the switch up.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Inspiration hits me in the most random places and for once Facebook was more than a distraction but a source of encouragement and joy.  I watched as one of my sisters expressed herself unapologetically in boldness, strength, and grace.  She switched up in the game and I was here for all of it!  She was becoming herself and it was beautiful, almost led me into a little tear-fest but I am a G so I reflected and thought about my own experience- my own switch up.

With John Mayer playing in the background, I sat and thought about my journey.  The Simone from July 2018 no longer exists and I am glad!  I was dope or whatever but I was too passive, cared way too much about the opinions of others and allowed people to take advantage of me.   I was living life for others but wasn’t truly living for me.  It was the end of July and I just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship.  I remember having this talk with God about what I deserved as a woman, as a godly woman.  I was the girl that hid behind her career, behind her gifts and preferred the background over the limelight any day.  I was not too confident with my body and I had a host of fears, I mean your girl was afraid of EVERYTHING!  It is crazy looking back at how bound I was…

I remember the Father directing me to start working out with my girl Lex.  She has a fitness brand/training company called LoveLex, where you come to love your now as you’re working on your next.  I started to work out with her and a group of my friends and fell in love with my body.  Things slowly began to change.  I was in my last year of law school and I no longer hid in the classroom, I began to share my opinion more and began to be transparent about my journey.  I started to embrace my favorite word, “NO.” and put up a host of boundaries.  I even had to switch up from this passive person to a more assertive person,  I transformed from a little lamb into a lioness and I began to take myself seriously. The switch-up was in full effect but the world did not become introduced to the “new” me until January 2019.  As soon as the clock struck midnight,   new me became visible to those around me.  It was an immediate change: my confidence level was on ten, I knew my worth and I was a thriving boss chick that was no longer settling for mess.   

As January faded and February began, I became more racially conscience.  I fell in love with my blackness and realized that all of my melanin was hella beautiful.  Your girl started to rock her natural hair, afro and all!  I read about my ancestors, began to honor my black kings and queens and developed a love for my black heroes that paved the way before me.  I pledged to honor Fannie, Angela, and Ella; to use my influence and position of power as an attorney to rid the world of injustice.  Your girl is black black and I love all of it!  Spring came with March and I was this no-nonsense believer who was more interested in acting out scripture than shaming people with it.  I got a hold of grace and I understood the love of God which went farther than perfection.  It was the most liberating experience of my life.  I was no longer living for church politics or for people who did not create me to accept me, I was accepted already.  I attended dances, went to mixers, traveled all over the country for conferences, and went on day trips- I was having the time of my life!   I became free.

April came and then May followed and before you knew it, I  graduated from law school and I embraced my intelligence as a gift from God.  God was doing a work in my heart and I began to heal emotionally.  I rid my life of the past and I was walking towards my future.  I woke up and realized that I was worthy of happiness, worthy of love, worthy of hearing and being told the truth.  I was worth all of the good in the world. Even today, I look in the mirror and do not recognize the person I see.  I transformed into a new person: one who is full of love and courage, one who is free to speak her mind and express herself, one who loves herself enough to wait.  My change has been transformative for my esteem.

I think every woman goes through this process of awakening when you realize that what you’ve settled for is not all that life has to offer.  There is a moment when you love  yourself enough not to accept half-promises and half-truths.  You come to love yourself more than the comfort of someone, more than the opportunities given, more than the limitations others will place upon you.  There is a day in every woman’s life when she falls in love with herself and her understanding of her dopeness changes the trajectory of her life.  I fell in love with me and that’s when my life changed for the better.  My friends tease me and say that I switched up the game, I did but I think we should all have a day where we switch up on those who thought they knew us, thought they could run us, control us, manipulate us or abuse us.  Switch up Queen and slay as you move into freedom!

Xoxo,

Simone

No Shame

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Friday!  Have you ever been so full of clarity that you’ve sat and thought about life?  Maybe it’s just me:  but after I have a moment with God, sometimes I just sit in my room in silence and ponder what I just experienced.  Last night was one of those nights. I was recovering from experiencing a sermon by the GOAT Dr. Matthew Stevenson III, and I just happened to be wired at 1:45 in the morning.  I was up UP.  Anyways, I sat and heard this song by TenthAvenueNorth called “No Shame.”  and my life was changed forever.  I found the theme song for my season/life.  There is a freedom that comes with living and expressing truth, free of shame.

