Perched on an oversized hotel bed at a work conference, I was faced with a decision: use the remaining twenty dollars in my account to purchase food for the next two days until pay day, or buy a ticket to a writer’s networking event.
I’m at the beginning of my journey to be a writer. Figuratively standing at the bottom of the mountain looking up with no clue as to how to get to the top, but I know I must climb. And climbing is work. And climbing is sacrifice. So there I sat.
Tears filled my eyes as I understood the decision I had to make: short term sacrifice with the promise of long term benefits. Knowing that God will provide but unsure of how or when. Nothing really matters when you are hungry. I thought about being hungry tomorrow and the next day. And the tears fell.
I mean, after all what if this writing event didn’t work out? I would have spent two days hungry and a whole evening networking for nothing. Before I went too deep down the rabbit hole of the depression I played a song that’s near to my heart. The song simply says “It’s turning around for me. Sooner or later, it’ll turn in my favor. God is turning it around for me. It won’t always be like this.”
I wiped my face.
Instead of thinking of all the reasons why things weren’t going to work out, I held onto the promise that it would. The scripture says the end of a matter is better than the beginning. There I was at my beginning, defeated before I took even one step towards the mountain.
My face was dry now. I started to think what life would be like if I really gave it my all. If I invested the energy into what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do. Where would I be a year from now if I kept pushing instead of letting every set back, delay and denial leave me cowering at the bottom of the mountain?
I felt the spirit urge me to trust Him. To give Him my little bit of nothing and watch Him turn it into something more than I could imagine.
I told myself, “In the grand scheme of life, one late night, one missed meal, one rejection won’t matter a year from now.” I took my last little twenty dollars and paid for the networking event ticket.
Confident that I’d made the right choice I played the song on repeat and went to bed.
I woke to two e-mails.
Email 1: Your check has been deposited.
Email 2: Tickets for networking event are now closed.
Two days early? My check came two days early and I still don’t know why or and I don’t care. Imagine if I had decided that not missing a meal was more important than missing this opportunity.
The networking event rolled around and I made a connection. That connection is now an additional source of income for me. God took that 20 dollars and gave me recognition and a paycheck I could never have gotten without attending that event.
And there I was cowering at the bottom of the mountain afraid of the climb. Afraid to make a short term sacrifice for the long term promise.
Now, here I sit at the good part. Here I sit at the peak of this first mountain (there are always other mountains) and I look around. I almost gave all of this up because I was unable to trust that right now isn’t forever. I almost gave it all up because I was so focused on what I could see that I missed what I believed.
How might life be different if we could know the end? There are few guarantees on this journey upwards but the peak is always better than the base. You may not know what waits for you up there but it’s better than where you are.
Be unafraid to climb. Be unafraid to leave it all behind, to sacrifice now, and gain so much more.
The end of the matter is always better than the beginning.
Written by Dee Rene
Contributor and Thought-Partner