In May, I spent time reading Unashamed, an autobiography by Lecrae, a rapper whose music has inspired many people. Throughout his book, Lecrae openly reflected on struggles faced along his journey so far. Namely, he’s deeply wrestled with feeling like an outsider, or in his words, an anomaly.
As a child, Lecrae didn’t have a relationship with his biological dad who chose to abandon him. He sought the support of other older men, but they never filled the role of a father. As a teen and young adult, he overcompensated with the fleeting validation of sex, countless women, and materialism. Lecrae gradually deepened his faith in Jesus, but his most recent position as a Christian and rapper has had its share of trials. His albums have topped charts and earned Grammys; yet, in his book, he vividly recalls instances of being invisible, especially in mainstream music circles.
Throughout all of Lecrae’s life, his experience of being an outsider has taken shape in many forms. It often drove him to seek wholeness and completion from others. Over time, he realized that flawed humans can’t fill any voids inside him. Only God can. He learned that, “If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.”
Although my story isn’t identical to Lecrae’s, I deeply connect with his experience. I’ve hungered for complete assurance that I am accepted and embraced by everyone even though that isn’t possible. My journey has been a tug-of-war between learning forgiveness/how to focus on who loves being in my life, and giving into the tough habits of living for external validation and breaking down from rejection.
It’s been a year and a month since I graduated and moved back to Detroit. On the upside, I now have my own apartment, and I’m nearing my first anniversary of working with youth at my job. Still, I miss companionship, especially during these trying times when Black lives are continually being targeted. I’m honestly struggling with seeking and building new, meaningful friendships.
I am praying to move forward in awareness that God accepts me, and nothing can separate me from his presence. The future is unclear and the present feels solitary, but I am holding on to the hope of being sustained by a love that’s infinite.