It was Sunday morning in the big city of New Orleans – time for church – however, I had absolutely no desire to go.
Six months had passed since our family had moved to the big city that never slept. Everything around me seemed so different from Atlanta, our previous home. I struggled with culture shock, to put it mildly. Loneliness had crept in. Even church was not appealing to me anymore, and I had come to the place on this Sunday morning that I had decided to give up going to church after years of faithful attendance.
As I stood at my kitchen window thinking about the decision I was about to make, suddenly I heard little kids out on the street playing. “I wonder why those kids are not getting dressed for church. It’s Sunday morning; don’t their parents take them to church?”
All of a sudden, I had a reality check – I was about to become one of those parents. You see, I had two little girls sleeping soundly in their rooms, having laid out their Sunday best the night before to go to church this morning. They were now waiting for me to gently wake them up to take them to the place they loved. Unlike their mother, culture shock and loneliness was not a part of their little lives – they loved Jesus and going to church. And even then, I sensed that they were pondering dreams in their little hearts to fulfill one day.
Fast forward some thirty-five years later: Recently, two weekends in a row, I had the privilege of attending a conference and an event that those two little girls sponsored and still to this day doing what they enjoy the most - going to church, and serving Jesus by helping others fulfill their God-given dream.
Allow me a moment of “Mama Pride” and introduce you to them: Heather Frierson, founder of Created Woman, and Crystal Breaux, owner of Your Fitness Design.
And to think----I almost quit!
Let me hasten to say that once they left the nest, they had to make their own choices, and I am so grateful they continued in their love for the Lord and got this “church thing” settled in their own lives, as well as pursuing their God-given dream and purpose.
But, I had a responsibility to play in their young lives of making sure they were trained in the ways of the Lord.
And to think----I almost quit!
Thoughts of quitting might even have crossed Crystal and Heather’s mind somewhere in the midst of their journey. That is not unusual; we hear stories all the time of famous people who almost quit during the course of their journey.
For example, in his latest book, Cherish, Gary Thomas, told of a time when he almost quit his dream to be a writer.
“It’s costing us money we don’t have,” he explained to his wife. “And now that kids are in the picture, it’s costing me time I don’t have. I gave it a good shot, but maybe my dream of being a writer is just not going to happen.”
Within a week of that conversation with his wife, Gary relates that he signed the largest publishing contract of his life – four more books to write.
Gary went on to author eighteen books that have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been translated into a dozen languages.
And to think, he said, “I almost quit!”
What about you? When times are really tough, when a dream seems deferred and you feel foolish for even continuing to believe, do you feel like quitting and saying “Enough is enough?”
Believe me, I get it! The present can be so painful, so disappointing, and cause us to be blinded by a future that seems totally out of our reach.
But, I am convinced that “to quit or not to quit is the deciding factor where dreams are born or aborted.”
How about sharing your thoughts and story in the comments? Perhaps your story will encourage someone else.
Crystal - Martha - Heather
Pictured at Crystal's conference, 'He Designed You'