Everyone deserves some time off, right? I think so too. So here I am, Eboni’s other-half, Gerard, (I really wanted to use the term better-half, but I know better) to serve as a guest blogger for this week.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on our couch watching NFL football and enjoying my 33rd birthday. Yes, Eboni’s making me work on my birthday! I can’t believe it either.
All joking aside, I’ve wanted to write a blog for some time. I get a chance to help Eboni behind-the-scenes, but she’s the one writing, reflecting, and pouring her heart into this blog. It’s been so rewarding to see my wife step out of her comfort zone and influence so many people on a regular basis. She inspires me, just as I know she inspires you.
Entering into a new year of life today, I found myself reflecting a lot this morning – the same manner in which I often discover Eboni in her blog process. I was evaluating myself and having an internal discussion. (Don’t act like I’m the only one who talks to themselves on the inside!)
“Did I achieve all of my goals?”
“Am I making a difference?”
“Am I really leading my family”
With a birthday in December, it’s fairly easy to look back at the entire year. Boy, did I take some lumps in 2017! Personally and professionally. I did some things I shouldn’t have done. Said some things I shouldn’t have said. Doubted myself, and came really close to completely burning out.
But through all of those difficulties, I was able to get up this morning and thank God for everything he allowed me to go through. Why? Because those things made me a better person. They allowed me to experience growth AND strengthen my faith to a level I’d never reached before. That’s because when you’re down to the end of your own strength, you tap into the beginning of His.
One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
Huh? Joy in the middle of trials? It’s hard to rejoice when it feels like you’re consistently being punched in the gut. However, that’s the crazy thing about faith – it activates in the midst of tough times. It enables us to look at every mountain knowing that some how and some way, God will get us to the other side.
I believed that, even when it was hard and I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. It’s so easy to give up on something when you don’t see the results, but I learned this year that’s when God is working on your behalf.
I don’t want to paint a picture that faith is some sort of investment opportunity, but it has truly paid off for my family and I. Our marriage is the best it’s ever been. Our family is stronger. I’m about to walk into a dream job opportunity. We get the chance to influence people through our church and through relationships in the community.
Earlier this year, I thought none of this was attainable. Life wasn’t on the course I wanted. I couldn’t see my next step.
But God will give us enough light to see that next step if we trust him. That’s faith. So whatever you may be going through right now, just hold on. Keep your head up. You’re closer than you think you are!