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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

I grew up in the projects of Portsmouth, Virginia where multiple generations of one family inhabiting the same hood wasn’t uncommon. A short walk across the playground led me to my maternal grandmother, aunts, and cousins…and the candy lady, which my sweet tooth finds it important to note.  Though my tiny world existed only as far as I could get on foot (we lacked transportation) and I’d never seen all the world had to offer, I struggled with accepting my stereotypical end. I had hope that there was better even though there was no sign of it. I trusted that there had to be a path out of poverty even though no one had shown it to me. And I was determined that I wouldn’t grow up and sign a lease to continue a generational curse even though every one before me had. Writing this today I have two degrees (and one in progress), a clinical license, a stable government income, a growing private practice, an international speaking portfolio, a published book, and a resilient personal brand. I’m able to smell six figures, envision myself as a New York Times Best Seller, and stand firm in my belief that one of the greatest powers God gave man is the ability to make ANYTHING temporal. Though difficult times must run their course, they are often prolonged (and sometimes even lifelong) because we opt to act as if we have no control over them.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, the author Solomon reveals that there’s a direct correlation between learning from duress and ending it, also proving that staying lonely, poor, unhappy, and angry are personal choices and explaining that working closely with God to grow through these moments instead of passively and grudgingly waiting for them to pass causes them to expire faster. In conjunction with my personal story, the verse also speaks to faith, imagination, and determination, proving that if a little brown girl can chip away at a block she can’t even see and end up breaking it, so can you.

Today, as I reflect on the fact that God never intended for misfortune to last forever, I’m happy to know that in partnership with Him, I can influence time, ensuring that none of my trials last longer than they’re supposed to. As you consider your life, I encourage you to develop a more initiative-driven approach so that you too are able to advance through difficult times. Had I not believed until belief gave me direction, my life would have headed in the same direction as the lives before me did. Knowing that, I challenge you to be the change for your family. Whether the curses you long to break are emotional, mental, relational, financial, or otherwise, you can do it. Be faith-full and your faith will yield strategy, strategy will inspire you to action, and consistent action will create results.

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