Are You Sure You’re Ready?

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

-Lee Child

Disclaimer:  I can’t really say that today’s thought will be poetically constructed.  Today will be more like a conversation with a good friend over cup of warm apple cider or a glass of wine.  I hope we can just chat for a few.

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”  I have lived by that philosophy all of my short adult life.  Though I can be a bit indecisive from time to time (and I blame it on my anxiety), I really haven’t ever had an issue deciding what things are my core needs and wants.  In other words, I KNOW the desires of my heart.  At my foundations, I want to love and be loved, I want to be financially stable and build wealth, I want a family…a loving husband who is all mine and a bunch of kids to spoil with kisses, I want to be a light and spread God’s love, and daily I want to transform into the woman that God has called me to be.  I’ve rehearsed this a bit, so I don’t have a problem rattling off this list.  As a matter of fact, there are certain bullet points on this list that have become engrafted into my every day life and language.  It is no secret that at 29 years, 1 month, and 19 days, I want a husband.  (Where is Bae?)  As a matter of fact, I believe I am ready for one, and I have no problem declaring that I am.  But as I am, Ms. Independent, Ms. Do and say what I want, Ms. Everything is on my terms…am I sure that I’m ready?

I am going to go out on a limb and say that a good majority of you who are reading this post are braced.  Braced?  Yes, braced as in “Brace yourself.”  Whether for a smashing impact or wild ride, there are times where we are instructed to brace ourselves.  Speaking in context of being ready, I believe many of us are continually braced for the worst.  The quote above says that we hope for the best…our prayer, desire, and goal is for the best, but our plans and actions lean more toward everything either falling apart or not coming together at all.  But I get it!  Overtime, past disappointments cause us to gradually lose faith in things going right.  It may not be that we don’t think it can happen, we just may think it can’t happen for us.  Furthermore, we may fear that if it comes together, it may not stay that way.  Again, past disappointments seem to hold a lot of clout.  With that in mind, remembering all that didn’t work and all that didn’t remain, we end up investing more energy into our preparation for the very thing we desire not coming to pass than we do into preparing for if it does.  I’ll make this practical continuing with my own example.  As much as I desire to be married, I often dwell on my first marriage that failed, my past relationships that led to dead ends, and the subsequent heartbreaks that followed.  It’s not that I don’t believe “the one” could be making his way to me, I am a hopeless romantic after all; it is that I have convinced myself that there are countless hoops that he and I must jump through before we finally can be together.  And truthfully, I have (at 29) already mapped out my Plan B (The 2019 Plan) just in case my king never shows…. I have planned and braced for the worst.  Your heart’s desire may not be for a husband (I’d hope not especially if you already have one or a wife for that matter 🤔😒🙁), but can you see within my example how you too may be investing your energy into the wrong thoughts and efforts?

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24 [New Living Translation]

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

Some years ago my pastor (shameless shout out to Pastor Cedric Rouson and Shekinah Kingdom Church) preached a message that still resonates with me from time to time.  I’ll be honest, I’m not certain of the scripture reference or the title…I think it was What if God Says “Yes?”  Either way, here was the premise: we sometimes pray and ask God for things but in some ways yield our thoughts to believe that He won’t allow it.  Because of this, we don’t prepare for the blessing.  But what if God does give you what you prayed for?  Would you really be ready to receive it? 

So many times I have heard the narrative of athletes, celebrities, and lottery winners becoming rich overnight.  In the majority of those cases, their ignorance concerning what to do with wealth caused them to waste most to all that they received rather quickly.  Though receiving a windfall of money can be answered prayer, it can also become a burden.  Not knowing how to properly steward the gifts given to us can cause us to mistreat or waste them.  So let’s talk about me one more time…  Here I am READY for Mr. Right! …right?  But have I allowed myself to be healed of past pain?  Have I transformed my mind from being a control freak and Ms. Independent to embrace the idea of partnership?  Have I committed to sacred time with God that can’t be negotiable if He sends Bae?  Have I begun the process of cleaning my credit and debt, and setting goals for my financial future (I mean!!!)?  I am committed to actively making my passions and God-given purpose a visible reality or am I still making excuses?  Have I fervently prayed the will of God, trusted Him to hear me, and waited patiently for His answer?  (That patiently part…yeah, that’s a no.)  And you…with the desire of your heart, are you prepping your life for it?  Are you adjusting your thinking to receive it?  Are you speaking positively about it?  Are you allowing your life to align with God’s will therefore preparing for what you want.

Here are few things (According to Chris) that I believe you can do in the period between asking and receiving:

Pray.  No for real, pray.  In this time, you may be able to see that what you are asking God for may be too small, you may be asking too soon, you may be asking for something He doesn’t want you to have at all, or He may strengthen you will you wait. (Psalm 27:14 , Isaiah 40:31)

Believe with expectation.  Speak positively and with faith concerning what you are asking for.  Leave doubt out of your vocabulary.

Get YOU together…and this will definitely take God’s help.  While waiting, clean up and clean out your life.  Get rid of unnecessary baggage, including but not limited to grudges and fear. Make room for your blessing; you can’t keep all the old junk (mindsets, habits, etc.) and have room for the new things.

Be thankful.  This is a good time to count the blessings you already have.  Doing so also rejuvenates your hope that God, who performed before, can certainly manifest His will in your life.

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”  Thanks Mr. Child, but I’d like to revise that. 

“Hope for the best, pray for the best, and plan for the best.  And if  by chance it doesn’t happen, don’t lose hope in God and His plan.” -Christen Rouson

Today I challenge myself and you as well to do what is necessary to prepare for our heart’s desires.  Maybe this delay, whether you just prayed or you’ve seemingly been waiting forever, is giving you a chance to get in position…  (You must be on your mark and set, before you can go.)  I’m crazy enough to believe that as we refocus our efforts and thoughts to being ready to receive, we will gradually move closer to the moment of receiving.  I know you’ve asked for it, but are you sure you’re ready?

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.  Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you.”

Psalm 37:4-5 [New Living Translation]

I hope this helps.

…Chris

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