There have been a million moments in my life where the power of God has shown itself, but there are a few that have demonstrated just how awesome he has been on my behalf. For example, he saved me at birth! A series of events led to my mom falling into a coma and forced doctors to take me from her womb via emergency c-section. I was severely premature, and I was so small, I fit snuggly in the palm of one hand. My Dad was locked in prayer, as were other members of the family and community. Initially, it didn’t look very good. My mother might not wake up, and the doctors were fighting to keep me alive. Miraculously my mother would wake up from her coma, and I would survive the battle for my life. I was in an incubator for an extended time, but luckily, my lungs were strong, and I could breathe on my own. I survived with the help of dedicated health care providers. It’s actually how I got my name. The person who helped keep me alive never had any children and asked my parents to name me after him. I’m grateful.
Another example: back in 2015, I was accepted into the Enterprise Leadership Development program at the Fortune 4 company that I work for, which is a tremendous honor and has led to many great adventures and opportunities. I’m grateful that as a person born and raised in the inner city, I was able to grab onto opportunities that have allowed me to better myself and those around me. The program was highly competitive, which featured Harvard grads and suburban kids, not online undergrad, city guys like me. Yet, I bested over 400 other candidates to be one of 15 selected to participate. Of course, I experienced anxiousness and worry. Did I measure up? Did I belong?
I was bold enough to believe that I did and took the challenges head-on, moving around the business and country every six months with my family for two years. We were expecting our third child, and I was working towards completing my MBA. I was also feeling sick with tremendous stomach pains. I lost 30 lbs. I went through appointment after appointment and test after test, with scopes and without. They couldn’t figure it out. It was a scary moment in my life, and the medicines that I was on exacerbated my despair. I wasn’t myself. I would burst out in tears, thinking about leaving my children fatherless as we explored the unexplored. It was a dark time for me, and I fell deeply into God's arms; and, thankfully, God was there for me. It was the first time that, as an adult, I embraced him wholeheartedly, and he helped me through my anguish. This experience brought me closer to God, and I decided to get baptized at New Life Church in CT.
The next example was more recent and followed immediately after the birth of our fourth child, and right at the height of the pandemic. We had just gotten home from an unplanned c-section. My wife woke up with chest pains and couldn’t breathe. I took her with our 4-day old to the Emergency Room. I wasn’t allowed to go in with her. It was a hectic time. The baby was exclusively breastfed. How would I feed her? What if my wife had COVID-19? Did we all have it? What about the baby? They kept my wife for several days running tests after test on my wife. I was speaking to doctors that were calling me with terrible possibilities in their updates. I was told that my wife could die. The situation reminded me of my own birth situation and how my dad had dealt with it. So I knelt and prayed! Then things started to change. My family came over to stay with us and helped me with the children. Every few hours, the doctors and nurses would meet me at the hospital entrance to hand me breast milk that my wife had pumped for the baby. She survived! Thankfully it wasn’t COVID or an embolism or postpartum cardiomyopathy, or sepsis, as the team of doctors feared. It ended up being pneumonia which was quickly taken care of through a course of antibiotics.
As I started writing this blog post, I asked God to help guide me. I’m constantly trying to balance the strategies of commerce with the mission of the brand and the one word that kept coming to mind was Testimony. I asked him how that fit in with a t-shirt company. Would people be interested? Again the word flashed in my mind. So this is my testimony of how in my darkest moments, I was able to feel God’s peace like the breath in my lungs. My hope for you is that as you read this or throw on one of our Fear(less) hats or t-shirts that you also can feel and share that peace with others.
Rock your faith!