On a cloudy night in November, I drove away from a charter school. Something in me had come undone. I went away trying to discover what had come undone. This particular time was different from all the rest. I did not know what I was looking for, but the highways were always my way of clearing my head. I was dealing with passionate pain and how I was going to get through the hurt of moving on from what I thought I wanted. Passionate Pain: when something hurts, admit it.
As I drove, I watched the cars pass me by. I drove in search of myself. I looked at the blanket of clouds above me. They felt so close. As I continued driving, I kept my eyes on those blankets of clouds. On my way home after hours of driving, I finally looked at those clouds and said…”Please tell me what to do? Where do I go from here?” Save me from this life. A life I had given my all, but wasn’t giving me anything back in return. I was hurting!
See, I spent most of my years in education. Then, one day. I had this brilliant idea to start my own charter school. After starting the charter school, I spent finite hours chasing things that I thought mattered. Pushing the name of the school, unnumbered hours in the community, attending community events, business leaders’ luncheons, and so on.
The neglect of family, my spouse, and my ministry suffered even greater. But I continued to work even harder after God spoke so vividly about my next calling in 2015. I didn’t listen. I forgot about those things that pained me to the core because I thought that I was enough.
In short, I stayed the course with the charter school in hopes that God was going to change His mind about my destination.
Nonetheless, the next morning I returned to the charter school convincing myself that if I got it right on the outside and what other people perceived what “The Covenant” should look like, God would be pleased with me. And, I would be okay over time. Of course, that conviction within just wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew what God was telling me to do. But, fear and insecurity kept creeping in because I never thought I was good enough for ministry.
Each day my heart and soul craved something more real as the charter school wasn’t it any longer. My back was against the wall and I was desperately trying to deal with the void in my soul.
It became visible among my team and other colleagues. I believe what’s in our soul will eventually speak through our eyes. Our eyes represent the focus of our life and what we are seeking. If we are simply seeking money and pleasure, rather than the love and truth of God, we will ultimately find despair.
So is it safe to say that the eyes are the windows to our soul?
Moreover, ignoring leaving the charter school became unbearable as I drove into the school parking lot and turned the key to go into my office dreading the start of another year. There was no way I was going to get through another year. However, I was compelled to hang on because I felt my staff, the students, and my unconditionally loving parents that were committed to the standing of “The Covenant.” needed me and they pushed for me to stay on board.
To that end, I couldn’t do them a disservice knowing God was calling me into greater. Therefore, I resigned and started the process of transferring the school, it was rough to put it lightly. Upon meeting the next school that was going to take over the responsibilities of “The Covenant”, I heard God say, “Except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it…”
After the handshake, I knew the transfer was going to be rocky, out of balance, and unauthentic. Over time the unprofessionalism, the lies, and the turbulence showed up. The transfer of the school merely became about who was going to come out on top or win.
To make matters worse, I had invested thousands and thousands of dollars in hopes that the school would grow and be successful. Even after I had signed the contracts, agreements, and promissory notes, I was committed to helping families and my students with receiving the best education possible.
Yes! Committed to being people of our word, we gave our savings away.
As I look back, it was a deeply painful terrifying ride working through the brokenness, anger, and the place of embarrassment. The lack of emotional unacceptance that wasn’t shown during my transition was massive.
The highways became a regular place of peace and hope. Driving along those highways gave me the strength to face what looked to be insurmountable. But I was determined to never look back. The charter school was over for me and I vowed to give God my all in my next season.
You’re right! It took me a minute. But I’m finally showing up even when I don’t feel emotionally accepted by others. Or, emotionally connected to the greater things God is calling me to do.
My disobedience back in 2015 caused a lot of pain and suffering for me. But, I knew if I was going to survive, I was going to have to fight to live again. There was nothing I could do about stepping out of God’s grace. However, I knew prayer. I knew God. I knew my place.
Submission has always been a difficult word for me. In my mind, I have always been self-sufficient. Figuring things out myself. I thought!
Isn’t it funny how the devil gets us out on limbs when we’re feeling like Superman?
Nonetheless, that was going to be my journey–learning to submit and humble myself under the mighty hand of God. I wanted Him to exalt me in due season.
Doggone it! I just desire to do things God’s way.
My submission journey was 21 days of fasting and praying. It was restorative. Everything I needed to bounce back with my thoughts and habits, and to take authority over my life again. The anger, regret and fear held me hostage. It had owned me for too long.
My honest truth was. I thought I was surrounded by people who watched me develop and thought they were going to still treat me with dignity. Many times we have people who are in our corner because of who they thought we were. And once they assumed us not to be who they thought we were, they detour!
Note! Few people in the world can witness someone’s development and still treat them with dignity.
Marriages have ended because people marry supposedly perfect people instead of partners. Relationships have ended because people have made mistakes. And we fault people for the mistake that they’ve made. The problem is–our assumption was that they would never make one.
Therefore, we’re unable to see people develop and still treat them with dignity because we’re so focused on their mistake and the assumptions we’ve created around them.
It takes a mature person to see somebody develop and sit still with them.
I’m so glad the assumptions and emotional unacceptance didn’t kill me.
I appreciate God taking the time to turn the lights off in my life. In other words, God paused my life. He sent a big period to make me stop. I deseparately needed to refocus my direction.
Subsequently in life. God cuts off the lights not for us to have an accident. But for us to stand-still and see the salvation of the Lord because He knows we won’t remain still enough to listen to His voice so the darkness makes us stand still.
