Wow. Three more days and 2010 will only be a memory. Lord willing, I will be moving on to my sixth year out of college. It doesn’t seem real. As I sit here typing, I can’t help but to reflect on my life these past five years.
Five years ago, I was zealous for God and an ambitious twenty-two year old walking down to receive my college diploma. I was anxious and excited about the celebrative dinner that was to follow my graduation. As my family sat at the restaurant table congratulating me and presenting me with gifts, I surprised them with my first published book, “Rhythm of Life: Poetic Beats of Maturity and Healing.”
Two years later, unsatisfied with the book and unsure where my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree was supposed to lead me, I cancelled the book’s publication and sat confident and content at the receptionist desk of a check printing company. I knew my present place of employment was nothing more than a temporary divine placement by God. I was touched by the inspirational messages left by the former receptionist, Ms. Faye, who was battling cancer and went to heaven during the time that I was filling in for her. During the same time, many of the employees feared losing their jobs after receiving the news that the company had been bought out. I knew I had been placed there to help fill the atmosphere with a little laughter, love and encouragement. Just as God set the time for me to start the job... several months in, He orchestrated my end date. Following my final week there, I severed a three-year relationship that became an unhealthy comfort zone for both me and the guy I was dating. I was moving on.
I started working in the entertainment business as an intern and though I had finally entered the world of my degree, I was positioned in a department not fit for my creativity. However, I continued to work hard and draining hours, chose to focus on Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future”, and was quickly promoted to a full-time paying position. Outside of my job, I spent my free time pursuing God and pursuing my non-paying passion of writing. I wrote down everything I wanted to accomplish: the books, the spoken word CD, the spoken word DVD's, the plays... the list goes on. After a year of being in the entertainment business, I met a guy who was contracting at the same place of employment. We quickly connected.
So here I am, the end of 2010, and the guy and I are still dating. I have to admit, that while I love him dearly, I often get frustrated with the progression of our relationship. I'm realizing, that frustration is sometimes triggered when I look at the same list that I wrote in 2007 and am reminded that I've only accomplished one out of ten things in a three year span. I ask myself, what happened? And I start to think about all the setbacks in my personal life and career. I think about the amount of time spent on bringing someone else’s vision into fruition while neglecting my own. I think about how I went from working in television and film to being unemployed, selling my furniture to pay bills, then becoming a waitress and carrying a negative attitude to work every single day; totally out of my character. I think about the times when I wanted to give my all and the anger that came from giving my all too soon. I think about the day that Ichose to be happy in spite of my circumstances. The day when I remembered God’s promise, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” When I decided to change my attitude and be the best doggone waitress I could be, God completely turned my situation around. And over a year later, although I’ve still only accomplished one out of ten things on my list, I can honestly say that it's God’s favor that's placed me back in the entertainment business and in a position that's sure to catapult the achievement of all of my goals and more, on a level that’s bigger than any I’ve ever imagined.
But... still... yesterday, I stayed in my bed almost all day feeling sorry for myself. I woke up at 11:30, cried myself back to sleep at 2:30 and didn’t wake up again until 6:00 in the evening. Why in the world am I so down? Well, it's simple. I’ve been abandoning my source of joy, God. I've been going to church every week, but going to church alone has never satisfied my spiritual craving for God's love. I need Him daily because I love Him so dearly. But I haven't been pursuing him daily like that twenty-two year old did in 2005. But now is the time... for a spiritual shift.
It’s three more days until 2011, and I am an ambitious twenty-seven year old, working toward the completion of a book of love poems, in love with a guy whom I would eventually to like to marry and trying to renew a relationship with God. My prayer is that my focus shifts back to pleasing Him. I recently found a Post-It that I saved with Ms. Faye's handwriting. It read, “I have held many things in my hands and lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands those I still possess.” 2011 is a year of giving myself back to God, allowing Him to use me and placing all my worries, my dreams and my plans in His hands. Holy Spirit, I pray for your help. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.