The Prayer of Jabez.
I have prayed this specific prayer over every move and pivot I’ve made in my adult life. I can recall praying it three years ago when we were about to relocate from Charleston, South Carolina, to Piney Woods, Mississippi.
I was staring at the prayer one morning in January 2016 (had it written down and posted up in my bedroom for daily reference) when a particular part of the prayer leaped forward and bolded itself.
We were preparing our hearts and minds to make our move back home; Godly obedience. My husband and I were being lead. It was destiny.
What I, however, was not fully prepared for was the level of scaling back we’d have to experience. I was not was not prepared for the taking.
I’m telling you… it stood out. As many times as I read the Prayer of Jabez, I always bypassed it…
“Everything you’ve put under our care, Lord, take it and enlarge it!
Bless me indeed! Enlarge my territory!”
We were living the life of our dreams; yet feeling unfulfilled. We knew by returning to Mississippi we were sacrificing salaries, cushions, and amenities. I literally saw those things going away… Simultaneously, I saw the ways in which God was leading me to my purpose. I saw increase happening on many different levels:
I could see myself becoming a stronger writer and a servant leader. I could see the entrepreneurial avenues ahead of me and me finally “handling the ball”. I could even see myself being mother to a son. I could see myself growing up and giving back. Living a bold and beautiful life, surrounded by people I love.
But before my “territory” could be enlarged, I first had to see things go away:
My salary (it was sweet).
Business trips and vacations.
2,043+ sqft of living space.
Walk-in closets and mantels.
My semi-toned body. 😏
All of it, taken away…
While it did hurt, this act of “taking” was never a bad thing. It was necessary. And what the prayer called for. God wanted to see if life changes would corrupt my consistency, work ethic, and passion.
And let me tell you, I have never ever been more dedicated and impassioned about my life’s work than I am right now…often broke, with more mouths to feed, and owning a business…having let go of all the STUFF…
If you’re thinking about making a leap, just know you can’t bypass the taking process. God’s gonna take some stuff! And if we only knew what was waiting on the other side of obedience, we would stop trying to hold onto those tangibles for dear life.
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.