Maverick Monday: Juan Garcia

I am not ashamed…..

Living in this world, living in New York, Brooklyn, NY, there’s a status quo placed on males. Males are to be jeans-wearing, tims-wearing, white-t wearing, NY Yankee baseball fitted cap wearing, gold around the neck-wearing & nice watch-wearing. Must drive a Lexus with nice rims if not he’s not the “ideal man.” Now some may say that’s not the way things are but born & raised in Brooklyn, I’ve seen and heard it all throughout my teens so in my mind, that was implanted in my head. Despite that’s the way things were, I learned that it doesn't necessarily have to stay that way.

In my mid 20’s, I wanted to be down, be with the in-crowd & I was in. I was referred to as the urban term “mixxy”. (One who is always in the "mixx"; Always on the scene; Super social and always around the action/drama.) Despite being “in the mixx”, I would go home uncomfortable because I knew my value, internally and externally. It was like a chef trying to conform to the role of a janitor; it just wasn't feeling right. Until I learned to live for myself, value myself, invest into myself, I declared at the age of 27 not to live for the status quo but challenge the status quo.

I changed my circle of friends, I dressed comfortably in my zone, I changed my way of handling things from trying to be better than the rest to being the best me that I can be. I became unashamed of who I truly was in this world for I have a purpose not only in life but also in Christ.

During the age of 28, was probably the most trying year of my life. It was almost to the point that the I was about to give up on everything and everyone. I was at the lowest point of my life that no one ever knew about & it was not because God was trying to embarrass me but He was rebuilding me again from scratch and unless you allow God full-access to remake you the way He wants, there shall be trial-and-error.

See Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…” I challenged myself at the age of 29 in all areas to not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Yea, desiring to be with the in-crowd for popularity purposes in my mid-20s I would conform but conforming does not set you apart for what Christ has called you; and despite the suffering I faced for not confirming anymore, 2 Timothy 1:8 reminded me to "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.” 1st Peter 4:16 also encouraged me that "If anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.”

So despite all the criticism I faced (Oh he thinks he’s too good for us… He’s cocky… He’s acting real brand new) for setting myself apart, I knew that Christ always had the last word! Despite the critique from even those within my circle at 30 going to 31, I will say that I am truly blessed & I am still pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

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