We looked up and realized we had made a mess. A big one. And it was all our fault too.
It would take a long while to dig ourselves out of that hole.
Our credit was shot. Money was tight and our dreams were much bigger than our budget could afford to finance.
When it got really bad, one day, Kenya and I talked about where we might have gone wrong. This time, though, unlike in times past, we didn’t make any excuses.
How had we allowed the situation to get so dire that our finances were in shambles and we couldn’t make ends meet?
In our case, unlike those who are hit with life circumstances beyond their control, we were our own worst enemies. We had a hand in creating the chaos.
It all started years ago when my husband got bit with the entrepreneurial bug. He strongly sensed the unction to begin consulting nonprofits, as he had been doing in his professional career. He pretty much just woke up one morning with fire under him to help ministries grow and organize in the same ways he did with community organizations.
It’s not that the idea wasn’t good. It was exceptional.
Our approach was misguided.
We ran after the vision with childlike abandon, blowing wishes and caution to the wind, waiting, hoping for manifestation.
You see, in order to get startup capital for the business, we leveraged all of our savings, including his 401(k). We bought thousands of dollars in supplies, believing the theory that says, “If you build it, they will come.”
Well, we built it and they did not.
Not at first.
Still believing, we spent more money on projects we could not afford, remaining full of faith and optimism, until it all came crashing down.
There was nowhere to look for answers except, of course, to God, who caused us to search within.
With His help, we discovered the truth about our overzealousness and propensity to jump headlong into things without the wisdom and understanding we needed.
Owning up, growing up and picking up the broken pieces was hard. But we were willing to do the work together—this time, going at God’s pace, not our own.
Though well-intentioned all along, it was not until we were ready to know, hear and accept the truth about how our actions negatively impacted the outcome, that God was finally able to help us do better.
Thank God we took heed.
Make sure you do the same.
If I know anything, it's that the Lord will lead us to the truth if we are willing to stop pointing fingers and laying blame at someone else’s feet.
I don't know. Perhaps there is an area in your life where you know you need to take ownership of critical missteps and wrongdoing. If so, it is nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have stumbled here and there.
It's time to examine your own personal role in bad outcomes, which will benefit you in the long run, and turn some things around for you.
Often, what hurts us most, helps us most also.
I can think of several incredibly painful scenarios that played out in my life which helped me improve so greatly after they were over.
So be encouraged.
Here’s the good news.
Whether the dilemma you are facing is your fault or not, God will give you the grace to overcome challenges, setbacks, misfortunes and struggles. He loves us all unconditionally and will extend His mercy toward us whenever we are in need of it.
Today, do that self-examination. Don't put it off. Ask God to show you any areas where you have and may still be working against yourself. Then, trust Him for the strength to make the necessary adjustments.
Let me warn you, however. If you ask Him to reveal something to you, He will.
You must be willing to come face-to-face with some not-so-easy-to-digest truths about you.
You may feel like shouting Isaiah 6:5, which says, “’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined!’” But then, in verse 7, a word came from the Lord, saying, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Friend, there is no need to wallow in guilt, shame, or regret over past mistakes. Rather, trust in the God who makes all things new.
To encourage you, I’m stirring Lamentations 3:19-23 NIV into your cup of inspiration:
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I
call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
When you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be reminded that God knows about every error, misjudgment and mistake. And He has enough grace to cover every single one of them.
As you own up to your hand in life’s messes, God will place His hand in your messes and turn them into messages.
Now, let’s pray.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
God, thank You for your compassion, love and mercy through every season of my life. I am so grateful for an opportunity to acknowledge my shortcomings and faults, and look to You for the grace I need to right every wrong. In advance, I praise You for the turnaround as I walk hand in hand with You, the One who makes all things new. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.