by: Tabitha D. James
209 weeks ago I made an Instagram post, just a few days shy of my graduation from graduate school at Florida Atlantic University and it said - "This post is dedicated to everyone who has asked or is preparing to ask "what's next" . . If you've known me for an extended period or even just a short while, I'm sure you've witnessed that I'm a go getter . . The question isn't "what's next" it's what's NOT next . . God has a plan for my life and I'm just obediently following his commands . . So with the utmost respect, DO NO ASK me this question . . Just continue to lift me up in prayer and my true destiny shall be unveiled in due time"
Let me just take moment to *praise* because eyes haven't seen nor have ears heard all He has planned for me. If you don't read anything else, if you stop right here, I want you to know that life is a journey. Each opportunity, each person you meet, each challenge, each triumph is all apart of something bigger. At that time I really had no idea what was next, I was preparing to move back to South Carolina, embark on the job search and continue learning. I had a specific criteria for what I wanted and though many tried to sway my desires, I held fast to faith and purpose. Four years later, life looks nothing like what I thought or even imagined, trusting God, working hard and literally wandering into the unknown has yielded so many amazing opportunities and benefits, I am truly grateful for it all. Now has it been easy, uh, NO! Has it been worth it, YES! Every challenge has made me stronger, every perceived failure was just a learning opportunity in disguise.
It is my hope that the piece below will motivate, inspire and help to uplift someone reading it, enjoy :) And still . . Don't ask me what's next . . The best is yet to come!
Sweat + Sacrifice = Success
Sweating, literally, there was a point in time when I was in Sunny South Florida with NO AIR unless my car was in motion and instead of getting it fixed, I used my "extra" money to travel to conferences and other exposure related activities. As I would sit in traffic, hot, often tired from working more hours than the law should allow, I would wonder, "why am I here?", "why is this so hard?" . . . Eventually I did get my air fixed so the physical sweat wasn't a big deal but the mental sweat was at all time high. The subconscious pressure to achieve and have it all figured out was weighing heavy. Here i am 22-years old, bent but not broken, out here in the world trying to be great yet not even knowing what great means. I really wish I could call that young lady and tell her, "it will all be okay, you're on the right path"!
Moving away from my norm provided a plethora of opportunities to not only meet new people and engage in an amazing learning environment, but I got to get to know someone very special, MYSELF! I must admit there were times when I was homesick and depressed but they were far and few in-between after a few months. For one, I was too busy to think about it and for two it was quite amazing to begin soul searching and developing my own sense of identity and purpose. The mental sweat was real, shoot, it still is but I have an imaginary handkerchief that allows me to wipe and keep going; find yours, use it and keep going!
A whole book, I can write a whole book on the sacrifice. Since about 17 the sacrifice has been REAL! Don't get me wrong, I have had some GOOOOD times but I have also worked hours and hours and MORE HOURS chasing my goals. The race is not given to the swift nor the strong; victory belong to those that keep on moving! There are seasons in life -- some seasons are meant to plant and others to grow, needless to say, the planting, the sprouting and the blossoming all happen at different times. Recognize your season, accept your season and make it "do what it do"!
From tv to music to finances to entertainment to friendships to relationships and the list gone on, the sacrifice has been REAL. Shoot it still is -- "temporary sacrifice for ultimate success". No, is one of my favorite words. My time, talents and resources have to be carefully used for things that make sense for the bigger picture; often times that doesn't make sense to folx and I'm okay with that. I have to do what's best for me and I hope you do the same. Even leisure activity is strategically planned so that it aligns in a way that makes sense for me; the only "spontaneity" I need in this season is God ordained spontaneity.
Still pending. . . . There have been some MAJOR wins but as stated previously; the best is yet to come!
Sweat + Sacrifice = Success
Put in the work, take the chances, trust the process and watch magic happen. As you go through life remember that you aren't the first nor will you be the last to have confusion, struggle, disappoint and the similar. Continue believing in yourself and believing in what God, the universe and the combination thereof has for you -- live out the equation!
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