Like For Real! Why does everything seem to be hard? I mean EVERYTHING! God told Jeremiah, that He had planned Jeremiah's life while he was still in his mother's womb. That's some heavy shit. For Real! Yeah I said it! Heavy to think that God has planned your life while yet in your mother's womb. But sometimes you want to ask, "Did you plan the hard stuff too?" Think about it, just about everybody in the Bible that God Planned, also had a rough time getting there.
So one of my readers asked in the comment section on Monday, "How do you keep going when the present doesn't." It's a hard, but yet simple answer, you just do. Now I know some of you are saying she's on some bull, look at her fame and look at mine. "Just do," Is easy for her to say. But honestly, I'm being for real. Last night I sat at my counter and cried; And had a why me party. WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE HARD?
Monday's Blog, I quit that well paying job and at first things were great! I was all smiling; Look at God blessing me out of my obedience. That's what I said. I became one of the hottest speakers on AIDS in Chicago high schools. Other Activists would come up to me and ask, "How did you get them to let you speak, I've been trying to get in that school for the last 3 years?"
I was on fire! I could see God moving! Yes, I could! Then within 6 months I met Susan Taylor, the editor and chief of Essence Magazine and she asked me to be on the cover. Magazine preparation is months ahead of time, so I took the photo shoot in June for the December issue. That summer, I spent resting up for what I thought would be my fall speaking season, but September came and no one called. NO ONE called.
And that December, I couldn't afford to pay my rent. Yep, I was being talked about nation wide. Essence sold so many magazines that December, it became one of their highest December sellers and I could NOT pay my rent! The housing assistant program for people with AIDS paid our rent and I got a thank you letter from Essence with a picture in a frame.
Press is FREE. Every magazine article, newspaper article and every TV interview is FREE. You do them so that the issue can get more visibility. So for me, paid gigs seem to come in cycles that I've never quite understood. And that's how it is and has been for me since the very beginning. I think it has something to do with you, God, and the world all as actors in your life.
God has a plan, but so does man and sometimes we get in God's way and He has to take a longer route to get us to that destination. And then sometimes, man jumps all in God's business and then God must first undo the mess or reroute you in order to get you back on track. Freewill is deep. And While God Plans, so does man and they sometimes collide. Of course God is the best planer, but man makes things messy. The economy for example, has affected me these days. And of course the fact that AIDS is no longer a sexy topic. I could go on with different examples, I hope you get the point.
Secondly, there are no easy rides, even Jabez was born in sorrow and pain. Lastly, the prayer is more about being in relationship with God, than remembering and reciting a prayer. God wants you to pray your prayer. But they have set us up to believe, if we pray Jabez's prayer that God will bless us just like Jabez, when in fact God's blessing for Jabez was his, as is yours, is for you. The territory that God blessed Jabez with wasn't just about land, but about his lineage.
Ok, what am I saying, don't get it twisted. Life is hard and even carrying out God's purpose for your life will have challenges. When I worked for Rev. Jesse Jackson presidential campaigns, reporters would ask him, "Do you think a Black Man Can Win?" Rev. Jackson's answer was simple. "If I don't run I'm guaranteed to lose. POW!! You have to step out there on faith and do the work. Sitting at home debating to do it, will get you nothing.
Paul never stopped, not even in prison. His most profound and important theological writings were in prison. Martin Luther King, Jr., most prolific writing, Letter From A Birmingham Jail was while in prison. Jesus' most profound lessons were while on the cross dying. His last words have been the most preached of all He did or said.
I hope this helps. God knows, it's helped me today. I'm crying as I come to a close. I've struggle so much financially these last 4 years. The last 3 have been the worst. But even though speaking engagements dried up, I continued to do the work. Through Social Media I have touched thousands. The e-mails, the tweets and facebook messages I get tell me so.
But I can't get stuck hating their blessing, I just gotta keep doing the work; Blessing people through my blog because it's another way that God allows me to minister. And honestly is free, the only thing it costs me is time. I got that right?
But sometimes, my spirit takes a hit. As my fall speaking season closes I have taken a hard hit. I had the possibility of five speaking engagements for World AIDS Day week and only one came through. All looked great and in the end, something fell through on their end with funding. So yesterday when the University of Alabama cancelled just two weeks away, I thought I was going to lose it. I needed it to get out of this hole, shoot I really needed all five to get out of this hole. I've invested EVERY extra dime I had in my new bracelet collection. The trunk show was great, I mean I was able to prove to myself, if no one else that I'm capable of producing a full line of bracelets. But it rained at the same time, so while friends came to support me, I was short on sales.
Tweeting, writing my blogs, which takes time, making bracelets, taking pictures of the bracelets and then putting them on the website. I mean I'm the poster child for - one woman show over achiever.
I work so freaking hard, but it seems like I can't get out of this hole I'm in financially. In these last 3 years I've sold over half of my clothes, hand bags, shoes, jewelry. I downsized my life, For Real!
I've thought of every idea that I can to make my brand the best. And I think I've done a great job, so why won't people invest in my brand?
Lord, I say what more does a sista have to do? I mean Magic is a millionaire already and pharmaceutical companies continue to give him contracts. Great for him, but I think I have the same value. I know my bracelets are fab, but what will it take to become a success.
When someone tweets me a picture of them wearing one of my bracelets at that moment, I'm grateful for the people who do, rather than focus on the people who don't wear them. Thank you!!
When one of my Followers on Twitter makes their profile picture of me and them, I'm so honored that they are saying in a very public way, my work matters. And with these things in mind. I just do! I keep doing the work.
Andrea who asked, How Do You Keep Going When the Present Doesn't, I say, you Just Do. That is all God asks of us. Moses walked in circles for 40 years, but it all had a purpose. I cannot promise that you will become a millionaire. I don't know why some do and some don't. But I can say that if you just continue to do, lives will be touched. And in the end, your reward she be in knowing that you helped somebody; That you were a drum major for life.