Mar 27 • 41M

6 MONTHS of SHAREing!!!

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For now, this will be a recorded version of Share. The Newsletter. that will be made available for paid subscribers.
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Newsletter Update 3.27.22

Share. The Newsletter is 6 months old y’all!! Can you believe it?! There’s so much to celebrate and so much to update you all on!

I’ll update you on the Newsletter project, the ministry, and my health stuff. I got some good stuff and some rough stuff… just like the news. Some of it is my favorite to share… some of it isn’t. 🤔  Sounds like “SHAREing my blessings and my bruises”…

The project

When I started this newsletter, over 6 months ago (can you believe it’s been over 6 MONTHS already?!?) I wanted to accomplish 3 main objectives, Commit, Develop, Go:

  • COMMIT to posting transparent content weekly. Committing to consistency is difficult for me and I needed to get better at it. Happy to say that I haven’t missed a week. I’ll do better at strategically giving myself time “off” of writing, but step one was committing and executing on the weekly goal. I’ve written so much, at this point, that I could probably finalize content that I’ve written and legitimately rest for a couple weeks.

  • DEVELOP my writing and content creation to a level that was more refined and planned but also allowed for God to flip the script and “do what He do” in all my work. Looking back at the last 6 months, I can see how my process has developed and gotten better, and yet… every week I report that I wrote one thing, but felt strongly compelled to post something else. It’s hard for a lot of people to plan but yet stay pliable enough for change. For me, I have a  hard time developing the process AROUND my creativity. I believe it has gotten better. Look, I am using bullet points!!

  • GO FIRST at Teaching people to SHARE their blessings and their bruises to connect with love and empathy. It’s a big one for me because I can’t tell you that I would have written the story this way. If you would have told me while I was running nightclubs that, in order to fulfill my purpose in life, I would have to: suffer more than I’ve ever suffered, struggle to keep bills paid and then tell the entire world about it at the beginning of my ministry journey… I probably would have passed. I’d probably be rich and super popular but also have one foot in the grave because of drinking myself to death. I made the right decision. I’ll go first. We will ALL have receipts for how good God is by the end of this story. Just wait for it.

I can say that this project has been a huge blessing to me and my family. Right now, it’s still small, but when I tell you that I appreciate the love and support and interaction, I couldn’t express enough gratitude. Financially, the project literally puts food on the table and I’m able to buy groceries with it once (sometimes twice) a month. The next goal is probably to push the subs up to a point where the income covers 2 weeks of groceries and third of my rent.

Right now paid subscriptions are at 27. The goal for the next 6 months is to get that  subscription number up to 120.

The project is on pace (currently) to make $1800 this calendar year. It’s a great and humbling start… and I have to keep going!

**One big note for this season**

I know that I deserve to make this a paid newsletter. I know that, for people who support me, care about me, are invested in ME and Hannah’s day-to-day life, $7/month is nothin. I ALSO know that I earn that $7/month from each and every time some one opened that email and consumes this content. I know it’s worth the 1 and 25 cents per email that I actually make per subscriber reading each week. I’m fully confident in the value of the work. I want to establish that.

I also don’t want the encouragement and the difficulty and the transparency and the empathy and the love that I sift through each week, to sit behind a paywall. I want to make it a fully accessible project that some people intentionally decide to support (when the feel lead) and some people are able to run across accidentally and consume, if that’s what they need.

I have a long time, dear friend, who’s in the middle of battling addiction. He and I have reconnected and been back in regular(ish) communication BECAUSE OF THIS PROJECT. He quotes things that I’ve mentioned in this project back to me. That couldn’t have happened if he had to subscribe FIRST.

I have another friend who’s a former gangbanger but in this season, he struggles to put food on the table like me. It’s not really a luxury that he has, right now, to spend any extra money. But he listens to, reads or his daughter listened to or reads this show every week.

It was a difficult decision to make it free with an optional subscription but after a lot of heart searching and prayer, I realized that the subscriptions and support are what Joel needs to survive. The words in this project might be what someone else needs to make it through another day. I trust that God will provide for me, as I’ve committed to help teach His kids how to share.

Ultimately, that’s another big decision I’ve made in this last 6 months. If you can support, support. If you need support, I’m here.

The Ministry:

Honestly, this is my favorite part of this season. I know that I’ll have to get my docs in a row (pun intended) and make sure that one day, as I launch SHARE. As a 501c3, I’ll have to raise the standard of how I “report” success. That’s probably why, right now, while I DON’T, I will relish in it.

I get to just walk with people. Behind the scenes. Without any cameras or promotion or production or bullshit. I just get to do hand to hand ministry at a fundamentally personal level with people. I face a weakness, I search for it in the Bible. I have the honor of having someone’s weakness SHAREd with me, I look for it in the Bible.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

SHARE is based on this idea that SHAREing our blessings and our bruises allows us freedom from solitude. We have to SHARE our bruises where we feel safe. We have to SHARE our blessings where we feel satisfied. SHAREing is one of the only gifts I’ve ever seen that, even if it’s good or bad… high or low… it’s a blessing to all parties involved.

