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Day 33: Choosing Persistence

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I waited patiently for the Lord;

And He inclined to me,

And heard my cry.

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,

Out of the miry clay,

And set my feet upon a rock,

And established my steps.

Psalm 40: 1-2

Walking out of an interview for an elementary teaching position at my girls’ private school I had a pit in my stomach. Sure, I had prepared my resume, was qualified and the conversation went well. Yet, somewhere deep inside I felt it. I was heading off course.

Two years earlier I opened my life coaching practice with zero business experience. Starry-eyed and bleeding heart, I thought, If I build it they will come. I just wanted to help people, and that was my business plan. It didn’t prove to be that easy.

While I coached a small handful of clients, I taught myself WordPress, graphic design and book publishing. I ran my first online course and launched a brand called the University of Moms. I was even guest producing a national iHeart radio show on the side. Hustle was my middle name.

If it’s to be, it’s up to me. I thought. But no amount of hustle seemed to be making a difference. I was worn out and feeling like I had done something wrong. Shouldn’t starting a business be easier than this? It was a pivotal moment of desperation. I was doubtful I would ever succeed at this ‘life coaching’ thing. I was discouraged and downtrodden. I questioned my gifts and my calling.

As I walked off campus that day I believe the prompting of the Holy Spirit was telling me to be persistent; stay the course.  My feelings were acting as a wise guide. I felt physically ill at the thought of throwing in the towel and giving up my dream to impact the world, to settle for something easier….a predictable job and a routine life.

In Luke 18: 1-8 we hear the parable of the persistent widow illustrating the importance of praying and not losing heart.

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

The truth is most of us give up too soon. We quit showing up in front of the judge with our request. We feel ignored and get offended. We stay home and complain, when we could be going back and asking again.

OR we don’t want to be annoying. We don’t think we’re worthy of getting what we want. We lose heart and soon believe that our request is too difficult and that God is probably too busy.

OR we slot our un-granted request into the category of, “God knows what we need and clearly it’s not what we are asking for. Just accept the undesirable outcome as God’s will. And, gosh darn it, be happy about it!”

Persistence of action is what got the widow her desired outcome. The judge didn’t care about her. He didn’t review the matter to make sure it was the proper decision. He just wanted her to go away and stop bothering him. So he gave her what she wanted.

How much more so does God want us to have what we want! He truly does care about us and we are not bothering Him by asking for specific outcomes. I understand God is not a magic wish granter, and there are times when we don’t understand what is happening and why, but I do believe that God loves us and would not give us desires that He plans to leave unmet.

How do we demonstrate our faith in the belief that God wants us to have what we desire? We partner with Him in the process. We take daily action towards our goals. We simply don’t quit until we have what we are asking for. God will not disappoint.

It goes without saying, I did not take the teaching job.

Had I given in and surrendered my dream I wouldn’t be here writing this to you right now.

In the face of potential certainty, I chose faith over fear. I don’t know HOW I did it. I don’t even know if it was a conscious choice at the time. But I made a decision and in that moment I walked a little taller. I recommitted to my dream. I felt a smile come over my face.

I trusted that I could hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. (Hebrews 10:23)

It has not been an easy journey, to be sure. The path I chose to pursue, and the calling I believe God has for me, has taken a lot of twists and turn, but I keep showing up and being persistent. I continue to believe that quitting is the only thing that will ensure my desires won’t come to fruition.

All we are called to do it take it one day at a time. Ask yourself if there is something that you quit on too early. Can you reignite the flame and start showing up with your requests again? What daily actions do you need to take?

I challenge you. Show up with your request today. Tomorrow. The next day. Believing that God is a just God and that He wants to grant you the desires of your heart. Ask again. Ask again. Ask again.

God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Be. Persistent.

Day 33 Lenten Love Prayer:

Thank you that you are a just God and that you actually care about me. Forgive me for being too weak in my requests. For assuming you didn’t want me to have the desires of my heart. Forgive me for giving up too soon. I am making a decision today to believe that You want me to have the desires of my heart. You want to make my dreams come true. Nothing would make you happier than to see me thriving in the gifts you have given me. I ask you today that you bring people along my path who can help me. That you organize the details of my life so that magical things can happen to bring about the desires I have for success and impact.

Forgive me for the times I have cut you out of the equation and tried to do it on my own. I need You as my partner. I am willing to take the actions and I ask that You amplify my actions in such a way that they have maximum results. So that when I see the gifts and the glory unfolding in such a magnificent way, I will know without a doubt, that it is not because I am wise, or smart or gifted, I am just persistent and have put my trust in You. You parted the sea. I took a step to walk through it. Thank you for making a way, when I didn’t see how it would happen. You are amazing! I am so grateful. I love you.

Day 33 Scripture:

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16