Deadlines. Who likes them? They invoke stress. You start to sweat. Your thoughts are disorganized at first, but nevertheless, deadlines force you to produce.
I was challenged to give myself an hour to write. Just write. I tend to overthink my words and thoughts. Mostly because I am a perfectionist who procrastinates with ADHD. I self-diagnosed myself, but I decided to bite the bullet and write something down in sixty minutes. Here it goes.
I have learned about in the past, and was enlightened again this morning, that I have reacted to many situations in my life. Those reactions lead to further reactions that continued a downward spiral.
This isn’t really a secret, but at the same time, many people may not know this about me.
After a failed long distance relationship in my early 20s, I reacted to that disappointment by entering into a new relationship very quickly. The failure of the relationship had happened long before I entered into this new connection, but my heart still held on to the hope of a romantic rekindling for two years. That hope was finally stifled when I received word that that man in my heart was engaged to be married in August. I can’t tell you how RELIEVED I was. I went through the stages of grief within 24 hours. And that was that.
David Cantu didn’t know it at the time, but as co-workers, it was easy to notice his compassion and concern for people he had in his care. His mannerisms, how he intently listened to his patients, and as supervisor of the department, he was definitely a leader that I looked up to.
I am an emotional person. If we all really think about it, we all are. We react to life more than we think we do. This leader was giving me attention – attention I hadn’t been receiving from my ex and that I craved. I felt important and appreciated. And wanted. It didn’t take long for things to escalate and over a lonely Memorial weekend, miles apart as David was with his dying father in a Lubbock, Texas hospital, I called him with news that I was pregnant. My reaction was FEAR and DEVASTATION. Fear of what other people would think and say about me. Their judgment of me or my parents. What my parents would do. Devastated that I wouldn’t have the wedding I dreamed of. Devastated that I wasn’t even confident of my love for this man. Devastated that he might not be the one. I just loved the thought of love. These emotions then led to the unthinkable. The mother of reactions at this point of time. I knew I had to hide it and abortion was MY answer.
Reactions create a snowball effect. Had I had a different perspective on that futile long distance relationship, I am confident that the course of my life would have been very different. But I didn’t.
If you are reading this, I don’t know what your belief system is, if you think there is a higher power or not, but from a young age, I knew God was real. I also learned, for myself, how MERCIFUL He is. The day I decided to go to a Planned Parenthood branch, they were closed. CLOSED. On a MONDAY! I left that empty parking lot that day and just prayed for God to help us get out of this hole. I didn’t take prenatal vitamins hoping that I would miscarry. I didn’t take care of my body period.
Days turned into weeks. My sister was married in June and David proposed the weekend after her wedding. The abortion hadn’t taken place yet and I still hadn’t miscarried. A series of events led to my family discovering the news. As difficult as that was, it was a RELIEF. I was forced to own my zone. To no longer be in a state of reaction, but creation. I had to create trust. With my parents. My family. My pastors. And trust God with my future with David.
It required owning my zone. It was the hardest thing I have had to do in my life. Instead of reacting to my circumstances and let life determine my choices, I had to own my decisions and stay in my lane. My lane meant carrying our baby to full term.
I have seen many times in my life where one’s success would stir jealousy in me, or coping with life stresses meant unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. I was reacting.
In a state of reaction is where the enemy wants to keep you. He steals your ability to create and be a dominion over the talents and gifts that God has given YOU, specifically, and instead kills and destroys your desires and your dreams because you are reacting to the fear of what others will think of you, or reacting to what they are doing better than you.
Our marriage has not been bad, but it’s not been perfect either. However, we knew last year that we needed to stop reacting to life and to each other. We started to own our lane, our own marriage, the gift God has given to us – each other. And we are in dominion mode of our marriage, bettering it by reading God’s word, surrounding ourselves with friends and mentors who are successful in their own marriages. We are surrounding ourselves with likeminded individuals who are successful in their communities, in their businesses. It’s made a world of a difference. It’s not perfect, but we are owning our lane. We aren’t leaving it up to reactions to steer the course of our destiny. With God’s help, we are being purposeful with our health, our marriage, our children, our finances.
Our good friend, Josiah, hit the nail on the head last weekend when he said, “Yesterday’s ceiling becomes today’s floor.” That’s what we have discovered and why we have grown in just the past year alone – because we have stepped into this process. The reactive way is the easy way. The creative way is the hard way. And we do the HARD THINGS.