It started with a dream.
I was preparing for Sunday Service at my family’s church as I had done times before. The speakers were ready, the microphones were in place. All that was missing were the chairs, and it was then that I realized we only had a handful of them scattered around the room. Definitely not enough for the next morning. Frustrated, I began pacing around because of how unprofessional everything looked.
How could I forget one of the most important details? Why wasn’t anyone else worried about this?
I eventually released some steam and sat down for a moment. Soon after I heard a voice say, “If you want more, then you have to prepare for more.”
And then I woke up.
I consider myself a dreamer, perhaps more of a daydreamer; so this vivid vision and audible voice awakened me from more than just sleep. It awakened me spiritually as I believe it was one of the first times I realized that I was hearing from God.
During that time I was nearing peak dissatisfaction with my life. Each day I felt like I was born for so much more than jobs I dreaded and a bank account statement that didn’t match my taste in food. Weekend bottomless brunches add up over time, you know.
There was something about the voice that resonated with me deeply. At first I brushed it off as a random dream, much like the others I occasionally have. Like the time I dreamt I introduced my new “boyfriend” 2 Chainz to my God-fearing grandparents. But then it finally clicked. If I want more out of life, then I need to prepare for what I’m asking for.
Proverbs 20:21 says, “An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed in the end.” So whatever you gain without preparation and experience will be as substantial as a house made of straw. It will be a memory as quickly as it became news; like professional athletes that are broke within five years of retirement. Sure they were prepared for the game, but not the instant wealth that came along with it. A quick elevation in responsibility and status without a foundation of discipline and maturity is a recipe for disaster.
I know that I want more than a 9 to 5. I know that I want a purpose-filled life. But how was I to prepare for that?
It started with asking myself what I specifically wanted and what I could do now to ready myself. So I created a mental checklist. The items ranged from finally learning Spanish in order to reach more people as a future counselor, to having a successful blog where I could provide healing and comfort with my words. I then broke down my long-term goals into shorter ones so I could conquer them bit by bit.
I also began to change my prayers from asking God to magically fix my life, to asking Him what I needed to gain from this level in my life in order to excel to the next. I believe that many times we are stuck in unpleasant situations, not because He doesn’t hear our cries, but because we don’t hear His guidance. God isn’t the source of hard times, but He has a remarkable way of turning them into testimony. When I saw my less-than-desirable situation as preparation instead of pointless, I saw how even the toughest trials would work together for my good.
Understand that many times you’re going to feel like the Karate Kid, going through challenges that you initially render useless.
“They” say everything happens for a reason, but like you, I often wondered what any of the hardships I deal with have to do with my destiny. That is until I realized it had everything to do with my destiny. I have found that the areas of my past struggles are indicative of my greatest triumphs.
I know that my heartbreak is preparing for me divine love.
I know that my lack is preparing me for abundance.
I know that my weeping is preparing me for joy in the morning.
This is a time of preparation as you’re getting ready for all that you asked for.
— Tara Pook