The Story Behind Creating Struggle and Redemption

The Story Behind Creating Struggle and Redemption May 10, 2024


Last month, I achieved my goal of becoming an author by releasing my first book Struggle and Redemption. This book comes from the reality of being a spoken-word artist who does not prioritize being on stage.

I will explain why I avoid the spotlight in a little while. However, I understand God has given me a gift I must use for his glory. 

What better way to glorify God than by compiling my spoken word pieces and poems into a story for the world to read?

Why Struggle and Redemption?

The Inspiration: Genesis 3

The inspiration behind Struggle and Redemption has a two-fold purpose. On a micro level, the book addresses the sins and adversity I face daily. On a macro level, the theme highlights the realities of existing in a fallen world in need of God’s redemption. 

The hassle of living this flawed existence begins with Adam and Eve. Satan deceives the first humans causing them to rebel against their creator by eating fruit from a forbidden tree (Genesis 3:1-6, New International Version). 

An act of disobedience proves detrimental as God casts them out of the Garden of Eden and causes humanity to face lasting consequences (Genesis 3:7-24). 

“A Tree”

I reference the fall of humanity and its repercussions in the poem “A Tree.” “Isn’t it funny clever or even contradictory how the same source of life for men is also the birthplace of death and sin” (Struggle and Redemption, 2023, pg.1)? 

“See God made trees for his glory but man being corrupt, chose to twist, roll it up, and smoke it for their own enjoyment. Now instead of seeing this object as a symbol of good people see it as a reminder of pain and tournament” (Struggle and Redemption, pg.2).

The poem ends with hope alluding to Christ’s crucifixion which fulfills God’s promise to humanity in Genesis 3:15.

The Creative Process 

Why I Do Not Prioritize the Stage

Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are the foundation of my message as a spoken artist. 

However, I do not make ministering on stage a high priority. One reason is schedule conflicts with professional and academic obligations that took precedence in my twenties.

Another reason why being on stage is not a high priority is because of fear. Similar to Moses, physical deficiencies cause me to be insecure about sharing my faith through spoken word (Exodus 3:10-14).

I address my battle with anxiety about public speaking  in the second poem “Stage Fright.” I am learning to gain victory over this struggle by meditating on verses such as  2 Timothy 1:7.    

Vulnerability, Joy, and Transparency

Along with addressing my battle with stage fright, Struggle and Redemption is a way for me to be vulnerable. Vulnerability manifests by revealing daily challenges I have living life with cerebral palsy.

Vulnerability also appears through grief as I talk about losing three individuals who are near and dear to my heart. Heartfelt grief emerges while mourning over the way African Americans are treated by their community and others in America.

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) says “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Joy comes through the advocating for the recognition of American American sitcoms. 

Joy also radiates through my testimony about the process God has taken me through so I can learn how to walk. “Learning How to Walk” is a testimony of how God’s healing power is at work in my life.

God’s redemptive power is also at work through my struggles with sin. I am transparent about my struggles with sin because I want readers to know they do not have to be perfect to be a Christian.

I also expose my sins to show others they are not alone in this battle. Though I wrestle with sin, I am learning to crucify my flesh, depend on God, and have accountability partners to remain victorious.  I pray others will have the willingness to take the same steps.    

The Stages and Phases of Writing

The writing process for Struggle and Redemption takes place over a decade from 2012 to 2022. I begin writing spoken word pieces as a member of Bridging the Gap Urban Ministries (BTG) while attending Liberty University.

Initially, spoken word was a platform for me to preach the Gospel at BTG ministry engagements. While I still share the Gospel through my poetry, I have grown as an artist and person since graduating from college.

Write About Now (WAN) Poetry in Houston Texas has helped me convey this growth through two yearly thirty-day writing challenges. These challenges include various writing prompts that strive to spark creativity and push poets out of their comfort zones.

The writing prompts are a great asset to me as nine poems in the book were written during different challenges.

Bookleaf Publishing also played a virtual role in the writing process by offering editorial advice and handling all publishing responsibilities.  

My Hope for Struggle and Redemption

Others Will Draw Closer to God

After reading Struggle and Redemption, I hope readers desire to begin or progress in their relationship with the Lord. The reason why is God wants all people to receive salvation through Jesus Christ and know Him as their heavenly father.  

While I am glad to be a mouthpiece the Lord uses to spread the Gospel, my gift is just a resource. People must seek God for themselves to learn He is “good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him” (Psalm 34:8).

Inspire Others to Share Their Testimony

Along with helping others draw closer to God, I want Struggle and Redemption to inspire others to share their story. Whether it’s through some talent or conversation, I encourage everyone to testify about the goodness of God in their life.

Doing so will help strengthen someone else’s faith and give them the courage they need to overcome whatever trials they may face. Sharing personal testimonies also gives people the confidence they need to continue sharing the Gospel and remain steadfast in their faith.

“My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.” (Psalm 71:15-16).









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