Encouragement

How to persevere when you feel like giving up.

It's always hard to see past your current struggle and it's even harder to be grateful when everything is in shambles.

I KNOW THE FEELING – of being let down, disappointed in yourself because you always seem to fail, being broken-hearted over lost friendships and that boyfriend you spent all of your time with, losing literally everything you have from the car you drive to the clothes on your back, not knowing how you’re going to pay your rent or maybe you’ve been kicked out and have nowhere to lay your head, and maybe even more stressful than that you have no idea where your next meal is coming from. I know the feeling all too well, and even more frustrating is when you allow yourself to feel like your Faith in God is so hard to keep that you start making decisions without praying about them first and you’re pretty much fending for yourself.

I think for me the worst part is going through the process by myself. It’s always hard to see past your current struggle and it’s even harder to be grateful when everything is in shambles. So I get these mixed feelings of anger but I know I need to love, frustration but I know I’ll figure it out, and sadness but I know everything is okay. I’m beginning to see that I have trouble balancing these things, I’m hard on myself.

What I’m writing today is not my story, I’m not there yet. But when it’s God’s timing I think the stories and lessons I have to share will be the greatest gift I have to give but for now, while I’m still going through the process, I feel I should share some of the things that help me get through.

For anyone that knows me – after high school – the shit hit the fan! You know how that one verse in the Bible says “God giveth and God taketh away?” Well let me just say this, God ain’t got no problem taking anything away from you! LOL. And, I could choose to be upset but to me, God has a sense of humor that I connect with. He makes me laugh and in your relationship with God, you should feel comfortable enough to be exactly who you are with Him. It’s okay to cry, scream, yell, and laugh with God because He knows exactly what you feel. But crying all day won’t change anything, and prayer without action is void too. So here’s some encouragement for you when you’re down so low, trying so hard to push through and get out of your situation, doing everything you can but you need some more encouragement.

Now, I struggle with these things too. But, I know how defeat feels. It’s not a pretty feeling, in fact, it feels like it’s hard to breathe, like you’ve crushed all of your dreams and let everyone down. My goal here is to inspire you to change the way you think because the first opportunity you have at persevering through this bullshit is choosing to change your mindset. Take note on the things that jump out at you and practice them daily.

STOP

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Drop the phone, Go offline. It’s good for your health and mental well-being.

Too often we let ourselves be consumed with our struggles, we cave into strife and then everything about our day from there is upside down. Think about this, most of us have the same morning routines… you wake up, look at your cell phone and see who liked your last IG photo, who took the time out of their day to watch your Snap-story, and who agreed with your opinion on Facebook. – what I’m telling you to do now is Stop!

Have you ever been on your phone for so long, and when you finally look up you take a deep breath of relief? Like without even knowing it possibly, all that negativity and ambush of people’s lives who seem to be so great while yours is just — well, yours.

When you find yourself in these moments, seeking for validity in things like likes and shares on social media before praying and thanking God for the breath that still circulates through your body that gives you the ability to get up and make a change, Stop! Check yourself. Correct yourself. Put that phone down, just tell God “thank you” send your parents and siblings a text that just says “I love you” and make your bed. At least at the end of every day, you will come home to your first accomplishment of that day – even if it feels like your only accomplishment – you made your bed.

Focus

Come on now! If you think you failed God and His will for your life… honey, you are not that powerful! You better sit down and reconsider who He is.

The goal here is to put things into perspective. What are you focusing on? If you’re focused on school, why aren’t you in class? Why’d you miss that assignment last week? Why did you wait until 10 hours before the exam to study? This is an opportunity for you to let everything out. Get real with yourself, if you don’t – I will

I know why you weren’t studying. You spent your time swiping left on unattractive people on Tinder, you went to the bar with your guys, or you went on a road trip with your girls, you went home and babysat your nephew, you went on a date with someone you thought would be worth your time but wasn’t, you drank a little, smoked a little, threw your hands up in the air and danced a little. But you deserve it, right? You’ve been through a lot lately, had heartbreak and you got a new job so time to throw the past in the past and turn up to the future!

No. Go home. Please. You look foolish. Not to me, because I don’t know what you’re going through from this side of the bar, but to you… because you know you have an exam in three days covering six weeks of material that you never read in the first place. Check yourself. Correct yourself. There’s no reason for you to be in the streets this weekend.

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So let me ask you again, what are you focused on? What sacrifices are you willing to make to drown out the noises and let the main thing be the main thing?

Reflect

There are times you have to grow through what you go through. There’s no getting around it.

Looking back I see a 20-year-old girl moving to West Dayton with her boyfriend she met in high school. I moved here to work at a radio station making $30 an hour! WOOP WOOP! Maybe if the part-time there wasn’t 3-6 hours a week I could have afforded living expenses and would’ve kept my job. Unfortunately, to sum up, that story, that’s what happened and I made the decision that it was time to leave. Thinking I was giving up my only hope at a career in entertainment news.

Boy was I wrong!

If I would’ve held on to that thought, that I was never going to make it in news media because I chose to eat and have money working at Sears than making $80 a week at a radio station, I would’ve stopped right there. I would have been unemployed when Sears started closing their stores and I would’ve been stuck without vision. But I chose to keep feeding my faith and found that these are turning points. What you do right here is what shapes you for your future.

In your quiet seasons, nothing seems to change. Your situation is still your situation. What you do here is vitally important to your success and to your life. If you want to live a life of fulfillment and making your mark in this world then what you do during this time prepares you for your next phase and God needs your full attention.

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Sometimes God pulls us away from things that we have placed greater importance over than time with Him. He’s a jealous God, I never understood what people meant by that until my friend Hailey said it to me last week. If you love your job more than you love God, if you worship the idea of being famous, if you don’t give up making hasty decisions that benefit only you – He will not let you have it, your plans will fail. Reflection is all about looking over your past and seeing how you got through those times. The phrase “never look back” is contradictory but if we never look back, we’d never know our weaknesses or our strengths. It’s important to look back only to help you move forward, to practice what you need to get better at and to leave old habits behind. Reflection is about becoming a better and stronger you.

Take Your Time

I feel like I could go on forever, but let’s take baby steps. It doesn’t have to be perfect today or tomorrow but be real with yourself and start focusing your attention on the right things. Your first opportunity at success is changing your mind about your failures.

Reflecting over your decisions and the way you handle things is key to helping you start working on you. Take your time. Do things for you. Pray. Be Grateful for the breath that still circulates through your body – giving you another chance to make your mark.

Apply scriptures that line up with areas of your life that you need help with. For example, if you feel like a failure or that all hope is lost in your career or in your current situation:

I recommend downloading this app: Available for IOS and Android

& Start reading these devotions: Visioneering | Working Through Failure | Trusting God Day by Day

And please, let me know if this has helped you in any way if there’s anything that jumped out at you if you’ve taken away something that’s going to be implemented into your new morning routines. Share & Comment! 🙂

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