Apologies for not posting for a while. It’s been a crazy few days with various different things going on.
But despite all this, I really wanted to stop for a moment and encourage you guys.
I’ve recently been stressing over and becoming a little frustrated with sewing and designing clothes (especially leggings!!). You know those days where things just seem to not be going how you planned? You’ve got it all sorted in your head, you know exactly how you want it. But then when it comes to putting your plans into practice, the reality of it is that it looks so much different to how you had planned and alot more hard work than you had hoped for. I guess I’m referring to a place of frustration but I had to stop and ask myself ‘What do you do when things don’t go how you had planned?’. Do I a) Sulk and be the only guest at my very own pity party? or do I b) Manage my expectations?
I recently came across a preach by an amazing Pastor called TD Jakes and He spoke on an uh-mazing message… ‘Don’t drown in Shallow Water.’ The ENTIRE MESSAGE WAS BRILLIANT. But I want to share with you a few notes and thoughts I had picked up on throughout his speech, but before I do so, let me add some context to where I’m at and why I feel so passionate to share this with you guys…
So, above I posted a photo of part of a sewing machine. Now this isn’t just any kind of sewing machine, this is a one of a kind evil, ‘out to get you’, ‘I’m not going to sew for you’ kind of Machine. This beast of a machine just wouldn’t work for me. I spent over 1 hour and a half trying to stitch together one side of a sleeve for a Jacket I am making. Now you can imagine the frustration I was going through. When all I wanted to do (In the already limited time that I had) was stitch up a sleeve and continue on to finishing my Jacket. But It just wasn’t going the way I had planned and I was beginning to get a little fed up. I don’t have many spare hours in the week as it is, and the only time I am able to set aside to pursue what I love was being wasted by this evil sewing machine. I began to get really worked up by this. I began thinking things like ‘Is this really what I should be doing in life?’ ‘Is fashion design really worth my time and effort?’ ‘Wouldn’t it just be easier to just stop this, and work for someone else.’ and in the end I just packed away my things and threw a great old pity party and left it.
After I had taken the emotional balloons down and cleared up the emotional buffet table from my pity party of one, I decided to find a few encouraging preaches online that would give me the strength to get through this… Which led me to ‘Don’t drown in Shallow Water.’ – TD Jakes.
I. When you are closest to the shore – things can be most difficult.
– Don’t Slow down when you’re closest to the shore
– Don’t doubt and don’t loose strength
– Shallow Water is easily Mastered.
The beginning of a journey is always easiest as you have the most energy. You have the most will power and you’re thinking is 100% positive – you know you can do this. You could win this race hands down. However it’s when you are closest to the end of the race, when you’re nearest the shore that you begin to slow down. You become that little bit more tired and weak. You start doubting whether you’re going to make it to the end or not. You’re slowly loosing your strength. And before you know it, if you hold onto a poor mindset, you can begin to drown in Shallow Water. You drown in the thing you can easily Master. We can all stand in shallow water. Most of us can even sit in shallow water – Shallow water is easy to master. However we are most vulnerable in Shallow water. Don’t stop. You may feel weak and like you want to give up. But they’re only feelings. The fact is you’re at the end of the race. You’ve almost made it.
II. Don’t Take the Presence of the storm to indicate the absence of God.
– Secret Storms
– Walk by faith not by Sight
– God’s in the storm
For many of us we always think that God isn’t in the storm. He isn’t with us when the going gets tough. When we have the bill to pay, or when our work load gets that little bit more crazy or when the children don’t seem to want to get along. However we need to change that thinking that God isn’t with us when ‘all these bad things are happening to me.’ It says in the 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we ‘Live by faith and not by sight.’ Have you ever been in a bad storm and seen clearly? We can’t see clear in a storm. God won’t appeal to our senses in the storm as we aren’t seeing clearly.
Know that God is right in the midst of the storm. When God promises something get ready for trouble. People don’t promise the obvious. A Women won’t promise her husband that she is a girl. It’s obvious. He knows she’s female. We only give a promise when something is going to come and doubt us. You may not see the promises of God in your storm. But that’s because we cannot see clearly. We doubt. But trust the things God has gifted you with. Trust the things he has told you.
III. Don’t preserve the temporary.
– What if the ride breaks down?
– The Promises of God
– Surviving with something broken
What do you do when God gives you a ride? And by Ride I mean that something that will help you get to the other side… Maybe a friend? But what happens when it starts to fall apart? The relationship begins to break down? What do you do when that thing God gave you to help get you to the other side of your journey begins to come apart?… You remember that God’s promises aren’t in the ride. They’re not in the things he gives you. His promises are with you. God says he promises to be with me not the ride, (Deuteronomy 31:6).
If it was meant to stay… it couldn’t leave. You can think you’re in the house you’re meant to buy, or you can think you’re in the job you’re meant to retire in or you can think you’re in the relationship that will last forever. But these are all temporary blessings. If it was meant to stay… it would.
Stop grieving over the lost shape of your ride, maybe the broken relationship?, or whatever it is for you. Sometimes we get too caught up in what we HAD we forget that we can still get to where we need to be when the ‘ride’ has changed it’s shape. Yes the ride may have changed a little. It may had gotten broken, it may have lost a few parts to it, it may have gotten harder to work with, but it is still there. It hasn’t ceased to exist. It has simple just changed it’s shape, it’s taken on a different form. Stop trying to fix everything. Just because something is broken, it doesn’t mean you wont survive.
Stop focusing on what you’ve lost and start living on what you have left.
I really hope these notes have helped someone somewhere. It’s an encouragement that I believe we all need to hear once in our life. Something to keep us going and strength us. To remember that feelings are just feelings not fact. And that we can make it to the other side even when we can’t see it. Don’t give up.
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