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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Cart Before the Horse
By Joy Bach


Write a book! She had to be joking! I stared at my friend/employer, Merilyn, and then burst out laughing. She was an English professor…of course she wasn’t serious. But she continued talking. “Do you have any idea how many students I use you as an example for? You really should write a book.”

She was serious!

I pondered her words. My growth in becoming a whole person was evident to family and friends alike. Anyone who had known me “before” said there was no resemblance to the “after”. I had become a totally different person…inside and out. But I hadn’t realized I was being used as an example…that unknown others would care about what was happening in my life.

In my growth, I had learned to weigh all possibilities offered. No longer did I automatically reject a goal which I thought far beyond my reach. I had already attained too many “unreachable” ones.

And so I prayed, “Lord, if this is guidance from you, I need some affirmation”. I let it rest and had almost forgotten it.

A few weeks later, I found myself in my pastor’s office, seeking advice on how to handle a new complication in my life. When that discussion seemed to be concluded, he reached in his desk and took out a three-ring binder. Handing it to me, he said, “You need to start writing down what you are experiencing. Some day you are going to write a book.”

I had asked for affirmation, yet hadn’t really expected any. Suddenly, I realized this was no joke. Two people, within a few weeks time, had urged me to share what was happening in my life…to help others. And I did, sincerely, want to help others who were hurting.

About the same time, I became acquainted with a pastor of a different church, who was struggling with starting a singles group. Since I was single, he began to pick my brain about what it was like.

Then came the day he asked me to go away for the weekend with his singles group and be the speaker. The pact I had made with my “new” self was to say “yes” instead of “no” because of fear. So I agreed to do it.

I began to feel important. Others needed me. I had words to say that others wanted to hear. I got sidetracked helping others (which I truly did want to do) but getting the “big head” because I had experienced so much…and could be of such invaluable service. I had never felt needed before in my life…and I certainly did not do a very good job of handling it.

In essence, I was given a good “slap on my hand” and put on hold. Suddenly my writing was stilted and that weekend away…I truly messed up. I had a burning desire to write and speak, but I had moved into high gear without allowing any preparation time. The brakes slammed on…so hard I could smell the rubber burning.

Yes, I had accomplished a lot. I had overcome a great deal of bad programming. I had lost 100 pounds. I had made a new life for me and my children. And I realized that that is exactly how I saw it. “I” had done it.

So I worked on me some more. For the first 30 years of my life I had not been given credit for anything. I wanted so badly to say “see what I have done”. But as I read my Bible and prayed…meditated and waited on God…I received a much clearer picture of what had really transpired.

God had done it!!!!

I was just the broken vessel that He mended.

This new understanding didn’t happen overnight. It took me years to catch on how to be in the background again. I fought it. I had earned my place…me and me alone.

Funny thing, that’s not how God saw it.

And so, once again, I’m trying my writing and speaking wings. But this time, I am very aware of where my strength comes from…the source of my ideas and the passion I feel for those hurting.

I’ve been given a gift to use to help others. It is up to me to put the words on paper…or into the air. I am only the channel used to transmit information.

The rest is up to God.

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This article has been read 577 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw01/24/08
Your testimony moved me. I pray it blesses and ministers to many others who need to hear it.
Sara Harricharan 01/28/08
I can so relate to this. I still struggle from time to time whether it's "Me" or "Him". Thanks for this reminder, your transparency really helps this reader relate! I especially liked where you mentioned the brakes squealing so hard you could smell the rubber-that's a very accurate description! Great job! ^_^
(Tip: try not to overdo the exclamation marks! Even if it is very important.)