This past week was awesome in a few ways. I’ve been feeling as if, God is finally opening doors that I had begun to lose hope on. I can see the results of hard work and long hours that have been put into my passions. Now I just have to stay the course. I’ve been watching and praying for my oldest daughter Samaiya, she is living how I have been feeling. She is extremely passionate about playing basketball. She began playing at the age of six with a group of kids in our community, through a church we attended. We took a few years off, and through the process of time, we moved back home to Sacramento and she began playing again at the age of ten. She plays at school, she plays in the Nor Cal Youth Sports League, and she gets personal training with Coach Andre at All World Ballin’!
She loves the sport but is so hard and critical on herself when she plays and practices. Most concepts she can grasp easily and efficiently to build a solid foundation but then there are those things that challenge her and bring her to tears. I watch her during games and she wears her heart on her sleeve, when she misses a free throw, when she doesn’t get a rebound, and when her team as a whole is losing. After a bad game the first things out of her mouth are harsh self-criticisms. We talk through it, and even though she may not receive the words of encouragement from her father and I, she never gives up. Each failure is making her stronger and building up her stamina to endure hardships. She’s learning at a young age, how to be disciplined and not crumble under temporary defeat. I am so proud when I see her lace up her shoes and keep playing no matter how bad the last game was, or how sore she was after a heavy practice from her coach. I believe that in the future it will be more than just her father and I watching her lead teams to victory. The skills that she is learning now are shaping her to an amazing leader for the Kingdom of God. Her gift will one day make room for her to lead her peers, and the next generation to levels of unseen greatness for the court and the Kingdom of God.
Then I bring it in and realize that God is doing the same thing in my life, just on a different level. The open doors and opportunities come from never giving in to failure, or my own self-criticisms. That tenacious passion that keeps me up at night, is the gift and God is making room for here in my community. For every reason that I have been told no, or brushed off to the side, or I got the playbook wrong and had to start over; all of this was apart of His equation for my success. The tears have humbled me, the frustration has given me discipline, and the mistakes have made me organized. Everyday I choose to focus on every opportunity to improve and not waste time wallowing in failure and self-deprecating behavior.
A friend reminded me last week that God is very aware of my efforts and my struggles. She reminded me that every promise He has for me, is right in front of me. That I have been so focused on looking forward, that I forgot to look up at the rainbow of blessing right over me. I shall not forsake all that He is doing and will do in my life, business, and ministry. I will not despise the days that I thought were small beginnings. I remembered immediately, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19, Holy Bible NKJV. What I have accomplished is just the beginning of it all, and He will prepare me and guide me through the rest of this life. It’s His Kingdom that I strive to live for, and I want Him to get the glory.
Look back on your own life, and ask where I have been my own worst critic? What has God been trying to get me to see in the midst of my frustrations? And what promises can I hold on to for the future? If you don’t know what His promises are for you, I have a good book, for you to start to read, the Bible. If you don’t know where to start I would encourage you to pray about it, and reach out to someone that lives to honor Him. Reach out to me if you have to, and will do what I can. Stay motivated my good people, and look up to the rainbow of promises, just right over your head, instead of looking forward without direction.
- Author S.D. Johnson
“Doing Life With You, For Such A Time As This!”