“Contrary to popular opinion, living a holy life, especially being a Christian man, is NOT easy. It’s hard living right, but to me, it’s not only necessary, but it’s worth it” – Originale
My name is Matthew Brown Jr, better known as Christian Hip Hop artist Originale. The second son of my parent’s 4 children, I was born and raised in a very small town called Washington North Carolina, or little Washington. I attended and graduated from Washington High School. Leading up to 12th grade, I was determined to go to college…law school to be precise, but somewhere along the way I simply lost interest.
As a kid, I had a big thing for reading. I paid close attention in grammar class and developed an extraordinary vocabulary and a reputation for being a wordsmith. I was good at basketball too, but rapping was what I grew a passion for. My mother and father had 3 sons together and adopted a daughter before they separated and divorced when I was around 14 or 15 years old. Ironically, that was around the age when I started rebelling against my mother’s rules and regulations, and the same timeframe that I started doing everything else….like smoking weed, having sex, and eventually selling drugs, just like everybody else in my age group in our town did.
I would enter and win talent competition after talent competition, which would’ve probably made my mother proud…had I not been sneaking out of town and state to do it at 15; as well as her finding drugs in her house that I had poorly hidden. Unlike my father, my mother was a firm believer in going to church every time the doors opened. She was a “real” Christian, not one of those hypocrites that I saw week after week doing the very things that they condemned others for doing. Nah, she walked it like she talked it. Unfortunately, I had other plans for my life…funny part is, so did God!
Fast forward to 2009, my life is quickly spiraling out of control. I was in debt with one of my drug connections due to me trying to help a friend get on his feet and he messed up the pack; all my other partners and suppliers were getting busted and sent away, a few of my friends had been killed back to back years, and on top of everything else that was going wrong, my wife was about to leave me because of my infidelity. Easter morning that year, she made one last attempt to try to mend our broken relationship.
She said why aren’t you getting ready for church? I replied “because I’m not going”. She told me that if I didn’t go with her and the kids that it was over. I told her to do what she had to do. After they left, I went about my day as usual…smoking weed as I cleaned up the house. I stopped in the middle of cleaning up my 2 youngest daughters joint room and started to think about all the negative things that were going on in my life. I started to talk aloud and ask God why was my life falling apart? I’m a good guy…this doesn’t make sense. Then I thought about my upbringing, and I remembered something that my mother always told me, which was God can do anything but fail. And He will make a way out of no way if you ask and believe. So I said….God, if you will help me out of all these situations that I’ve gotten myself into, I surrender!
Now you know how most people will tell you that God spoke to them or made Himself visible to them after giving their life to Christ? Well, I didn’t experience none of that. In fact, nothing happened at all. I thought to myself, God must not even hear me anymore. Approaching the door to leave out of my kids room, I started to cry uncontrollably, and I felt a huge weight lift off of me, and amazingly, I felt God’s presence fill the bedroom. I didn’t see him, I didn’t hear him, but I felt His spirit start to calm me, letting me know that God still hears my prayers and that my faith in Him being able to save me…DID! I gave my life to Christ at home, all alone on Easter day 2009.
Even more unbelievable, my wife returned home from church, and instead of me getting the opportunity to tell her my good news and beg her not to leave me, she said that God had put it on her heart to forgive me and for her to ask me to forgive her! She said she wanted to work it out! On of that, the people that I owed money and had been threatening my life….LEFT ME ALONE! I was and still am a work in progress in my walk with my creator, and I took the gift that He blessed me with at a young age and started using it to give Him glory.
Contrary to popular opinion, living a holy life, especially being a Christian man, is NOT easy. It’s hard living right, but to me, it’s not only necessary, but it’s worth it! In closing, I would like to tell anyone who is battling temptation, stuck in the system, addicted to something or someone that means you no good, and especially doing your best to live right but always falling short or not doing good enough… be encouraged! Don’t try to figure it out on your own. Talk to God about your problems. Put your faith into action. All you have to do is believe that God can turn your situation around. You’ve tried everything else… what do you have to lose by putting your life back in the hands of who gave you life in the first place. My prayer for everyone reading this is that you have a personal encounter and relationship with the God of all creation. Be blessed brothers and sisters and thanks Kay Magnate for the opportunity. Cheers!