Sometimes life really does hurt. I know. I’m supposed to be the one telling you that everything will always be ok, and it all works out eventually. While I do believe that with everything in me, when you are in the midst of life, it is easy to forget that things will get better. Too often, we have people tell us that we should not be sad, and that we should overlook what is happening in our lives at this moment. Easier said than done. Sometimes, you have to cry. Sometimes you have to contemplate giving up. Sometimes you have to mess up. At the end of the day, crying is a release, and everything else can build character. As life happens, it may seem that nothing is going right. Every dream you have seems to get further and further away. Every desire you have gets eaten up in the pressing needs of each day. What you have believed in for so long, you find yourself questioning. You start doubting yourself, and you no longer believe that life has a purpose. Maybe you convince yourself that you made up every one of your dreams, or you believe that no one really cares about what you are dealing with. Even though a few tell you otherwise, maybe you feel unnecessary, and you believe that no one needs to hear what you have to say. I understand. I have been there. But, don’t get caught up in the world of desperation that your thoughts lead you to. You do matter. While going through the worst times in my life, I have had to believe that there was better. I could not allow myself to bow down to my feelings, and to give up on what I knew was in me. When moments made it extremely difficult to even consider pursuing my dream, I had to remember why I do what I do. My purpose in life is not for myself, but to be there for others. Even one person makes a difference. When you feel all alone, and it looks like what you have believed in for so long will never come to pass, believe again. My pastor always says that the darkest time in a day is at midnight, but it is at midnight that a new day is beginning. Even though things look the same, and it is just as rough as it has always been, in just a little more time, day will break. If you can just wait for the sun to rise, it will eventually look better, and then it will be better. Life throws us curve balls at times. We get derailed, and we lose track of who we are, and what we are supposed to be doing. Sometimes we have to go back to the beginning and remember how we felt when we first started our journey of self-discovery. What was it like when we had such a burning desire to change the world? How did we feel then? I remember the first burning of my passion, and I remember the joy I felt in writing and speaking. Then life happened. Things got a little sidetracked. I burrowed more into the cares of daily life than remembering my purpose. When it’s hard to believe, remember, then restart from where you are. A journey begins with one step, but it sometimes includes detours, broken down roads, sore feet, and getting lost. Still, to get to your destination, you have to complete the journey. It’s time for me, for you, for all of us to believe again. Now is the time.
On the 4th of July, the United States celebrated its independence day. Like many others, I went to see the fireworks display that night. As I watched the fireworks though, I began to think about the life of the fireworks. Strange? Maybe. I thought about how they are packaged in a small, tight container until it is time for their use. Inside it is probably hot and little air flow, but the conditions inside are necessary for the fireworks. When it is time, the fireworks are released from their container, launched into the night sky, and become entertainment for the masses for a brief moment. We enjoy their brilliance, and we bask in the awe of their light, but soon we move on and forget about them. For a moment, they are our focus. So, the fireworks are packaged and held in place until the moment they are expected to perform. Our lives can be like this sometimes. Maybe the circumstances that we are produced in are tight and seemingly airless. Maybe we are “packaged” and do not understand what we are being prepared for. Eventually though, our moment arrives. We understand what it is we were purposed for, and we function in it. The fireworks are each created for one spectacular moment, but then once that moment is over, no one really thinks of them again until the next year. When I thought about that, it made me understand that the fireworks’ purpose is to bring joy at a certain time each year. I have come to understand that my purpose is to bring encouragement and joy daily. It has seemed that I have been under pressure and enclosed in tight spaces at times, but I know that has all been for a specific reason. What I have been through has been specifically engineered to make me who I am today. Maybe your life has been constructed under some tough conditions, and maybe you think that you are only meant to be relevant for one moment, but you are more than just a moment. Similar to the fireworks, I believe that everyone is meant to “entertain” and to bring joy to others, but we can only do that if we endure the process getting to that place. Endure the process. Enjoy your moments.