During my time in Greenville, each day God has been pulling back layers of fear- asking me to confront my heart issues and removing all kinds of weight including the weight of shame.  When you’re in this place of vulnerability, it’s easy to think man, what will “so and so think” but that doesn’t matter. God has taught me that the fearless live in truth and where there is the truth, there is no need to be ashamed.  I’ve lived bound under the realm of shame for so long, not sharing my truth- not addressing things with others, belittling my call or purpose, but now that shame has been dissipated with perfect love I’m good.  I turned the song all the way up and began to sing to the top of my lungs.  Before you knew it I was dancing in my kitchen celebrating freedom.

Where there is grace, there is no shame and where there is love, there is no fear.

Y’all, I have no idea what this life of no shame will bring but I’m excited.  I feel free, like in the depths of my soul.  I feel like I can conquer the world.  I feel strong and full of life in the inner chambers of my heart.  I feel brave.  It takes bravery to move into the unknown out of fear into love, out of being guarded to being open, out of holding things into being extremely honest.  I am okay with where I am and that is freedom all in itself.  I’ve embraced the truth about me and I am unashamed.  I’ve embraced my triumphs and my failures, every ounce of my brokenness and the places where I am whole, all of my strengths and all of my weaknesses.  I’m okay with every ounce of me and I am enough because I am in Him.  I’m literally smiling as I type this article, overjoyed at the process He is doing in my heart.

I am happy with my process.  I rejoice at my journey.  I’m content with my story.

Family, this is what a life of no shame looks like: it’s singing and dancing at 2 o’clock in the morning with no fear, with no shame.  It’s trusting for provision when it seems like all hope is lost.  It’s being unfazed with bad news because you know in your soul that He’s working all things for good.  It’s loving others beyond their capacity to love you.  It’s forgiving even when you don’t want to.  It’s having hard conversations, dealing with the hard relational issues, and making hard decisions for your next.  It’s going beyond opinions of others, beyond even your opinion of yourself, feeling fear but doing it anyway.  It’s riding the tallest rollercoaster, swimming in the deepest oceans, and taking road trips on faith. It’s relocating because God said to, and finding that you have a home waiting for you.  It’s being light, weight free and full because those that place their trust in Him will never be put to shame.  Trust not only eradicates fear but for me it eradicated shame. 

I’m living with no shame! 

Xoxo,

Simone

P.S. Check out TenthAvenueNorth’s song “No Shame”.  It’s available on all streaming platforms!

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c7/a6/3c/c7a63c0f9aa1e312f6b51a8ac19d15fb.jpg

42

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

42. That’s how many blog posts I wrote for the year of 2016.  Pretty sad, huh?  I think so… but I think the low number of work produced was symbolic of my life in 2016.  2016 was the year that I felt the most burnt out, my self-esteem took a hit and once again, I began to question my value and worth compared to the measures of society.  It was a year of great triumph, but also a year of great loss- 2016 was a doozy.  Yep, so I thank God that we are not only in a new year but in a new month- in a time where dreams are coming alive and passions are being restored.  

Family, I have missed spending time with each of you.  I’ve been unplugged for the last month or so taking time to really reflect on my life, my relationship with God and to reflect on how God feels about me and what He has to say about this season that I am embarking on.   I’ve realized over the years that sometimes in order to hear: you have to silence the noise around you, you have to position your life in a momentum of being distraction free.  My pastor challenged us to stop our social media use for the month of January, and at first I quickly felt as if I was dying.  Ok, so maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but in all seriousness; I began to understand my dependency on the affirmation and validation of others. 

