Before I could even have a foothold, life tossed me into a maelstrom. I was born into a world of chaos and pain, into the arms of two young, wounded parents. When they got married, my father was 19 and my mother was only 17. I was born into a home ravaged by constant disputes and physical abuse by the time my mother was 24.

It was really difficult for me to live in such an environment, especially when I was a small lad. I built a tiny haven beneath our house out of the agony of seeing my mother humiliated and tortured. I painted it robin egg blue in the hopes of escaping into a fantasy world where I could run through forests and fields and be away from the anguish that was resonating all around me.

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In my escape, there was a glimmer of beauty despite the gloom. I had no idea that such spur of the moment thought exercises would lay the foundation for my future. Today, I draw on the creative wellspring that was birthed out of my childhood anguish as I write scripts and produce series like “If Loving You Is Wrong” and “The Haves and the Have Nots.”
Using fictitious aliases to conceal my true circumstances, I started journaling as a cathartic outlet after seeing an Oprah Winfrey Show episode. My aim was to create a play about adult survivors of child abuse, so I went to Atlanta in 1993. I invested all of my savings in the play, but it was a failure. I lost everything, including my car and my sense of security.

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I persevered for years, performing the play in small places despite innumerable rejections and financial difficulties. Every time, in spite of my repeated failures, I prayed to God for direction, made bold steps, resigned my work, and followed my passion. A pivotal moment occurred in Spartanburg, South Carolina, when a hurricane made it possible for my presentation to be cancelled. I was left penniless, sleeping in my car, and doubting my future and my faith.
I had one last opportunity to play the House of Blues in 1998. I heard God’s voice asking me to gaze out the window when I was feeling hopeless and ready to give up. I was shocked to see a queue of people extending around the block. The show was a game-changer for me—it sold out every time.

That was when I at last felt like I could forgive my father. My creative spark had been stoked by holding onto bitterness, but it also kept me back. I experienced a significant change in myself when I said, “I forgive you,” to my father. I understood that forgiveness was for me, not for him. I was able to move past my past and pursue happiness and purpose because of it.
After

that, my work took off. I gave up using negativity and adopted a positive mindset. I came to see that every obstacle was a stepping stone led by God’s grace. My experience has taught me that even the most difficult circumstances can be turned into a successful and fulfilling life with perseverance, forgiveness, and faith.

Thus, keep this in mind if you’re having trouble and want to give up: don’t. Respect your dreams since they are divine messages to your soul. Keep going and have faith even in the deepest of circumstances, for miracles frequently happen when we least expect them.

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