Starting is part of the battle, but at some point we really need to finish the personal, athletic, professional projects, degrees,
When most of us start something new we get excited, nervous, we are bursting with hope, ideas, and dreams about how amazing this new thing will be. We dream of what it will feel and be like to FINISH. Then somewhere between the time we start and the time we should be FINISHING many of us stop. We don't stop because we are FINISHED. We stop because we get bored, the project or challenge stopped being as pretty or shiny as the first day when we started. We stop because the project is extremely challenging but not impossible. We stop because the resources we were using to complete the project changed or were challenged. We stop because we move to a different state, start a new relationship or have medical issues. We stop because doubt & fear trap us. We stop because someone got in our way and tripped us and we didn't get back up again. We stop because the memories of other failures, traumas, or challenges made us feel like we aren't fit for winning this battle.
Fits & Starts is what they call this problem on the surface. But fits & starts is evidence of a deeper issue. Now everything ain't deep but there has to be a reason why you/we have a habit of starting something amazing but don't FINISH. I promise you, if you seek God for your reason I am convinced that God will show you! Not only do I believe God will show you the reason you have a habit of not FINISHING, I am sure that God will give you the courage, resources, and discipline to finally get it done! God has shown me my reason for stopping & I believe He desires to show you too!
"Nothing beats failure like a try." - Unknown
So what if it takes longer, you have to take a break, or you need help to finish. Here's the thing we are not machines. We don't push a button to start out on a challenging project or lifestyle change and wait around to see the FINISHED PROJECT, we have to put in work (hard work)! Reality is, we are humans that are interacting and engaging challenges on top of the new challenge that we began ourselves. If the challenge you set out on is one that will healthfully, positively, and beautifully impact yourself, family, friends, neighborhood and/or community then KEEP GOING! Put in the hard work. Listen to God's instruction for how to FINISH what you started. Ask for help. Fight doubt. Push through until the absolute end! Don't stop when you're tired or frustrated or the money gets funny or you are afraid - stop when you are FINISHED!
As you FINISH keep these things in mind:
The devil has no desire to see you FINISHING something amazing that God has approved!
Doubt will trap you! Expect it & fight back in prayer and faith in God!
GOD wants you to WIN!
You can FINISH, no matter what it looks like right now!
Sure, there are people who might be jealous of you or might not want you to FINISH but there is a legion of people that need to see you FINISH! We're counting on you!
It may take days, weeks, months, or years but stay focused you can do this!
When you fail, fall short, or get behind - get up and keep going!
You can do hard things!
Once you FINISH, know & believe that you have what it takes to sustain the victory!
As I close, I want to honor a sister-friend that FINISHED! I remember my friend telling me that she wanted to go back to school and earn her doctorate. Next thing I know she is wearing that fly fluffy cap and gown (pictured below)! But she didn't just wake up one day clothed in her fancy doctoral commencement regalia. She worked her tail off. She studied. She stretched herself. She prayed. She asked others to pray with and for her. She bathed herself in God's power, love and courage. She basked in the beauty of her husband's love. She took vacations with friends. She did not stop. When I think about finishing I think about Dr. Hodge! I think about fortitude, resilience, and the support from her family and friends.
Dr. Hodge on Commencement Day 2017! Photo Credit Lorna Little
I think about some of the challenges she has shared with me. I think about how she didn't let those challenges define, discolor, or destroy her goal to FINISH. What I love the most about Dr. Hodge's road to commencement is that though she has completed a terminal degree in her course of study she ain't done! She is still sharpening her skills, securing additional licenses, and overall Dr. Hodge is committed to MAINTAINING what she FINISHED! Maintaining what we FINISH is another post for another day - stay tuned.
Listen friend, you & I don't have to quit. We can keep going until we are FINISHED. And we'll be happy that we did. What is your new challenge today, this week, or in this season? We'd love to hear about it and cheer you on!
God bless, empower, heal, provide, and sustain you as you FINISH what you started!