Think about it:  How many times do we post a picture or video that we know others will like? How many times do we take pride in the number of notifications waiting on us? Or get this one, on our birthdays- what’s our favorite parts of the day?  Spending time with family or friends? or checking our Insta or FB for the bday notifications from people we don’t even talk to anymore?  Why do we  value impersonal relationships and yet lack the patience to maintain our connections with those among us? These are the questions that I felt were calling out to me during that season of fasting and prayer and it were questions that challenged the true intentions of my heart.  Do I pray aloud so that others may hear and think I’m super anointed? Or do I pray because I genuinely want to connect with God?  Do I read my word to fulfill some sort of quota or am I truly longing for time with the Lord?  

Why do I do the things I do? 

It was with this awareness, that I realized that I only posted 42 times last year because I was so concerned about other people. As I watched the readership of this blog drop to an all time low, I hung up my hat and decided to relinquish my passion for writing.  In my mind, if my writing was not popular to others then it was not worthy to be shared. This falsehood crippled me in 2016 and opened the door to inadequacy, insecurity and fear- forces that are not of God. God has not given us the spirit of fear but commands us to walk in confidence and boldness for every aspect of our lives. 

At the end of the day, I’ve come to the realization that I am living for an audience of One and as long as He is pleased with my work then I am fine.  When we come to that understanding in our lives, the opinions and affirmations of others become irrelevant and we can truly live in the manner that Christ has intended for us.  Fearlessness give rise to BIG DREAMS, BIG VISION and BIG PURPOSE and being that I serve a BIG God – I know that He wants me to walk fearless.

So… with that being said: let us walk out this year in boldness, confidence and the assurance that we are amazing in the eyes of God. Darling, do what He has placed into your hands whether you have the validation of others or not!  Happy New Year, welcome to February and may your day be the best day yet!

Until next time,

Simone

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In Rememberance

I thought I was going to post something traditional,

something with the same previous opening- something super inspirational.

But it is I, that is inspired as I reflect on the significance of this day.

In frustration and with deliberate disobedience I left my room to “play”,

to gamble with my life.

Three years ago, I drove to my friend’s house going through a stop sign- not looking twice.

I was hit dead-on and my car spun out of control,

that moment reflected how I felt about my life- I thought I lost my soul.

I opened my eyes and saw smoke and sunshine,

a calming piece became my lifeline.

Only problem, it was raining that day.

The skies were foggy and gray.

So I knew I was between earth and heaven-

I wasn’t ready for an eternal transition.

Because based upon my sins, I knew I would make my bed in hell.

Yet, on earth I felt like I was in jail.

Trapped, stuck and simply contained-

no one knew, I never complained.

Went to church regularly,

wore a fake smile faithfully-

yet wanted to desperately,

to be free.

Figured, no one truly cared about my end,

and if this car wreck was the just the beginning,

to an eternal damnation – well so be it.

God’s plans with my  twisted thoughts did not fit.

Once again, I opened my eyes and realized I was still here-

still among the living to my heart who are dear.

I became overwhelmed with gratitude since life was not deserved to me.

That day, three years ago, I swore to strive to live free.

The rest is history.

©Simone Holloway, 2016

FIC: http://hdwallpaperbackgrounds.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Beautiful-Nature-9.jpg

Until The Very Last Minute

How BIG is your faith?

How CRAZY are you willing to look?

Crazy enough to get CRAZY results?

How BIG is your God?

Does your FAITH truly reflect how big He is?

These last few days, I learned a big lesson regarding faith.  I learned that faith only produces results in the absence of fear and with the unction of obedience.  I think that I am coming into this special relationship with the Lord, where I follow his lead in my life.  To tell you the truth, I trust him to the point of automatic submission.   This weekend was one of those weekends when you have something planned, but you have no idea how things are going to come together.  I was scheduled to arrive in  Chi-town for a law school reception, but a lot of unfortunate events begin to shake my faith regarding my departure.

