Thirty and living with my mom…
Does this really make me unsuccessful? Let me tell you why I ask that…because that’s what I’ve been told.
Forget my degrees or license, all the non-profits that I volunteer(ed) for, families that have been helped to reunify, women and children I’ve counseled, group studies and support groups I’ve led, people I’ve sacrificed for etc. etc.
Because I live back with my mother (and have for a while now) in the room I grew up in, do not currently own any red bottoms or new bags that cost your rent (not mortgage), do not sleep with random men, refuse to settle in a relationship I’m unhappy in, do not swoon over bottles at the club or the men who pitch in to buy one, no longer drink myself into a drunken stupor, or bring in income the way that people feel I should…I’m unsuccessful? This can’t be true.
When I was 23 and finishing up my Masters Degree I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish. Find a job, move back out my mom’s, get married at some point (I’d be patient as long as it was before 26/27), have some kids, travel tons etc. Well, I got a job fresh out yay but the rest? FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!!!
As of today…literally today, it’s my birthday =)
I’ve made and believe me, there were a few times in the last two years that I would agree. But not today!
Why? Because my path is my path and I no longer desire to follow someone else’s trying to get where God is taking me! I’ll end up lost, disappointed, and perturbed that I have to start all over again…AGAIN!
As I have been preparing to enter this new decade I’ve really given this success thing a lot of thought. (Now mind you, I’ve been wanting to be 30 for about 5 years now. I’m super excited about it.) But as people, who honestly don’t really know me or what I do, question me about my excitement and tell me I really have nothing to show for it, all I can think is that they’re crazy and apparently only judging my right now.
[Can I be honest…I’ve been one of my biggest haters as well…so I’m a large part of that “they’re crazy” number]
I have plenty to show for it and most of it isn’t material…it’s all internal. Mentally and spiritually and even emotionally (even though I still cry A LOT) I’ve grown immensely in the last two years. How could I not, I mean:
I can’t completely beat myself up because on the other hand, in this wilderness, God has produced within me: patience (cuz this season was supposed to last 3 months tops lol), endurance, trust, and understanding of his voice, laid out the plan, promises, and purposes for my life, exposed my spiritual gifts, revealed some of the blessed saints that get to help me learn them (poor thangs, lol I’m a mess), and most importantly a reliance on his timing and his provision (financial, emotional, etc).
There is nothing unsuccessful about this and while you may not be able to tell from the naked eye there is much to show for what I’ve experienced the last 2 years especially.
I want to encourage the faith walker today!
If you’re struggling with taking a step of faith on the word God gave to you, be it relocation (geography, church, etc), to accept that lower paying job, accept that promotion, start a new business, book, venture, or walk into or out of a relationship (romantic, business, friendship)…my advice is to remove all opinions (self opinion included) and get back to what the word says. God will protect you during this time, no matter how long it lasts. Your obedience will be waaaaaay better than sacrifice. Disobedience may cause you to have to deal with things that will cause you to sacrifice in other ways. Coming back from those things aren’t always easy. Just telling you what I know. I’m still struggling with some effects of my disobedience and I can’t blame it on the devil or anyone else…All me…And I don’t want that for you.
People will probably not understand and that’s okay. You cannot allow their opinions to be a trap that disables you.
The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that
If you’ve already taken the step out and you’re tempted to turn back to the familiar like those Israelites DON’T DO IT!!!…I know it gets lonely, rough, frustrating, and flat out stupid some days but that’s only because you’ve allowed flesh and fear to take over. Stay tied to God, think with the spiritual you and you’ll see God working out everything for the good…(Once again, you miss that stuck in the complaints of the flesh).
If God has been nudging you to keep going or to do “it”, just do it and keep going. Go into this New Year fresh and obedient with the expectations that life happens but God is always with you. Respect his timing, his knowledge of you and your future, and that he will provide every NEED. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to lose some of what you want for a little while…but God restores and it’s always bigger and better. He never downgrades. (Even in our season of sacrifice)
I believe I’m living an upgraded life right now and honestly that’s all that matters. I just want you to do the same.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
-1 Corinthians 15:58
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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