Sometimes life will often cause us to lose hope when we experience trials, and tribulations such as a failed relationship, job loss, sudden illness, or loss of a loved one are a few reasons why hope may escape us. The pain of those experiences has forced us not to hope for better days. We never want to feel that pain again therefore, we set roadblocks in our minds and around our hearts that will protect us from that awful pain we endured during those difficult times in our lives. When we encounter setbacks and disappointments fear sets in and we decide that we will never allow ourselves to hope again.
In 2009 I unexpectedly lost my job and I had to move out of my apartment and move-in with my family. To go from working every day, supporting yourself, traveling and hanging out; to having No income and sleeping on the couch. Your mind, body, and soul experiences shock. Oh yes, it was disabling to say the least. I applied everywhere to find another job, even Walmart wouldn’t call me back. I began to lose all hope to the point I thought I was going to die. You may think I’m being extreme when I say this however, this season in my life lead me to be unemployed for about four years. During this period of my life I told myself “you will never work again, and you aren’t even qualified to work a simple job”. These negative thoughts started to consume me daily which allowed depression to set in. Activities that I enjoyed no longer interested me. My former employer denied my unemployment therefore, I absolutely had No money coming in for me to even buy basic necessities. I decided to appeal the unemployment decision because I knew I was entitled to what I had worked so hard for. Thank God for the strength to even submit the appeal because I was at a point where all hope was gone.
God will always blow your mind when we least expect it and when we may feel He’s being silent in our lives. In fact that’s when He is most active, working behind the scenes on our behalf. My unemployment was approved by the grace of God I won my appeal. My hope began to return to me little by little. Although; my unemployment wasn’t much it was enough for me to move forward. I knew this was my time to create my own opportunity and not wait on someone to hire me. I took my focus off being unemployed, living with family, and not making enough money. I took my unemployment check and decided to start my nonprofit organization RISE UP YOUTH EMPOWERMENT INC. I would leave my aunt’s house every morning around 9am as if I was going into the office which was really Borders bookstore or Starbucks; With my laptop in hand, and a dream in my heart I started to create programs for my organization. I used social media as tool to connect and network with others, which led me to meet Melanie Charlton a Hollywood hairstylist who had an interest in teen girls while trying grow a successful business. I decided to visit Melanie one day at her new hair salon after she invited me to come. I told Mel about me starting a non-profit organization to build self-esteem in teen girls. Mel loved the idea, and even offered her salon for free for us to facilitate self-esteem workshops which will then lead me to connecting with others and hosting many events for teens.
That’s just a small portion of my testimony, God has opened many doors in my life and in 2013 I accepted full-time employment at Downtown Women’s Center where I am able to help homeless women find housing and employment. During the time my hope was lost I couldn’t even imagine that my life would now be what it is today. Not that my life is this huge success, there’s plenty more God has for my future. However, my point is that I had to realize that the God of hope would land me firmly on my feet. I found my hope again, a reason to expect God’s best for my future. I wake up every day expecting God’s best for my life. One thing I had to do is remove negative thinking out of my mind. I made a decision to serve an eviction notice to negative thinking. I heard someone say, “Once you change your thinking, you will change your life”. Make the decision today to change your thoughts by replacing them with God’s thoughts. You may ask… “What are God thoughts”? It’s His word, which is a lamp unto our feet, and light unto our paths. See yourself how God sees you. God sees you as the apple of His eye. God has declared that you are the head and not the tail, you are above, and not beneath, you are a lender, not a borrower. Get God’s thoughts down in your spirit and see your life change and watch God manifest His glory in your life. Think on those things that are right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praise-worthy. I know it can be difficult to think positive when you are in the midst of your trial, but while you are in the thick of things take a small step of faith and say a prayer asking God to lead you out. Everything you need to succeed is already inside of you. in order for it to come out you have to surrender your will over to God’s will.
As you change the direction of your thinking keep God at the center of it all. Rely on Him to refocus you, center you, and place you on a solid foundation. Set aside time to commune with God upon your own bed. Lay before Him, allow your soul to align with His will and find your hope again.