Over the past few days I’ve been hearing this repeatedly in my mind, “You can not afford it…you can not afford it!” As I began to ponder on this thought I found myself coming into agreement with it and even saying it aloud. “I can not afford it. I absolutely can not afford it!” I am now totally convinced and there is nothing or no one that can change my mind or persuade me otherwise.
As I transition into this next season I am taking a look back over my life, especially my valley experiences that I am coming out of and my thoughts have been that of much GRATITUDE! It’s easy to sit and recap all the not-so-great moments I’ve had and “get all in my feelings” so to speak. However, I choose to reflect on HOW God protected me, loved on me in one of my darkest hours, continued to provide for me where I NEVER saw lack of no kind! He eased my pain and burdens to allow me to rest IN Him! I appreciate life and understand just how precious it really is. I am truly GRATEFUL beyond what I am able to articulate. Take a few moments and think of one thing (I know that one will be followed by ten more times ten more) that you’re grateful for and speak it into the atmosphere. See, when you look back you’re able to see where and what you’ve journeyed through…it’s looking ahead and TRUSTING God to guide you the rest of the way.
The one thing you absolutely can not afford to do is…GIVE UP!
In my previous blog post I shared some pretty heavy insight about “The Cry of a Woman” that some of us as women may be able to relate to and hopefully that some men can grow to understand or perhaps be sensitive enough to care. When a woman cries from that place in her most inner being it’s not an easy place to just bounce back and jump back on the saddle of life and start galloping away like nothing never happened (although most times it is the case because all choices have been exhausted)! One of the hardest things to conceptualize is “being misunderstood”. People often say they’re not judging you when that may not necessarily be all true. There are a lot of things I said I couldn’t see myself doing (that I saw someone else do and disapproved of) until I was placed in the same or similar situation. Trust me, the story is completely different once on the inside! Deep down you just wished someone understood. What I have grown to understand through my own personal experiences is that everybody can’t handle “your” truth because it comes with a hefty price of “being misunderstood”.
Allow me to share one of the greatest misunderstandings that have always been placed over my head like a mistletoe with flashing lights: “You don’t have any children so you don’t have to…” Yes! I felt like I was under the gun because of not having a child so I often felt ridiculed for it. My heart would sadden and there would be a cry deep down inside because if only they knew my heart’s desire was to one day be a mother and share in the joy I’m often reminded of when it comes to children.
In this life we understand there is joy and pain that we experience in different seasons of our time here on earth. As a woman, when I cry I realize that I not only cry for myself but for the little girl inside that was exposed to things that shouldn’t have been seen through the eyes of a child. I also cry for the woman who fears that if she sheds one more tear that it would send her over the edge and she’s holding on to the last strand of hope. I cry for the one who’s story hasn’t been told yet everyone “else” can tell you all about her. If we but truly understood God’s grace that covers us because if all that we have done was exposed for all to see…who would cry for you and who would cry for me?
We have closed out 2011 and embarked upon a new year; we should carefully take a glance back and acknowledge that God has done it yet AGAIN! Of course, some of you may have had the BEST year of your life in this season and some of you probably did a rain dance to be glad that 2011 is over! As you celebrate either or both, do know that seasons of life rotate? I once heard, “you’re either IN…going IN…or coming OUT” and I have NEVER forgotten it. As we reflect back, what will we do differently this year than last year? How much longer will we hear and/or proclaim “THIS IS GOING TO BE MY YEAR!” What is the point of making resolutions just to be disappointed, not because the resolutions are not coming to past, but the effort in not working to carry it out? Even if things do not turn out as you hoped, be in position to say, “I gave it a shot.” I was one of those individuals who gave up as the newness of the New Year wore off due to situations and circumstances. NOW I actually want a “NEW KIND OF YEAR!” as a dear friend wished me the pleasantries of a Happy New Year. Those words are forever tattooed and echoed on the inside of me! I desire a NEW KIND OF YEAR! Let’s all do better and for those who have succeeded in your goals for 2011, CONGRATULATIONS! As you continue to move forth, help someone else along the way. Send an encouraging word, find out where the need is, sow a little of your time, knowledge, and other resources that can be used to ignite the fire in someone else’s life.
I allowed some of my goals this past year to lie lifeless as if on life support. I now have the choice to pull the plug and let it die or nurse it back to life! I choose LIFE! There’s an old saying, “If you fail to plan…you plan to fail.” I am now in position to challenge myself in ways that I have never considered and as faith increases so does oppositions. The most important thing that I have learned from 2011 is GOD IS FAITHFUL! Sometimes that’s ALL you need to remind yourself as you look back on what God has brought you through and use it as a memorial stone for your next Jordan experience!
“When the WHOLE NATION had finished crossing the Jordan…and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder…to serve as a sign among you…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:1-7) The Word of God said THE WHOLE NATION! Are YOU not “…a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy NATION, a people BELONGING to God…” (1 Peter 2:9).
I encourage you to strap up your boots and stretch your muscles and get back in the race! Do NOT give up on God because He won’t nor will He give up on you! I’m a living witness! Let me leave you with the promise to stand on: “The one who calls YOU is faithful and he WILL DO IT!” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).