Let it Go!

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I really admire determined people and if you know some scenarios in my life, you would know that I have stayed the course and persevered. I’ve tasted the sweetness of victory after struggles. However, I recently had a situation where I recognized the need to not go to the finish line. And guess what? I’m okay with that.

For work, a particular department was mandated to have all of its employees take two one-month online courses, free of charge to them. I found out about it and decided to sign up, although it wasn’t mandatory for me. I figured I’d upskill.

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I decided to challenge myself and take an Excel course, knowing full well that a course I did in college which only had Excel as a topic had me lost! Yet, I decided to not do a course with Excel as a subject – but take a WHOLE EXCEL COURSE. Go figure! Well, today – during week three – I dropped the class. Yes, I was near the finish line, but I can tell you that the struggle was real! It was so awful that I felt stressed, my head was light, my body felt heavy, I felt pressured, I worked an inordinate amount of time on one question, I allowed myself to become cranky and I just wasn’t getting it. It just wasn’t clicking for me. This wasn’t working.

Yes, as a Christian, I am quite aware that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), but I also realize my interest wasn’t really there. I was going against the grain from the get go and before the course, I had preconceived perceptions (not the best way to approach anything!) I experienced trepidation from before it started. Additionally, I had work and personal commitments; for example, during one class, I had to attend an important work-related Zoom meeting. Then, another day, I had an unexpected interruption which took me away from class for about an hour (that really threw me off). And yes, I know life happens, and I know what it is to juggle things, but missing half an hour or an hour of a 14-week class, condensed into four weeks – which I was already struggling with – was like missing several lessons! It was rough!

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So what did I do? I dropped that class. It wasn’t even mandatory for me to do anyhow! Yes. There you have it. I dropped the class. But in doing so, I learned that it’s okay to sometimes not continue pursuing something. It might be a particular major, a relationship…a career.

There was a small sense of failure, which overshadowed me, but only for a few moments. I quickly rebounded and just faced it: Excel is not my cup of tea. Further, I just wasn’t that interested. Excel is like a foreign language to me. Honestly. It’s like a friend of mine who went to college and initially started out with a science focus. That friend struggled, until an advisor reviewed her grades and pointed out how well she was doing in English classes. She switched her major and came into her own as an English major, eventually going on to teach English. And she absolutely loves it! Is she a failure because she didn’t finish that science degree? No. In fact, she is an excellent teacher, a hard worker and truly loves her students and wants to see them succeed. She recognized her strength and channeled her energy in a different direction.

So yeah, as I sit here typing, I feel lighter. I feel free, quite frankly. I just think in life, there are some things worth pursuing, but there are some things we just need to know when to let go. Some people consider it giving up. In this case, I say I let go. This was a ‘Do you boo’ situation.’ It was in my best interest, particularly as I was being affected mentally to the point of it manifesting physically. I’ve been working since I was 19 and I am now in my 40s. I have never had to use Excel. I truly believe it is useful to know, but it’s not absolutely necessary in my line of work. My instructor tried to convince me to stay, but Why should I stress myself out to prove a point to anyone – including myself?

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Maybe someone else needs this too. Perhaps it’s speaking to you. We all have certain talents, passions…strengths. For example, I’ve read of a banker who left banking to become a makeup artist. Not only does she love it, but she’s thriving and quite popular! I know of another person who left a job as a veteran accountant to make way less money teaching Accounts in the high school system, but that person loves it! Do what you love and stick with it. It doesn’t mean it will be all smooth sailing, but when you have challenges along the way, at least know, ‘I’m in this for the long haul.’ Nothing wrong with challenging ourselves – that’s healthy – and I know some things in life don’t come easy. But this was just one of those situations that just wasn’t worth it for me.

I’m linguistically inclined. I’m a writer. I’m a blogger. I’m a speaker…a journalist at heart…I’m a communicator. That is who I am and I’mma stay in my lane!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

COVID-19: God is STILL in Control!

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In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other thing which has caught the world’s attention like COVID-19 (coronavirus). This virus almost has a personality of its own. It slithers its way into airports and palaces, hopping onto buses and trains, waits in line at the mom and pop store on the corner, flys to every continent – except Antarctica – and makes its way into homes, from celebrities to the common man.

It seems to have one mission: Steal. Kill. Destroy.

In fact, today, I visited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website and saw the figure. An astonishing 23,495. That’s how many confirmed deaths from the coronavirus were recorded after 5 pm. At that hour, there was an overall 512,701 confirmed cases. From actor Tom Hanks and athletes to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Britain’s Prince Charles, this virus does not discriminate. Nationality, gender, colour, social standing, education…none of this matters to the coronavirus.

More than ever before, people are exercising cleanliness. And I believe using hand sanitizer, washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and infusing the atmosphere with Lysol are so embedded in our psyches that long after we have seen the coniving back of the coronavirus, many will still be exercising caution.

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I can’t help but think though that the God whom we serve is BIGGER than COVID-19. We are reminded in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

And certainly these are times of concern. I won’t attempt to downplay that fact, as so many people are affected in many ways. In fact, someone recently said on social media, “Can we start 2020 over?”

This pandemic though is cause for us to pause and think of how unpredictable life is. When the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1st and fireworks lit up the skyline over a river in Frankfurt, Germany…when we were sending “Happy New Year” greetings via WhatsApp, who really was thinking about COVID-19? Who thought nations’ health care personnel and resources would be so stretched? Who dreamed we would be standing six feet apart in line at the grocery store and not be able to hug a friend or relative? It is proof that in one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour…within one minute or even the next second, life could take an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented turn that’s unpleasant.

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But through it all, God is still in control. Psalm 107:29 says, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” He is the SAME God and through all of the panic, uncertainty and mounting deaths, he is saying to you…to me, the same three words recorded in Mark 9:39 – “Peace be still.”

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

Just ONE Belly Breakdown

 

If you have never had your belly breakdown on you, perhaps you are not human.

Let’s be real: you’ve had AT LEAST one belly breakdown in your life – right? At least one.

Look, in recent weeks, I’ve been focusing more on allowing God to be glorified in my life as opposed to me. Trust me, it is EASY to glorify self. Just think about it the next time you take a “selfie.” It’s ALL about you. Let’s be real. And of course, you are entitled to do as you wish.

Whether you are the head of a nation, the CEO of a company, the richest kid in your class, someone who is making minimum wage, black, white, living in the suburbs or the inner city, we all are but flesh and blood. In fact, Job 19: 26 says, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God…” It’s a riveting description and some might see it as offensive, but it’s reality. The rich, the poor and the middle class all meet at the cemetery. It’s that one, common meeting place. “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”  ~ Genesis 3:19.

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There is no doubt that one sickness, one disease, one accident…one belly breakdown and human beings could easily be humbled. However, I implore you to not wait for something drastic to happen to become humble. Choose today to recognize that your beauty, your hot body, your Louis Vuitton bag, those red bottom Christian Louboutin shoes, that Ivy league university degree, the money in the bank, your swag…they all shall come to nothing at some point.

As we are in the final month of the year 2019, standing on the precipice of not only a new year, but a new decade, let us seriously think about the importance of humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord. One belly breakdown is enough to remind us that this body could easily disintegrate. Hence, don’t get caught up in the things of the world and of the flesh and forget that the breath in your body is not yours.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah