When looking for ideas to write about I've found a number of stories recently that I feel deserve to be told and Sebastian K. Young's is one of them.
Sebastian has proven to himself - and I imagine to many other people - that with the right attitude you can do well in life no matter what it may hand you.
Sebastian was brought up by his grandparents in Beaumont, Texas. His mother was murdered when he was just two years old. Sebastian describes his Grandfather, Willie Young, as a “Superhero” who he says “gave him the tools to survive a life that would have taken the life out of so many”.
Sebastian explained that when he was growing up the events surrounding the murder of his mother “remained a mystery” and left a “painful void”. There was no conviction despite there being a suspect in the case. Sebastian tells me that the evidence was a lost after it was destroyed in a flood that occurred in the evidence room.
Copyright: Sebastian K.Young
Today, Sebastian K. Young is a successful entrepreneur and a father of three children. He's a partner at Colbert/Ball Tax and he is also Executive Vice President of Coball Entertainment which tours artists such as The O' Jays, Mo'Nique and Cedric the Entertainer. Sebastian is also author of the book of the book “I Had Every Excuse To Fail, But I Chose None”.
Sebastian K. Young
Sebastian K.Young, far left.
Sebastian describes his debut book as being a “compelling story of tragedy, trials and triumphs". The book is divided into three sections, Growing Up,Lessons Learned and Forward Thinking and is based on Sebastian's personal experiences. He hopes his debut book will serve to inspire and motivate others to rise above their own circumstances.
In an excerpt from the book, Sebastian writes:
“The circumstances surrounding my mother’s death felt as fresh as the morning dew, mostly because so many things went unanswered and unresolved, namely convicting the murderer who committed that heinous crime. I could feel my heart pounding, and my entire body became warm as tears welled up in my eyes. After months and years of sleepless nights, I wondered if we were getting close to a resolution. I tried to lie down and soak it all in, but I knew in my heart that I couldn’t rest, at least for now. The images that haunted me for all those years began to replay in my mind. It had been years since I thought about them. I had to do something to clear my head.”
The book has been described as “very captivating and inspirational” by reviewer Barbara Morgan.
Copyright: Sebastian K. Young
I asked Sebastian what his hopes for the book were. He told me:
“I hope that my book will be in inspiration and help others who are dealing with trials, loss, and discouraging situations to persevere and press through the storms. It is my desire that people young and old will find that they can choose to succeed rather than to succumb to any situation life brings.”
Sebastian also talked about his faith and I asked him if he had any words of inspiration that he would like to share. This is what he replied:
“Do you remember the last crisis you had and the way you worried about the end result? When you have been through storms in your life God always works things out in the favor of those who believe in Him. Everything that we go through in life provides a learning experience to grow in God because He has all power in His hands! Therefore, rest assure that God, the All Knowing, has great plans and expectation for our lives! We just have to release all our troubles over to Him who has full control!”
And Sebastian had this to say about the power of forgiveness:
“I had to realize that harboring hate towards others was only punishing me. No one can do anything about what has already occurred. No matter what I have done to others, I have to ask for their forgiveness; whether they accept it or not, I know God has forgiven me!”
“When I reflect on my life and all that I have been through, I know that only God could have brought me through! Life is full of tests so one has to focus on how well one prepares for them. I believe God knows my heart and despite my lack of knowledge, He covers me. I know God for myself because of all the tragedies I been through personally and seen. I know that God is my savior and He saved me from myself! “
“My faith focuses around forgiveness. Through my faith, I not only learned to forgive, I grew to understand the power of forgiveness. If it were not for God and my faith, I would not have been able to forgive my trespasser however, it is through my faith that I know that I must find it in my heart to “forgive those who trespass against us,” in the same manner that I asked to be forgiven. When you Speak Life in to a situation, especially one that is volatile, you have the power to encourage and birth something positive out of what on the surface seems negative. My faith teaches me that there is power in forgiveness and power in words.”
And in a document sent to me entitled “You are not my enemy”, Sebastian writes:
I forgive you. Although these words are seemingly simple it has taken me several years and multiple sleepless nights to write them. Each time I would gather the strength to forgive you, incessant memories of my mothers murder played through my mind like a demented movie stuck on repeat. Why her? Why you? Why then? Why should I forgive someone for dismantling my childhood by removing a woman that only shared a few years of her life with me, her only son!"
“I was so angry with you for choosing to hurt my family. Whether it was a random act of violence or a conscience decision, the thought of her death and my motherless childhood felt like you had killed me that very same night.”
“Despite the forensic files from my mom’s murder being lost in the flood that ravaged the building and the inability of the judicial system to formally convict you, we know the truth. It is that truth that has given me the freedom to move on. I have prayed for you, I have forgiven you! I Had Every Excuse To Fail, But I Chose None.”
The Cold Case video can be found here.
And Sebastian finishes by telling me he believes that the book is only the beginning of what God has planned for him.