MY MOMENT IN HISTORY
If not now, then when? That was the question I asked myself several years ago as I neared the suggested age of having children and was not married. Many people saw me as jovial, charismatic, energetic, and always encouraging others to pursue the dreams within. I was happy and “living on top of the world” but I was sad in a sense that I would not be able to pour into a little soul and leave a legacy on this earth after I’m no longer here. But God! He has blessed me and showed me that I can still leave a legacy in other ways by continuing to pour into people, young and older just as I’ve always done. I have thirty-five nieces and nephews, multiple generations, and I feel like they’re my children, too! I just didn’t have to go through the labor pains to claim it. I knew I needed to leave a legacy for them and others. I stopped listening to people and getting frustrated because I did not have biological children and started listening to God. If not now, then when?
I have always enjoyed pouring into others, making them laugh, mentoring and helping ordinary people achieve their dreams, improve, and start from where they were to achieve a greater goal. I encouraged people using the scripture, Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (KJV) “Work the power within, work the power you have within you, exercise your faith. You can be great.” I’d say. I had dreams, too. I had a vision, I had goals. I wanted to write; I wanted to teach and entertain through words. I had to use the same advice that I provided to other people on myself. I couldn’t sit around feeling sorry about one aspect of my life that didn’t pan out the way I or anyone else thought it should. I knew I had a lot more life to live and a lot more imprints to make on this earth. My original plan was not God’s plan so I had to get in His will and understand what he had for me to do. Breaking it down one goal at a time, I finally accomplished a childhood dream -- writing a novel to inspire and entertain readers. If not now, then when? This is what I did...
I developed a closer relationship with Christ through reading His Word and prayer to make sure I was walking according to His will. I live in a larger city, much different from where I grew up. I stopped just going to church and leaving without fellowshipping with other believers. I began taking spiritual growth classes thereby making the church smaller because I was getting to know other people. I had friends who introduced me to other people and on and on. I have a church family now. I have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ now. If not now, then when?
I dreamed and I got a vision, I prayed and made it plain by creating a vision board. I needed something visual to keep in front of me and to keep me focused long term. I created categories: spiritual, career, finances, health/wellness, personal goals, and some material things as a way of celebrating after I reached each milestone. I included all of the things that I dreamed about in the past and future including every title to books that I wanted to write. I had a dream. If not now, then when?
I developed a plan because I knew that faith without works is dead. I attended writing conferences, writing classes to hone my craft. I learned the process and talked to many experts on how to do it. At times, I became frustrated and discouraged because of what I was hearing from everyone who had an opinion but I remained focused on the plan. I spent time writing often. Words turned into paragraphs turned into a 339 page novel that people actually enjoyed reading. If not now, then when?
I took a risk and stepped out on faith to put my work into the world with a slight fear of being judged by readers or simply rejected and not liked by readers, including my friends. My editor cringes at my punctuation but that's why I hired her. :-) I spent the money I had saved to publish my book. I just did it. I went for it and it was successful. Now I’m working on my second novel with a total of fifteen titles on my vision board. I will accomplish my goals, one step at a time, and one book at a time. If not now, then when?
I still make mistakes, wrong moves, wrong responses but I learned from each of them and try my best not to repeat them. I understand Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
Lesson learned: Stay in God’s will and His Word and he will order your steps. He will open doors for me and my gifts will make room for me. This one accomplished goal will bear more fruit that will afford me the opportunity to leave a legacy in additional ways. If not now, then when?
What will be your legacy?
Brenda A. White