By: Dorothy Enriquez
And we are all empowered to decide. So the question is: Are you willing to pay the price for progress?
I have a stain on my favorite blouse. I’ve washed it at least a dozen times. I’ve tried a myriad of stain removing products professing to get rid of everything from oil to blood. The stain remains. It is my favorite blouse so I wear it around the house because it’s too cute to discard. I don’t know what I spilled on it; but the stain reminds me something happened that I’ll visibly never be able to forget.
Affliction and suffering are tests of our endurance, faith and patience. Strength is one’s ability to maintain the lightness of their character in spite of trials and tribulations. For those who have experienced the long dark days where there was no light an imprint remains. An untrained eye can spot singed spirits. A soul testing experience can leave a dark spot, like a stain on a favorite shirt, long after deliverance. And we are all empowered to decide. So the question is: Are you willing to pay the price for progress?
A pastor and I sat together at a corner table enjoying desert. He shared some of his journey–a windy and twisted road that eventually led him to the Lord. I sat across the table with wide eyes and an open mouth. He can actually identify a gun by the sound of the shots fired.
This man had spent quality time with gangsters and other social deviants. He’d even spent time in jail ‘supposedly’ learning his lesson only to return to his wayward ways upon release. According to him, ‘You do crime with the homies but you do the time by yourself.’ He painted vivid pictures of a world I’ve never known; and the lack of ‘residue’ was pronounced. Had the pastor elected never to disclose his past transgressions, shoddy behavior and poor but conscious decision-making along the way, no one would ever guess. There was no dark spot, no stain. His presentation to the world is polished and pristine. Today, as a pastor and public speaker, he is able to relate to his congregation and audiences to meet them where ever they are in life. This element humanizes him and makes him effective in his role as a fisher of men.
The Film Maker
The film maker had tried his hand at entrepreneurship for the 3rd time and failed miserably. He had lost his business and home at the age of 27. He was on the street with nowhere to go. He had gone ‘back home’ before and ruled out the possibility of returning. He packed his car and made his way from the east coast to San Francisco. He placed his dream on reset by selling everything he had crammed in his vehicle apart from one week’s worth of clothes and a suit.
Five years later, we sat together in his quaint duplex and discussed upcoming projects. Not a trace of life’s curve balls remained. I would have never guessed he had been through so much. He was joyful, full of life and ready for anything the universe would throw his way. Barring any dark spots, he has his memories tucked safely in his back pocket as a reminder never to forget how far he’s come. He remains humbled by his failures and his success. His motto is to be kind to everyone and always say ‘Thank You’.
The Aspiring C Level-er
Smart, beautiful, and sexy—the trifecta. She wanted to be a C-Level employee since her early twenties. She did everything right. She bought the perfect house, had the perfect job and found the perfect man. When she woke up at 30 in an abusive relationship, unemployed and far away from everything familiar… her storm began to brew. The beautiful powerhouse was sleeping with the enemy and found herself in her own personal war zone uncertain, lost and confused; her goals and dreams so far behind her a comeback was out of the question.
Today she’s the ear and right hand of a CEO of a technological project firm. She helps make key decisions to propel the business forward and once again lives life on her own terms. She is equipped and aware of the power she possesses. She didn’t realize until boldly exiting out of her relationship that she had and will always have the ability to decide. She believes, ‘If you love God first, everything will be added unto you.’ No one would ever guess the curve ball she was thrown just a few years ago as she lived a lie in the clutches of a deceiver. There is no dark spot or blemish. She decided the price was worth the reward.
We don’t have to wear all of our fights and scuffles like battle scars. We can remain light. We can decide.May we be uplifted and empowered to use our past misery to be our ministry. The price of progress can be steep, but it’s worth it when you lean on the One who’s got it all worked out in your future.
We go through fires to be refined and further clarify our purpose on this earth. We are implored to emerge more beautiful and radiant with an undisputable brightness as our character is built and re-built. We can use life’s stains as reflectors to emit rays of wisdom and sparkles of courage to be poured into the cups of those who need it most and sharpen others who are dull in hope and faith. #ShineOn
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Did you enjoy this article? Leave a comment below and forward to a fellow gal pal!