Likewise, when things die in our life… God has a plan. We don’t understand nor do we want to at times because all we feel is the pain. Our pain has a way of making us forget about what is actually going on and where we need to be. Pain confuses us.
For example, you could have just enjoyed 40-50 days of bliss. But when pain shows up those good times put us in a place as though nothing was ever good and our life is not in a great place.
Pain makes us forget how good God really is…
Is that you? You’ve been in so much pain that you’ve forgotten about every good day you’ve had?
We haven’t been taught to look at our pain as God having a plan for our lives. We’re just used to dealing with the presence of pain. In Job 16:16; his pain was so deep, “My face is red with weeping, dark shadows ring my eyes; yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.” Job focused on his tears and didn’t recognize that his tears were his transportation.
If you are crying rivers, it’s your transportation for God to take you to your destiny. After you have suffered a while, then, God will establish you, settle, and strengthen you.
If you are in a season of tears, it’s preparing you for your next level. They are taking you somewhere.
When something hurts, admit it.
There are some people in your life that you have cried enough to know what decision to make. Yet! You are trying to take them to Canaan Land with you. (check out my blog) We can’t turn our future into our past by bringing people with us.
“Any thought or physical movement which is repeated over and over through the principle of habit finally reaches the proportion of rhythm. Then the habit cannot be broken because nature takes it over and makes it permanent. It is something like a whirlpool in water…Then it is carried round and round but it cannot escape…Habit establishes one’s rhythm of thought, and that rhythm attracts the object of one’s dominating thoughts.” Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970)
I read Napoleon Hill’s masterpiece Outwitting the Devil. I highly recommend this book! It’s on my must-read book list. Hill described Hypnotic Rhythm as a law of human nature that solidifies our habits and makes them permanent.
For instance, the dangers of hypnotic rhythm occur when we let fear occupy our minds and encourage us to develop bad habits like sitting around watching Netflix all day. Even during a pandemic, where much of the future is uncertain, we must keep taking active steps toward our goals.
Not only …but also, we have to stop being in relationships with people because of habit. God is calling us out of places and away from people. God has not provided enough resources for those people to enter into your calling with you.
Let’s you and I stop giving CPR to things that God killed. In other words, Don’t you dare beg anybody else to stay in your life. Let them go. Allow them to die.
Most people understand the bottom but will never understand the top. And the higher you go the more opinions they’ll have. That’s why you have to leave people at the foot of your mountain so they won’t put their foot in your mouth.
The ultimate goal of our pain is for God to move us where He wants us to be.
Sometimes we think that we can’t get over something so we keep dealing with the pain instead of moving on. So we continue to suppress the problem because it’s easier to deal with. Then, we begin to race and compete with the image of pain and the cycle continues. Getting up every morning with that “Ugh” in our soul.
Passionate Pain: Your next steps: How to get through the hurt:
From the outside, you have to start to live a life that is brave, bold, and beautiful before people. That’s going to be your redeeming challenge. You have to set terms and decide to live life on those terms, even when you can’t control what others are saying about you.
Consider where you are
After you dream a little, consider your reality. What are you doing currently? How do you feel about life and being emotionally unaccepted by people? Is what you’re doing moving you closer to those dreams and goals? Or Do you feel stuck? Take a few minutes to assess your current situation.
Assess your options
Now, assess your options. What can you change in your current situation that will help you get closer to living life on your own terms? Do you need to consider a career change? Restructure your schedule by cutting out extra activities so that you have more time to meet your goals? Make a flowchart to determine your direction and how long it’s going to take you to get there. Brainstorm a list of potential options. Think freely. Don’t assume you can’t do something – just write down everything that pops into your mind. You deserve to dream.
Make a plan
Once you’ve done a “brain dump” of ideas, and you’ve talked to others (close mentors that will give you honest advice about your direction) who are living life on their own terms. It’s unlikely that you can create the life you want overnight. You may need to make a 6-month plan or a 3-year plan, depending on how far away you are from that goal. Once you’ve created an overall plan to live life on your own terms, break it down into 90-day goals and objectives. Oh Boy! This is where I can help you. This makes it less overwhelming and easier to accomplish. You can eat your elephant–a little at a time.
Team up and take action: You need a deadline
Finally, take action! If you don’t start, you’ll never create the life you long for. You’ve got to start taking steps towards your goals every day to make it happen. It helps to have an accountability partner or a team of support along the way. When you team up with others who are also working towards living life on their own terms, you’ll be much more likely to stay motivated and find success.
In conclusion, my fuel has been the pain I’ve suffered. I’ve started a blog to help me sort through the pain of life. It has been a healing virtue for me. It has given me a way to remain connected to the relationships that have been important in my life, as well as connecting with others who are struggling with maintaining hurtful relationships.
My ultimate goal is to encourage you and hopefully, you’ll dive into your passionate pain too.
Amid my serenity, submission, and pain, it has shown me that hurt is inevitable. The hurt has created passion, which has changed the course of my life. Pain has healed my wounds, it has inspired hope. It has also restored my faith. Pain has helped me to overcome my dark days. Because of the hurt, I show up for myself as I’m my most valuable player.
I now live with purpose. Every day I live with the curiosity of finding out who I really am. I am no longer fighting to become that person I longed to be because I am that person.
Don’t ever forget how powerful you are and never forget what you have to offer to someone else. Live boldly. Never lose your significance and the ability you have to create change in someone else’s life.
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