We're getting close to the THE FAMILY THAT PREYS. Are you ready? September 12th can't get here fast enough. Not to mention on that weekend I'll be 39 (smile). I still don't know what I'm going to do for my birthday...besides going to see THE FAMILY THAT PREYS, that is...LOL.
I got to thinking about something that I wanted to share with you. My new studio is going to be opening soon and I haven't really told this story, I don't think. If you've heard this then stop me, or just jump past it (smile). This is a long one, so hear me. If you're reading this at work, don't get in no trouble, read this later....
About two years ago, I bought a 75 thousand square foot building in Atlanta. The building was in pretty bad shape, so I was in the middle of renovating it when everything went crazy! I had major contractor issues, permit issues, and even though the building had been a studio for 15 years, when I moved into it the regentrified neighbors went crazy. They did not want me there. Not to mention, even before we had finished the renovations we had outgrown the place. It was pretty ugly at the time. Nonetheless, it was my intention to finish this building.
Around this same time Bishop Paul Morton was trying to start a church in Atlanta after losing his in Hurricane Katrina. He was my childhood pastor, so of course, I helped out. Anyway, I was met with so many roadblocks. I was angry. Then it hit me. Could this be God trying to tell me something? At that moment I called one of my lawyers and told him to stop fighting the neighborhood, and let me just pray about it. He agreed. The next day he called me and told me to take a drive to this place. So, I drove out to a building that was once Delta Airlines' world headquarters, near Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. If you're from Atlanta you know that this area ain't been regentrified...LOL.
I drove up to the gate looked at it and drove away. The place was run down. It had been vacant for 38 years (my age). I said,"No way, no way. I'm going to finish the building I'm in...no matter what!" I wasn't about to take on another project. I went to sleep that night but I couldn't sleep then, or even the next few nights for that matter. I said,"What is it God, what is it?" So, I got out of bed and drove back to the building and stood in front of the gates and said a simple prayer, "God am I supposed to leave where I am and come here?"
Sometimes we get so comfortable with where we are that we don't want to move. I said,"God make it plain." I started looking at the gates and there taped to the gates were hundreds of scriptures. I kid you not. I got a chill up my spine and my eyes filled with water. It could not have been more clear to me. The next day I called the realtor to buy the place and they said I was too late. A pastor wanted to buy the entire 60 acres. I got off the phone and called Bishop Morton. I told him that I had looked at the place. He said, "I just looked at it yesterday, this has GOT to be God." He then went on to tell me that they didn't want the entire 60 acres. They only wanted 30 and that they had planned to sell the 30 acres that I was interested in. We had a good laugh, said a prayer and went on from there. Needless to say, we split the property. By me buying my portion it was a huge blessing to them buying their portion. When I tell you that I have not had one issue trying to get this new building finished. The neighbors have not complained once. They have encouraged me all the way. They welcomed me with open arms. It's across the street from two senior citizens homes that I have adopted (I love me some seniors). I built 5 new soundstages, a 400-seat theater and a ballroom. I said all of that to say this, all of my life I have had things happen to me that I know it could not have been anything but God that did it. I know it.
I am a dreamer and sometimes when you have dreams you are met with obstacles, and your dreams will start to fade. But what I've found is that when God has given you a dream, no matter what it is, when you want to give up and believing becomes hard, and when you can't go any further, the dream itself will start to believe for you. The dream itself will start to carry you through with visions and hope and encouragement.
So, the new mantra for Tyler Perry Studios is "A Place Where Dreams Believe..." Don't worry if you're met with opposition on your path to your goals. When you've done all you can, stand and surrender. God will allow your dream to motivate you.
If you don't take away anything else from this LONG email take this, PLEASE TAKE THIS. Protect your dreams, get away from negative thinking dark seekers. Keep your mind and spirit clean of the naysayers. Just believe. Only believe and it will come to pass.