2010 was an important year in my life, and one of difficult testing.
There were positive milestone moments as well as difficult ones, and it turned into a year where God shaped me into His liking. Towards the end of 2010, I hit a breaking point. Choosing intentionality for good, and moving forward made life more difficult. Below is a journal entry I wrote in this state.
Three years later, I reflected on this journal entry, and I wrote my thoughts. That entry is below the first.
My hope in sharing my journal is to encourage you in your journey.
Journal Entry: November 20th, 2010
You focus on the right things and you wonder, why have things gotten so much worse. Getting your relationship with Jesus prioritized, being intentional about being with your family and helping out. Stepping into the company, you make it better and do what you know is needed to be done in order to make it succeed and get on track.
To summarize, you put everything in order and then all hell breaks loose. Is it just because you are facing the consequences of your past? Is because Satan sees where your heading and he will do everything it takes to stop you? Is it because you are heading down a road you are not supposed to be on?
You take one step, two step, three steps out on the bridge of faith and then you get ready to run across and it feels as if the bridge is gone. That all of sudden God is silent, your family despises you and your work kicks you while your down.
Instead of taking this bitter cake in the face, the punch in the gut and the kick on the ground, I look at the situation and grow from it. I make the decision to learn and avoid it. So does it mean making small adjustments that will pay out over time or is it a matter of doing the dramatic and quitting everything you have known to pursue something else?
I have become enslaved to a business. While I have pulled away slowly more and more at the end of the day it holds me down financially with no mercy. No matter the extraction I do, the more reliant I become on its outcome. If it succeeds I prosper, if it fails I suffer. How do I separate myself to facilitate my independence and freedom?
It is extremely interesting how certain events and people come into your life at the most extremely interesting timing. At an event this past week a friend of mine who owns a business comes to me and tells me She feels she is going to have to shut down the business. She can't figure out if she should close shop and get a job or make it happen and figure it out. What did I tell her?
Figure out what your individual vision, mission
, and purpose
are. You then use that as your compass to decide what you do and how you do it. Well, my compass is telling me to serve and love others, to not have fear, to guide others to realize and actualize their visions and do it while maintaining my priority in Christ, family and then work. I feel I am doing these things and I can continue doing them despite the obstacles that come my way. In fact, these obstacles allow me to demonstrate to others these traits more powerfully.
Is this why I am in this position, to be an example?
At this point, all I can do is trust God will provide and take care of me, my family and my business. All can do is be an example and inspire others.
Reflection Point: September 27th, 2013
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground? ’And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Manure is used to fertilize the land. Fertilizing is the enrichment of soil, as for the production of crops (fruit). When I look back at this moment, I see where I was being fertilized, enriched, cared for by God. Manure is waste, it's not pretty but it has all the nutrients needed for growth and life.
In regards to wanting to cut it down, I believe I don't always give something the opportunity for it to produce fruit. I want to cut it down before ever giving it what it needs to thrive. It would be much wiser for me to wait to cut it down after I have given it the attention it requires, and it still does not produce fruit.
I see this as a powerful visual for how we can create a great environment for someone to grow, but ultimately this only acts as a way to illuminate the heart of a person. A perfect environment does not create a fruit-bearing person, it just gives them the opportunity to grow fruit without hindrance.
This quote from David Guzik's commentary struck me.
"The farmer, illustrating God, did not leave the tree alone. He gave it special care. Perhaps God is showing His special care for you right now-but it feels like there is manure all around you! Yet, don't resist God's work. Flow with it and bear fruit as He continues to work in your life."
- David Guzik