I hate hearing my friends, family or loved ones hurt. I hate to hurt, and SHARE about it. But I’m honored to get to be allowed to just WALK with people. Side by side… I don’t HAVE to have the answer, I get to SEEK the answers and grow with community.

Honestly, I don’t know how to scale from here. I don’t want to lose the focus on the people that “ain’t got it all figured out.” Or “ don’t have all the answers.”  Also… I don’t want to ever feel like I HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT or have all the answers. I’m on the journey too.

The word ministry comes from the word “diakonia” which means “those who speak the Word of God.” That can’t just be me. We all have to develop the habits and the skills necessary to seek truth. There’s never a conversation that I enter into that I don’t think and/or expect, something to be revealed to me also.

I love it.

I can’t talk about a lot of the details… but dozens of conversations/interactions a week. Dozens of prayers prayed. So much SHAREing. It’s truly kept my head on straight through my season. Mainly, I think, because it’s kept my spirit active and engaged. My cup, in that way, runs with overflow.

Ok. That concludes the super duper awesome 6 month update. You have my permission to stop reading here. Lol.

The health update:

Ugh. Damnit. This is the worst, guys. I’ve never worked harder at something and felt like more things were stacked against me. It is exhausting. Workman’s comp is a nightmare. My nurse case manager that I felt was one of my only advocates, quit the company. I hypothesize that she’s way overworked as a bilingual caseworker  decided to go elsewhere. Either way, it was a big hit as far as people who actually advocate for me. Almost no one else… doctors, lawyers, etc. All seem to have thrown in the towel on me.

But I haven’t thrown in the towel on me. Matter of fact, I went so hard in PT last week that I legitimately cried through the last 15 minutes of PT. My current physical therapist is incredible. I know that the pain is for a reason… it’s still some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life… daily.

I’m currently still not able to walk without crutches because if the pain of bearing weight on my left knee. I’m on all kinda meds that mess with your head and make you wanna eat everything in sight and add to your depression. I’ve had to go to the ER a few times due to pain flares from the CRPS. A pain flare is when baseline 6/7 (out of 10) daily pain climbs to an 8/9 pain level and does not come down. Morphine, Ketamine, Dilated, Toradol… sometimes the only things that can snap me out of that pain cycle can literally calm the nerves from my lower back down to my foot.

Next steps will be another surgery to scope and look to see if they can identify the mechanical malfunctionings in my knee. I had an appointment on March 9th, but someone dropped the ball and didn’t send over any images or surgery notes… and they still haven’t. So it’s my part-time / full-time job between physical therapy, home therapy, (water therapy starting Monday) Therapy therapy, emailing lawyers, Physicians Assistants, calling medical records departments … like I said. Exhausting. Painful. Draining. 100% necessary. And I’m 100% committed.

I have to lay down for probably 70% of the day. In addition to when I sleep…if I can sleep. It’s 5am right now… Haha. So most of my ministry, phone calls, texts, writing, researching, studying… is done from my couch or my bed. That’s something else I have to fight for. My mental health is stretched stretched. Yeah I meant to type it twice. Lol.

I honestly just wish I could work enough to alleviate the bills burden. If I could do that, I think it would be easier for me to navigate the physical stuff which consumes SO much of my capacity right now.

So… I wish I could report better things, on this topic. But I already know that I’m fully healed and restored and in better health than I’ve ever been… (because we’ve prayed and asked for that everyday for almost 17 months.) I just haven’t arrived at that reality YET … but I will get there. There is ZERO doubt in my mind (normally). Haha… I promised to be honest and transparent… it get really hard some days.

I’m in the most incredible season of my life.

My capacity for empathy and compassion has exponentially expanded. Exponentially. I mean… if you could love people better, walk with them towards the light, understand their ups AND their downs… isn’t it, then, a blessing to suffer? Doesn’t mean I like it. Lol. Doesn’t mean that I’d choose it… but, isn’t it a gift?

I’ve got a long road ahead… but if you cannot tell from this newsletter, I’m not letting anything get in the way of my purpose. I can’t. Even if just a few more people realize that they aren’t alone, this work is important and it’s an blessing to do it.

Closing out on a high note!! Guys!! I finally published the website!! Click HERE to check out wehavetoshare.com. Please give me any and all feedback. I already know that my next big chunk of time will be developing the retail merchandise (my mommy wants a Share. Tee that’s a v-neck 3/4 length sleeve lol. Gotta get mama what she wants). I’m also looking to probably switch drop ship vendors … so, any suggestions are appreciated. I want to have a much wider variety of options in the store.

But I’m EXCITED about it!! The website took a lot of work but I just had to pace myself and chip away with it. One day in a manic mood, I was able to bring all of the pieces together to push through to the end and get it published. It’s another huge win for this season!! Go check it out when you can!!

Guys I’m in a very profound season of both. Blessings and Bruises are prevalent. Filling days and draining days can be the same day but no matter how I look at it, we’re so blessed.


To give:

Venmo: @joeldavidbarnes

Cashapp: $joeldavidbarnes

Zelle: j.d.barnes7@gmail.com

To follow:

Discord invite link: https://discord.gg/y2bsPZ6m

Twitter: @wehavetoshare

Twitter: @joeldavidbarnes

IG: @wehavetoshare

IG: @joeldavidbarnes

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