"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it." ~ Maya Angelou
I had lunch today with a great friend and we had a wonderful time of catching up and sharing our hearts together. This friend is so positive and her love for life is absolutely infectious. She is the type of person that makes you feel great when you are around her, always views the glass as half full and encourages others to do the same. I left our lunch feeling inspired and blessed by the special time we had shared together. It was so refreshing. Although certain aspects of her life are not exactly where she would ultimately like them to be, she is headed very well in the right direction and has chosen to enjoy the view along the way. She knows through hard work, patience and a strong belief in the premise that there is a right time for everything that her time is coming. "Not yet" is she at her ultimate goal, but an excitement is building in her spirit that each day she is just a little bit closer.
We listened to an excellent speaker at work on video that shared the power of emphasizing with our students the true power of "not yet." It really spoke to my heart of how we can really encourage students that struggle by reminding them that learning is a journey not a destination. All too often they can feel that they will never get a concept and that type of thinking keeps them stuck. By encouraging them that they haven't got it "yet," but in time they will, provides them with both much needed encouragement and also a great sense of hope. As a young student I really struggled with telling time. For the life of me I could never comprehend what the mysterious big and little hand were up to. Convinced that I would never "get it," I felt increasingly defeated day after day. Interestingly enough my mom, a supply teacher was called into my class one day when what else but a telling time lesson was on the agenda. I don't think my mom even fully realized until that day, how much that math concept baffled me. We stayed in at recess and together as mom and teacher she shared some tips that allowed me to see things differently, and offered gentle reassurance that I would eventually "get it." Slowly I begin to realize that there may be hope for me yet! As the "clock was ticking," I finally comprehended that perhaps this was something that I didn't fully have "yet," but soon would.
My husband and I feel extremely blessed to have our children Tyler and Shannon especially because we have experienced three miscarriages. Experiencing miscarriages is one of the hardest thing we have endured as a couple. I remember sitting in our empty nursery crying with my husband and I voiced my fear that I was so scared that a baby would never occupy that room. My husband reminded me to never give up hope and to believe with all our hearts and strong faith in God that although we were not parents yet, we soon would be when the time was right. I had a dear friend in a similar situation. She had not had miscarriages, but due to many health issues, was told by several doctors that she would never be able to have children. With her strong belief in God she stood on her convictions that God was her final authority, and when anyone would ask her if her and her husband had children, she would always reply with a twinkle in her eye and a huge grin the same response, "not yet." I always admired her for her positive spirit and faith and I am pleased to announce that today she is not only the proud mother of one child but three. An amazing story of God's faithfulness and the power of always believing.
I love the expression that says "Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet." It reminds us that all of us are a work in progress. None of us have arrived and our life stories are always unfolding. At our church recently someone was sharing his story of how he was making many positive changes, yet how he still had so far to go. He mentioned that our pastor reminded him that this was not the end of his story but merely the beginning. We need to remind ourselves that although things take time, that we can learn so much along the way and to be patient with the process really helps. A friend of mine shared a story about when he was unemployed for many months and was quite discouraged. He would pray and ask for wisdom for what to do next as far as his career was concerned. He wanted to be a positive role model to his family. He also felt that God would be pleased with a visible act of faith, so he decided, job or no job he would wake up each day, and put on his uniform that he normally wore for work and anticipate the job that would be provided for him. He firmly believed that he did not have a job yet, but with his whole heart he anticipated that he would have one soon. Not long after he started this little routine, he was blessed with a very unexpected job opportunity that has opened many wonderful opportunities for his entire family. Another great example of how faith and perserverance pays off in the end.
Recently at my son's high school graduation, two young men with down syndrome graduated. As they walked across the stage to proudly receive their diplomas, the crowd stood to their feet in thunderous applause to validate their incredible accomplishment. It was very touching to witness as it was understood that completing their high school program was challenging, yet they had succeeded. I will always remember this very special moment. I'm sure at many times they struggled but remembering that they had not graduated yet but would with hard work and determination, kept them going.
Many things in life take time but are worth waiting for. You may feel that you have hit roadblocks and it appears your life is at a standstill in certain areas. Many times things are happening but it is behind the scenes. The story of your life is unfolding, yet often certain things need to take place first before your moment arrives. Perhaps a person of influence will enter your life, or a person will resign his or her job to open a door for you, or the exact opportunity you have been dreaming of will present itself but at a moment you least expect. My friend told me the story of how in her life she has witnessed the power of "suddenly." She explained that things that we have been waiting on for some time can "suddenly" it seems change in an instant when God determines the time is right. It is often then that things that have seemed on hold for so long, advance very quickly and make up for lost time when God is involved. The Bible says "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall walk and not be weary, and they shall run and not faint." Keep the faith. Know that just because things have not happened yet, that breakthroughs are coming. It is exciting to ponder just how close you may be! A glorious unfolding of your future awaits.
Until next time,
Ecclesiastes 3:1 : There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heavens.
Little Lesson Learned: Live in an attitude of "not yet," and great expectation for the things you most desire and dream of. This type of thinking will really pay off in the end.