The truth is, you see people everyday and you have no idea of their pain, struggles, or where they come from. Despite this some of us are quick to judge and create strong opinions about people/things we don’t understand.
~ Natasha R.
Weeks ago I heard parts of this guy’s story. Upon hearing just a bit of what he had experienced in his short 19 years on this earth, I was in disbelief. I was interested in sharing his story and perspective in this series. I wanted to know what he had to say and WHY.
From this interview you will get a different perspective on what love is, learn where happiness can be found, and find out what the BIGGEST PROBLEM in society is .
This young man was originally born in Russia. He described the part of Russia he was born in as “The Detroit of Russia.” At 6 months he was adopted by a couple from the United States. This couple was unsuccessful when trying to conceive offspring, and felt God put it on their hearts to adopt. His mother was all for it, but his adopted dad being more reserved took a little longer to come around. After being brought to the U.S. this gentleman lived in San Diego for the rest of his upbringing. Eventually his parents adopted another son and were also blessed with a biological baby boy. Both of his brothers are younger than him. He describes himself as being family oriented and says he’s “thankful for his adopted parents taking a risk on him.”
As thankful as he is for being adopted, unfortunately he still had an internal conflict.When he was younger he struggled not knowing his birth family and being adopted heavily weighed on him. He began to build up walls around his heart due to feelings of rejection caused by his birth family not taking part in his life. He became guarded and aimed to have genuine connections with others, instead of “superficial” ones that we so often have. He considers his friends, his family. He believes life is about having real homies that are long term friends.
As he got older to overcome this internal conflict, he began to put things into perspective. Instead of looking at what he didn’t have, he looked at all he did have. He believed God had brought him to where he was.
Throughout his journey, this gentlemen knew God was in the midst of everything. He was raised as a Christian and grew up going to church. As he grew up, he knew he needed to be Christian but didn’t want to be. He didn’t like the way Christianity was presented and felt like Christians were in la la land not experiencing life. He knew the facts were true about Jesus and he wanted to go to heaven. Even still he didn’t want to commit to Jesus.
Senior year of high school was when things changed for him. He said “if he was going to be a man, he had to handle his business. Life is hard and Jesus is going to make it easier. Jesus had him.*” This was the time in his life where he felt like he was sinking and God yanked him all the way up, and told him he had him. This was the point where his faith was strengthened like never before.
I have found in my own journey as a Christian, sometimes we must go into really dark places to “find” Jesus. Then and only then is when we can begin to live out the life God has for us.
~ Natasha R.
We then switched over to the subject of “happiness,” something it seems we are all searching for. I then looked at him, chuckled and asked him the hardest question ever, “What is the answer to true happiness?” He replied, “Happiness is found in peace and the Lord is the prince of peace. To be connected and drawn close to the Lord is where one will find happiness. Happiness is not an item, you can’t buy it, it can’t be traded. Happiness is how you see the world.”
Next was the subject of love. He started out with telling me that “Love is choice that you choose to do, it is not an emotion. You have to give everything all the time.”
His thoughts on Love: “Love doesn’t look the same in all relationships. Social media tries to tell us love is always perfect.* Love is choosing to keep going. The best example of love is Jesus. Love is seeing someone at their worse and choosing to love them. We all deserve love and we all have love to give. Having a shared love with something (parent, sibling, friend, significant other,etc.) that is when you feel the most at peace.
His Advice on Love: Love will come and it’s there but don’t reach for it, don’t force it.”
After talking about love and happiness, I wanted to dig into something completely opposite. I wanted to dive into society’s problems and see what he had to say. According to this young man one of the BIGGEST problems we have in our society today is, DIVISION. He believes everything is separating us, due to us putting ourselves into categories. (Ex. where we are from, race, different cultures, etc.) Being in categories separates us and makes us start to place stereotypes on different groups of people and this is what divides us.
Despite the the division going on at the end of the day, he wants people to remember “We are all just people, and we can all coexist.”
This young man is wise beyond his years and has a lot to say. I am glad he sat down with me and shared a part of his story with me.
This guy played the piano for a few years, played drums, write raps and I heard he can even sing. Sadly, he didn’t sing for me but did give me some insight on some of his rap lyrics. He like soul food and music. Music is a big thing for him. He had a little bit of everything on his Spotify playlist.
I continue to be amazed by the people I’ve interviewed. Hidden talents, inspiring stories, and powerful words that challenge me to reflect and evaluate my own beliefs and opinions of the world around me.
He wants people to remember to Love God & Love Yourself. God is true love.
Thanks for reading! If you missed the interview from last week, check it out here Voices Unheard Series
Stay Tuned for Part III of the Voices Unheard Series !