A.W.W. & P.C.B.

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