“Faith and Hope”
Dr. Sheila E. Sapp
I had lofty expectations for my life following my retirement in June of 2017. I would become a breakout presenter with the publication of my latest two professional resource handbooks. Offers and invitations to speak or present at conferences would flood my mailbox and business email. Parents would clamor to participate in my workshops, seminars, and trainings. Additionally, the Pandemic would be over, and everything would be normal again. Nothing happened the way I expected, planned, and envisioned. I started becoming very frustrated, discouraged, doubtful, and disappointed. How could I be a consultant, an encourager, and promoter of unfulfilled dreams for others when the light before me was gone?
Are you or have you been in a season in which things you expect are nonexistent? Your path seems cluttered with uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and seeds of doubt. Procrastination and perfectionism have reared their ugly heads despite your attempts to block them. Also, you avoid and shy away from conversations with family and friends. You’re afraid they’ll see through the mask of confidence you are currently wearing. Therefore, you say everything is fine when that is far from the truth. Do these feelings and thoughts resonate with you? If so, How am I able to convey your feelings so accurately? No, I am not clairvoyant. For the past two years, I have been there and experienced the thoughts and feelings described. What do you do when there is no light at the end of your tunnel? How do you continue your walk when your goal has not manifested yet?
I am sharing what I learned during this season to help you persevere and be fruitful during any season of your life. First, accept and acknowledge whatever season you are in. You will learn more about yourself and your character when circumstances and situations are challenging. Spend time reflecting and meditating on God’s words. Be willing to face hard truths about yourself which may require the assistance of a life coach or professional help for objectivity and problem solving. Pray for discernment, knowledge, and understanding. It is extremely important to align your goal (s) and purpose with God’s will for your life. He will provide clarity, direction, and guidance. Once your goal or purpose is in alignment with His will and purpose, you will experience a sense of inner peace and a renewed spirit welling inside-Hope.
I believe hope and faith work together. We need both operating together to give us courage and the drive to steadily move forward toward a goal that is a vision. The fact that your goal or goals have not manifested yet does not mean they will never appear. Trusting, obeying, and waiting on God’s timing has increased my patience and endurance. My purpose is to encourage you to persevere even when your project, program, or ministry is not where you want or expect it to be. Let your focus be on God, hope, and faith. Remember, we are to walk by faith and not by sight.