When you let life and situations stop you from pursuing your purpose... then you remember who you are! Yeah, that just happened!
I was so impacted after church service yesterday that I had to come home and put the Word to work. I felt the Holy Spirit pushing me to start something. I’m a busy lil lady already as it is, but I have so many projects that I’ve thought of doing, but for some reason or the other, they’ve never been pushed out into fruition. I knew in my Spirit that if I chip away at each them, little by little, one project or dream at a time and a couple simultaneously, one task at a time, doing something daily that eventually I’ll build up so much momentum that it will be difficult for me to stop working on them.
I’ve beaten myself up so bad over the years about not living out my own dreams for my life, but I’d help to build the powerful dreams of others close to me. So much so that my dreams straight up died, no pulse, straight lined, traced in chalked, and buried. My husband and I had 4 children within an 8 year time frame, so I basically been changing diapers the whole time. lol. You could stick a fork in my dreams because these babies changed my whole world upside down and they trump everything I got going on, and still do until they get up out my house on their own, lol! And I love every bit of being there Mom. I figured I would just be a stay at home mom until my kids were all in school and then work somewhere full time, like my awesome Mom. But my aspirations never really left my mind, if anything life just called for additional dreams to be added.
My dreams of becoming a great, supportive wife, loving mom, and faithful minister kind of spoke louder and seemed more emergent needs to be tended to than my previous passions. So as I served those around me, my dreams were covered up, buried, dark, hidden, walked on, and seemed to be forgotten by all those around me, except me. They were drowned by my tears of pain, where it seemed as though they were crushed. Life, depression, unpredictable people, low self-esteem, hurt, disappointment, doubt… all those things crushed me! The sharp, diva, Stephani that I used to be left to be Mommy and tend to their needs like I used to tend to mine. Every church has the same vice; offense! Since people at churches are always offended and super emotional I had to change my personality to be a minister and learn to always walk in love, regardless if I feel any myself. And as a wife, I’ve experienced so much deep love and deep pain that I became numb to my feelings. My man is the love of my life and the best thing that God’s ever given me, hands down! But he works my last nerve sometimes and I’ve had to learn to still give him respect and honor for loving and dealing with me and drama too. I still have pushed him into his purpose and building his dreams while mine secretly died inside and remained buried.
I felt like the last 6 years life won in stopping me from going after my dreams and that maybe I just needed to wake up! “Steph, Get a good paying job and be a financial contributor to your household so your husband isn’t all by himself as he grows his business to provide for us.” My passion had left me and I had a long list of excuses to stay there, until one day, here comes my oldest kid. I’m singing in the kitchen singing while cooking like I always do, and comes in from watching TV and sits down and says, “mom, you have a pretty voice, why don’t you have a CD like Daddy?” And I kinda just stood there stuck. See, I’m the kind of Mom that likes to try and pull out the best of my kids. They’re taught that they can be whatever God’s called and created them to be and my husband and I commit ourselves to consistently scan them for purpose. We always tell them that with Christ, all things are possible for them. All our kids know that! I couldn’t look at him and say what I always say when people ask me the same question. I couldn’t tell him, “because of you, it’s too many of y’all, how am I gonna do anything?” Lol! I couldn’t put me forfeiting my assignment on my kids, my husband, my church, lack of opportunities or lack of encouragement. That is too much weight to put on him or anyone else. Those are all excuses anyway and I honestly teach my kids to not make excuses for their actions or lack thereof, but to own their own decisions. So I looked at my little chocolate drop and said, “Isaiah I did stop singing for a while, do you think I should record an album?” He said, “Yeah, you sound great and everyone will love your songs. Especially Butterfly.” “Thanks baby, ok, I’ll get back at it.” I could not look my baby in the face and blame him for the neglect of my spiritual babies, that’s too much to put on him! I had to come to a realization that I allowed the desire to use my gifts and dreams, and talents to die, doesn’t even matter why, I’m responsible for its death. I yielded it to other things that I felt needed me more and that was by instruction of the Holy Spirit. So I started asking some deep questions to myself.
So why the deadness when it comes to me then? Why did my desires have to be buried? Why after everything God told me to do, did He instruct me to stop? Why did I feel prompted to push my husband’s music ministry and business and not mine? Why did I feel lead to serve under powerful leaders for over 10 years when God showed me that I’d be influencing lives through ministry? How is it that it seems everyone around me with young children has family always willing to help them while they chase they’re dreams, but it’s just me and my babies all the time? I had to ask God, how did I get here to the place that I’m serving everyone but me? Did you want my dreams to die??? Yes, yes He DID!
The Spirit of God lead me to John 12:24, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” He told me, “Stephani, if you would have pushed in your power you would have remained as a nice, wholesome grain of whet. You would have been completely satisfied just being used by me on that level. But I want more for you! Your dreams and desires needed to die because you needed to be yielded completely to me! Your gifts will yield a great harvest for generations to come and it’s because you obeyed My voice to the end of yourself! You’ve been groomed to yield a great harvest. You serve faithfully, love genuinely and nurture wisely. In serving humbly, you’ve learned how to lead gracefully. You’ve rested in my promises. I’ve planted within you great potential and purpose and it’s time to start nesting!” (Insert a thousand ugly face tears and a shout here)
So here I am! My Pastors told my husband and I, that our ministry is outdoors and that it’s time to get out there. I’ve been released to launch out and I’m ready! I want to empower you to not feel that buried talent is a bad thing, unless you leave it there. Even though I may not have a CD recorded or my blog up right when God told me to years ago, I have been carrying it with me, working on it here and there. Writing songs and poems every blue moon. Work on your gift, develop it, pray over it, fix the Word as first place in your life. Allow God to check you, and change you, and mold your character to withhold the mantle to which you’ve been called. God is continuing to show me that my character is way more important to him than my gift is. Work on that, build that up. Where your gift will take you your character will keep you.
Stephane D. Sturgis
Steph's Open Book