WHISPERS FROM PSALMS 23 DEVOTIONAL, DAY 2
Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
A few years ago, our family of four moved. We didn't just move across town, or to a different state. We moved continents! My bride is from Australia, and we felt it was the time to head down under.
Was it exciting? Well yah, it was kind of exciting. But you know what? No matter where you move, or what you do, moving is stressful. As excited as I was to head to Australia, I was WORRIED.
When we moved, I thought I would be able to get a job quickly. We had some savings but not too much. Well, you guessed it, the job hunt didn't go as planned.
We didn't have a car, so I jumped from trains to buses for job interviews. It seemed like each and every time, the response from employers was no. I felt close to getting a job but it also felt so far away.
Bills were adding up.
Our savings was depleted.
I was worried.
So worried, it was affecting my health.
I was scared it was the wrong decision.
Failure was whispering in my ear each day.
Was this the end for me and my family?
Would we have to move back to the USA?
Would I be deemed a failure?
You're an idiot Anthony.
How could you do this to your family?
What a stupid risk you took.
All of these types of thoughts and so much more poured into my mind. It seemed like I was truly walking in the valley of darkness. I could not see any light from any tunnel, anywhere.
The only light I could imagine came from My morning walk and talks. Call em prayers if that makes more sense to you.
Each morning when I woke up, I walked around my neighborhood and prayed.
In order to fight all of the negative thoughts, I would walk around my neighborhood telling myself, "you are intelligent. Greatness is inside you. You are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. This is the day the Lord has made - Rejoice. The joy of the Lord is your strength. You have the mind of Christ."
Over and over and over, I spoke life into my soul. Everyday, I would build my soul and my life with what the Bible says about me.
I can't say the darkness totally left. I can say, it dimmed.
The whispers of doubt were exchanged for whispers of courage. Those prayers gave me enough courage for THAT day (my daily bread). I continued searching for jobs and trusting God along the way.
And, let me tell you, it sucked.
I felt alone.
I felt destroyed.
I felt like I wasn't good enough.
Shame was bombarding my soul.
Those were the daily battles.
Nevertheless, I continued speaking faith into my soul and my circumstances. I continued to go on job interviews and I continued getting "no's" from employers.
For nearly 120 days in a row, this was my daily routine.
Until one day, a whisper on a bus changed everything.
While riding the 710X bus to downtown Sydney, I got an idea. It was a whisper and it went like this, "Anthony, why don't you stop selling your resume and start selling yourself."
What do I mean by that?
I was so focused on my past accolades and where I worked, but what if I started selling myself as my own business? What if I started a business and pitched all of these companies I interviewed with?
I could be onto something ...
That was the idea that jump started everything.
Within days, I had my own business license and was pitching clients. Shortly after, I had my first five clients and was off to the races.
Life will be dark.
Life will be hard.
Life will be tough.
Psalms 23 isn't about some mystical rainbows and unicorns that export you out of tough or painful situations.
Na, that's not it at all.
Psalms 23 is about having someone with you on the journey.
Someone to talk to when you're defeated.
Someone to hear your cry when you are in pain.
Someone to hold your hand when you are tired.
Someone to wipe your tears when you feel destroyed.
Someone to make you smile when your joy has disappeared.
This quote from Les Brown was one that really put courage in my soul. It goes like this, "When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up." - Les Brown
I believe you can.
Your reason believes you can.
Your future believes you can.
You got this.
See yah tomorrow.