First, the money that I was supposed to use for the trip never came.  I was promised some bonus money from my job, but the amount was cut severely short.  I planned to fly, but the flight I needed was sold out and all the other flights from home to Chi-town were almost double what I could afford.  I was offered a discount rate for a hotel room but the rates was still pricey considering the downtown location of the school.  Money was the BIG obstacle standing in my way of going to this reception.  I prayed on it and I said “Father, if this is Your will, work everything out.”  I looked for change on yesterday, and nothing happened- I heard nothing from the Lord.  All I could do was wait and implore of Him again.  My bestie/big sis and I prayed together and agreed that whatever the Lord’s will turned out to be- we will wait out the results and trust him.  I sat on my bed, I got the prices of what everything would cost and I placed that concern at the feet of Jesus.  To prove that I believed that God could change my circumstance, I even packed a bag and when my mom and dad asked if I was still going to Chi-town – I said “Yes.”  I didn’t know how I was going to get there, had no clue what I was going to do once I got there- but I believed in God so much to the point that I knew He would back my confession.

I woke up this morning, not with an answer but with a heart of faith, a mind that was determined and complete trust in the will of God.  Even to the very last minute,  I confessed out of my mouth- “I’m going to Chi-town for this law school reception.”

Now, family and friends I am writing to you as I am traveling to Chicago.  Everything worked out; the travel, the hotel, and I have everything I need for when I arrive to my destination.  Sometimes, you have to operate out of faith and not out of  the reality of what something appears to be.  Children of God, we speak about faith and trust, but do we truly live these principles out?  We live life out of convenience- blocked from truly seeing the hand of God move for us because we are so uncomfortable moving out of not knowing what is to come.

The greatest adventures are the scariest ones and the most rewarding memories are those that we never thought we would have.

Until next time,

Simone.

Heb 11:1

not enough words…

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

There are not enough words to describe the last 24 hours experienced. Today has been an absolutely amazing day  and I’m left in this awkward, awe-inspiring, speechless phase where I’m so amazed at God to the point -I can’t even speak.  I’m at the point where I can’t even write because my heart is so full and my eyes are brimming with tears, marveling at the wonder of God and His goodness towards me. I have so much to share, so bear with me and we will dig through these precious life changing moments together. 

Until next time, 

Mo 🙂

Yes, I’m Single… But No, I’m Not Looking…

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

As you know, this is a relationship blog.  As you also know, I am currently not in a relationship- not because I can’t be in one but rather I am choosing to wait for the person for me rather than settling for someone to fill a spot in my life.  I’m learning as I mature in this walk with Christ, that it is better to wait on God than to jump into things and make a mess.  I’ve made so many mistakes, adding people to my life that were never supposed to be there in the first place- constantly looking for that special someone.

I was at an event for a friend at my local jazz club, the owners of the club asked her (a gospel/christian artist) to headline a gospel series at their club. I am so proud of her, her music is going beyond the four walls of the church.  I sat there and watched her sing about Jesus to those who may or may have not known Him.  Anyways…there were so many couples, all lovely in their own right and even though I was single, I felt comfortable in my own skin- comfortable enough to even sit by myself if needed.  My friend, the bass player for the band, looked at me and said “Simone, why do you look so nice?  You looking for a man?”  I replied with “No, I don’t need to look.  He’ll find me.”  He was like “Oh really? Oh ok.”

There used to be a time when I would have replied, “You know…I’m always on the lookout! Gotta do what I got to do…” but now I am at the place, where I’m not looking for anyone.  I’m living a  life in the pursuit of pleasing God.  I’m striving to help my family and friends and I am just trying to see the good in each day- yes, a relationship would be wonderful but it’s not my focus as of now.  I believe that if I spend my time doing God’s work, He’ll handle the rest of my life.  He will send that person that is just right for me.

I love the story of Ruth and Boaz because Ruth never sought Boaz out, she was busy working to help her mother-in-law. She was concerned about others and their needs, and God gave her what she needed a person to provide and take care of her.

We spend so much time looking for things to add to our own lives that we restrict God the opportunity to do the adding for us.  

So yes, I’m single but no I’m not looking for someone to come into my life.  When the time is right, he just will….

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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God Is SOOOOOO Good!

Hey fam!

