I feel inspired to write today, and I’m actually making the time to do so…
This post is directly inspired by my current life situations. As always, I try to live my life as an open book with the hope to inspire others. Well, I must come clean; I have to be honest; I have a confession to make. Here goes…I have not fully been transparent. (That’s it. You thought I was going to say something self-incriminating? Ha! Be well, honey!) Throughout the last season of my life, I have done a great job of going through an array of motions, waking daily and putting on my proverbial mask while plastering a smile across my face in the effort to appear “normal”…as if nothing was going wrong. If I am completely honest, my world has FALLEN APART in the last 12 months. I’ve been broke, I’ve been in debt, I’ve been homeless: living out of my car and laying my head on my brothers’ furniture, I’ve lost major friendships, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve had health challenges, and I’ve experienced stress that could have killed me. Yes, I’ve had some ups to my downs and some good for my bad, but life has given me a run for my money…money that I didn’t have. The name of the game in the season has been “Sacrifice!” I have forfeited friendships for peace, belongings for a fresh start, and time for the sake of advancement. I have quickly learned that even some of my blessings and new experiences come with the cost of maintenance. If the truth be the real truth, as my oldest brother used to say, I am EXHAUSTED!
For the sake of understanding, I will give you a peek into the life of Ms. Chrissy Diane. As updated in my bio on my “Who is Chris?” page, I am currently enrolled in cosmetology school. [Yay! Finally! What took you so long?] 10 years out of high school (11 now…sheesh) I got the nagging feeling that there was more to life, and, after a few wrestles with doubt, I made one of the biggest decisions of life…to change my life! (I’ll share that story in another blog that’s already rolling around in my brain.) GO ME! Yay! Way to go, Chris! That’s how I felt until I started LIVING my decision. (THAT too is another blog for another day.) Going to school isn’t as easy as it was when I was 18 years old. Then I didn’t have any real responsibilities, and working my part-time job was simply so I could have spaghetti instead of Ramon. Going to school at 19 or 20 years old was easier because working at QVC was only the supplement to what my then husband could make. Going to school at 23 or 24 years old was a little easier because the classes were online and didn’t interfere with my 8-4 at all. Oh but going to school at 28 almost 29 years old… THIS has proven to be a SCHALLAAAANGE! *insert visual from The Cosby Show when Cliff was having a dance off with Mr. Sandman! 🙂 * With my current work schedule, I wake at 5:15 a.m (…okay, 5:35 after snoozing four times) so that I can be to work by 7:00. I leave work at 4:30 p.m. so that I can be to class by 5:00 p.m. I am in class until 10:00 p.m. then speed to turn the 25 minute drive into 17 so that I can rush to pull out clothes and pack meals for the next day and hopefully be asleep before 11:45 p.m. I can often be found at my local stoplight changing my clothes, eating a sandwich, and touching up my makeup on my way to class. My Sunday evenings consist of meal prepping so that I can pack my daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack so that I won’t have 700 Wendy’s bags in my backseat, and choosing two different outfits for each day. THIS is my Monday through Thursday. I am unavailable to my friends (which have dwindled) and family until after 10:00 p.m. each day, and I somehow manage to fill my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with other obligations, recreation, or cleaning. I. AM. BEAT.
Now that you have a bit of insight let me clarify that this only speaks to ONE area of my life. Naturally, I have responsibilities in other areas of my life. I have a whole full-time job that brings its own set of joys and pains; I am a leader and director at my church; my household doesn’t run itself and the laundry won’t put itself away, even after 3 weeks; I have [a few] friendships that surprisingly have remained VERY balanced with equal parts effort and love; I try to be an upstanding person to people who seem determined to misunderstand me, and the list goes on. Even though life is challenging, overall it is good…but even the good is TIRING! I LOVE being in school, investing in myself, and building my dream, but I am FRUSTRATED! I literally don’t know my in from my out or my up from my down. I can’t remember my last full night of sleep. I spend too much time reminding people that “my office hours are from 9-5” (reference to The Five Heartbeats) and even more time trying to figure out why they are mad at me because I’m not available. I miss Bible Study weekly because of class, and my home is currently just a place to shower, sleep, and store my belongings. Working to build a better life for myself is LITERALLY costing me! The name of the game is what, boys and girls? SACRIFICE. Sometimes with as appealing as being a licensed stylist and one day being my own boss seems, I’d rather quit before I’m too deep or burnt out. I ask myself one or two times too many, “IS THIS REALLY WORTH IT?”
So now that I’ve bored you with my life story, let me include you. How are you feeling? Are you working on anything, praying for anything, pressing for anything? How’s it going? Have you gotten to the place where you’re frustrated yet? Did God tell you to do it but the actual factuals aren’t adding up? Have you calculated that taking an “L” may not be any worse than the rut you were/are living in anyway? Yeah, me too. If you are anything like me, you have divided your time between grinding fiercely to get out of your current situation, cursing all the time/resources/efforts that were wasted resulting in your current situation, and being just a little ticked off with EVERY FREAKING ONE ELSE who has seemed to effortlessly avoid, get out of, or bypass a similar situation to yours. If you are anything like me, you have asked God questions like, “What about me? When will it be my turn? Did you forget about me? Do you remember where I live, what my phone number is, what my social security number is, who my mama and ‘nem are, what I asked you for? Heck, do you even remember my name?” If you’re anything like me with whatever is on your plate, you have asked yourself if this is even worth it and if you should even go on. Well, the answer is simply, “YES!”
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9 [New Living Translation]
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
“Quitters never win.” <– Have you ever heard that quote? Though it sounds SO cliche, it is true! Quitters literally take themselves out of the race before they even have the chance to win. Imagine planting a seed in the ground with the hope to grow a beautiful sunflower. Each day you water that ground excited for what is to come. But after weeks of watering, you become frustrated because it seems as if you are watering the ground for nothing; there is no flower…there isn’t even a sprout. Because of this, you stop watering. You opt to neglect your seed because you started with at least something and it seems you have nothing. BUT what if that sprout was JUST about to burst through the soil? If that is the case, you would have walked away a little too soon…just before you could have tangible evidence that your good was paying off. THAT is what it looks like when you quit. The scripture above is telling us not to get tired [to the point of quitting] when doing something well. No, you may not have immediate results and effortless victories, but WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, you will reap a harvest IF you don’t give up. A few things that contribute to receiving this harvest of blessing (you know that one where windowS of heaven are opened so you can receive A blessing…that’s a BIG blessing. Another blog for another day.)… #1: you have to wait for the right time, and #2 you are not permitted to give up! So you say, “Chris, but EVERY FREAKING ONE ELSE is getting there faster than me, working better than I can, and is further along than me.” Got it….
“I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.“
-Ecclesiastes 9:11 [New Living Translation]
Maybe the key to your harvest, your answered prayer, the success of this season has nothing to do with your swiftness, strength, skill, or wisdom but being in the right place at the right time… Oooooh… “When the time is right…” *insert smirk* So how can you get to the right place at the right time? You get there when you DO NOT QUIT!
Last note… As frustrated as I have been about every area of my life, I have had at least two people sow into me financially taking care of a need they had no clue of, at least three individuals challenge my thinking to get out of my emotional ruts, and one person sow a MAJOR blessing into my life today that will benefit my career tomorrow. Now what if I would have ended it all when I considered it…
Yeah, I can’t quit… Too many people believe in me!