With the release of his new chart-topping album, Dear Future Me, Gospel singer James Fortune makes it clear that his past does not define him.

Dear Future Me is an album where you’re walking through this journey with me. It’s time to let go of the past and stop living in the past and being worried about the future and how you’re going to make it,” explains Fortune. “If you’re having anxiety about the future, speak positivity over your future. A lot of times we worry so much and we allow the past or who we were to control who we are now.”

“For this album, I didn’t want to do that. I want to stay focused on the future in a positive way because I realize that our life generally flows in the direction of our most dominant thoughts and our most dominant words. For my future, I want that to be thoughts of positivity. Thoughts of a new season, and just great things that God has in store. And not just for my future but for everyone who listens to this album.”

In order to let go of his past and really step into the future that God had for him, Fortune had to confront his personal issues. In 2015, Fortune pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife. In an interview with ESSENCE, James admitted he was an abuser and has taken the necessary steps to acknowledge his mistakes and heal from his past.

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