Let me tell you….God is SOOOO good!  I mean, He is tremendously good.  Even when things around us don’t look good, God remains good.  This past Sunday, the pastor preached about blessings that don;t match our expectations.  he talked about how God blesses us in ways that we never imagined, that don’t fit our definition of a blessing or what not.  He says that sometimes we miss the hand of God moving in our lives because we let our expectations stand in the way of us receiving what God is doing.  He talked about how God doesn’t do things the way we do and that we have to keep our eyes peeled to see Him move.  So today…I experienced a little bit of this.  I’ve been believing God to supply my needs, even down to basic needs such as food for the next day.  I have money but because my needs have needs, it seems to  never be enough; but I prayed and I told God that I believe His Word that says “He will supply all of my needs according to his riches and glory through Christ Jesus.”  God will supply my needs and all I have to do is trust Him.  So today…my boss was stopping for lunch and I asked him to pick something up for me- I even gave him my check card to purchase my food. So my boss returned with my food, I blessed my food and I began to eat.  I didn’t worry about spending money I didn’t have, I just ate.  Halfway through my meal, I found something wrong with my food.  It was bad, but instead of getting super upset or irate- I simply called the restaurant and explained what was wrong.  The staff person was so sweet and apologetic, she made me a new meal and gave me a refund.  She also prepared the meal herself and gave me some extra things for free. I went to go pick up my meal and the manager came and gave me some store credit for my next visit so I could get some more free food.

SO I BASICALLY GOT MY LUNCH AND SOME EXTRA THINGS FOR FREE!!!!

When God bless you, it may come in an odd fashion but He sets you up real nice in the end because He is just that good!!!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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The Night I Planned To Kill Myself

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

So… today I thought I would discuss something that is dear to my heart and that is depression and suicide.  As you may or may not know, I struggled with depression as a child and an adult until a about a year 1/2 ago.  I was suicidally depressed since I was eleven years old as a result of the aftermath of very bad events in my life.  I don’t write these things to you seeking  attention or some type of pity, but rather I write to let those who read this blog (that struggled like I did) know that you are not alone.  I think the Enemy gets us because he causes us to believe that we are alone.  I’ve attempted suicide 4 different times, the majority(3) being in my childhood.  I hated life and the essence of it because I felt utterly alone in this world.  I could be in a sea of people and still feel alone.  I felt invisible and that I was merely existing, that I wasn’t necessary for the world.

The last time I dealt with severe depression was during my senior year in college.  I got into a wreck that was supposed to end my life, September 12, 2013.  I think I blogged about that experience the day after, but either way the EMS and the hospital told me that I should have died on impact.  I was supposed to die.  The crazy thing about all of this is that, instead of feeling grateful for another chance at life- I felt so guilty that I as alive.  I knew so many “great” people that got into accidents that were not as bad as mine and died, yet I, an “okay” person got off from meeting death.  The wreck changed me and I lost my joy.  I lost the light that was inside of me. I felt dead on the inside and I was walking around campus waiting for death to meet me again. Except, this time- I longed for death to win and to release me of the misery I felt here on the earth.   When you lose all of your hope, joy, and peace- not living becomes an appealing choice.  The Enemy has a way of destroying us from the inside- out when we fall into the belief of his lies.  He slowly suffocates us and then once we lack breath, he gets us to destroy ourselves.  I saw myself slowly destroying me.

I couldn’t sleep.  Every time I went to close my eyes, I would see my accident.  I was scared to drive, scared to walk across streets and every day the enemy would tell me – “today is the day you die” , “I’m going to get you today.”  Demons would laugh at my misery and torment me for being alive.  So one evening, I was in my room in my apartment- my roommates were out and I was so sad.  I sat on my floor and I told God that I wanted to sleep forever,  I had some prescription pills for pain and I knew that if I took just the right amount, I would sleep and never get back up.  I made up in my mind that I wasn’t leaving anyone behind.  I didn’t think about my family, who loved me a lot or my church family who cared about me- I only thought about myself and my torment and I wanted relief.  I poured the whole bottle of pills into my hand and I stared at them, I counted to three and I just couldn’t… It was as if something inside of me wouldn’t allow me to follow through.  I cried and cried, I cried so much my floor was soaked from my tears.

All I wanted was peace… all I wanted was to not be afraid to sleep at night.  I just wanted  to be loved.  I wanted to truly live.

