Today... Friday, January 1st, 2021 is a new day for me, for you and for all of us.
First, I'd like to start this post by saying, I love all my nieces and nephews the same. They have all grown to be extraordinary young men and women, finding their own paths in life and making their own choices and dealing with the roads that those choices lead them down. But I’ve got a soft spot for life-changing stories. Especially in this age of cancel-culture where we are led to believe that something you did or said in the past somehow automatically (and forever) cancels out who you are today and who you're trying to be in the future. Where is the forgiveness in that? It seems to me that we have it backward. Ours should be a redemption-culture instead of a cancel-culture. The message should be that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you've been, or what your history is... today is a brand new day. A chance to become the incredible man or woman you were born to be.
My oldest nephew Mikel knows well what that feels like. He has come from a tough childhood and an even tougher young adulthood. A life of alcohol and drugs and rehab. Repeat cycles that are nearly impossible to escape from. Especially in a family like ours. But Mikel has somehow found his way to the light. And he is taking that light and sharing it with others in a big way. God has given my oldest nephew a new start and a new life. And in the past few years, the old wounded, victim Mikel that I used to know has been replaced by a new loving, forgiven Mikel… and it has been absolutely incredible to watch happen.
I could tell you more about his story and how he's found his way to where he is, but I think he can do it better than me. He shared this video with me the other day and as Indiana and I watched it during breakfast yesterday morning, my tears fell and my heart leaped with joy for him and for his mother and his wife and children. He has come so far... and in 2020, a year that wrecked most people, he found hope. And he found a passion and a gift that I believe is going to change his life and countless others.
I’m proud of you Mikel. Here’s to the worst, best year of your life.
Online, Mikel calls himself the tall bearded doughboy, because he and his wife Hannah co-own and run Marcy Jo's Bakery just a few miles from our farm in Chapel Hill. This year I think he's given away more bread to people who've needed it, then he's sold.