In that moment, the Holy Spirit began to sing to me “ I am yours, you are mine.” He sung to me in this rich tenor and I cried as I felt Him envelope me in His love.  He spoke sweet nothings in my ear and He filled me with hope for the future.  He told me that I was necessary and that He needed me here on the earth.  God saved my life that night, His love changed me from the inside out- He made me come alive.  I threw out those prescription pills and even to this day I don’t take prescription pills/medication at all, as a reminder of that night.  I promised that night that I was going to free fall into the love of God and that I was going to love others freely.  I promised that I was going to forgive quickly and not let the hardships of life get me back to that place of depression and suicide.  I made a promise to God and I held myself accountable to how I reacted to things around me.  I haven’t dealt with depression/suicide since that evening.  

Do I get sad sometimes? Oh course!  But then I put a praise on my lips and I look to God who is my joy.

So today… i thought I would share something very personal with you to let you know that you are not alone.  You are not the only one that have dealt with things like this and you will not be the last, but the One that saved me can rescue you and bring you peace.  He makes you complete and His love sets you free.  He is peace, He is love, He is joy and He extends himself to you this evening!  He extends Himself to you!!!! 

If you want to talk to me or have any questions…feel free to fill out my “Wanna contact me form.” on the other page above.  You can always Facebook message me, Tweet me, or even email me @ authenticlove789@gmail.com.  I am praying for you and I love you guys dearly.  Remember that you are necessary not only to God but to your friends and family.  Your presence on the earth is very important.  I ❤ YOU!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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The Jig Is Up

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –

Honesty is one of the best tools employed by God to produce freedom.  I’ve struggled with things a majority of my life, over the last few years it has been sexual sin(in the form of porn and/or masturbation).  I can freely speak on these things, because I have been made free from these sins .  Even after freedom, the Enemy has plagued me for the last six months- telling me that God didn’t really set me free and that I was still bound to him.  The worst part is as I became tired from fighting, I began to believe him.  What if I was still bound to my past? What if there are roots in me that is keeping me stuck to the Enemy?  So today…I did some research, I desired to know scripture to combat the enemy, so I looked up what the Bible has to say about masturbation.  I found that the Church doesn’t like to talk about these things, which is sad because if we discussed some of these things … more people would be free.

John 8:32 says”Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” NIV

That’s the beauty of the truth, it exposes what you may have never seen in order to guide you to freedom.

God showed me that the root for my dealings with sexual sin was the fact that I didn’t love myself.  I said I loved myself and projected this false sense of confidence but in actuality, I neither loved nor saw myself the way God loved and saw me.  This is why I allowed loneliness to rob me of so many years.  This is why I entered into so many awful relationships and this is why I allowed people to mistreat and mishandle me for so long. God saw me as precious, but I saw myself as worthless- meaning absolutely nothing to those around me.  This was the root cause of what’s been going on in the my life…

What are your roots?  Why are dealing with the sin you are entrapped in?  If you ask…the Holy Spirit will show you the exact cause of your voluntary bondage.

Secret sins only exist if we allow them to remain a secret.  I’ve learned that I rather tell on myself, be transparent and free then to be bound to the bondage of silence.  Some don’t care for my transparency but I won’t change my path of freedom for another’s opinion.

You can not love unconditionally until you receive the unconditional love given  to you.  As you receive My love, I show you your value and worth in Me.  You then come to love yourself and others.

These are the words the Holy Spirit ministered to me this evening, and so I share them with you.  It’s time to face our fears, demons, setbacks and disappointments. It’s time to be truly honest with oneself and destroy the charade that some of us has been presenting for years.  So join me as we tell the world that we will live in truth and we will walk in freedom.

With God’s help, I am learning to love and see myself the way He does.  As I progress in Him, He gives me the strength to be the best I can be.  You can be the best you can be.  You can be free.  No matter what the addiction is, no matter the circumstance, no matter the habit – freedom can be yours as well.  I believe in a God that is bigger than what I am facing and bigger than what I am going through.  His love can set you free!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

© 2015

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