By Carla Helené Ezell
"A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great." Proverbs 18:16
I grew up reading this scripture all the time. It has always been one of my favorites. To me, this scripture means that a person can do anything they set your mind to do. Their gifts, talents, callings... they will open doors and make room for someone and beyond honing those gifts and practicing so they are ready to proceed when the right doors open, all a person has to do is have fun moving forward into their destiny. That's it!
But on a deeper level, this passage meant that the playing field was level. A person's connections (or lack thereof) didn't matter as much as the abilities that God placed inside of them because when it came down to it, those abilities would be all that really mattered. One's background, no matter how enriched or how disadvantaged it may be, couldn't stop a person who was blessed with the ability to do something they were meant to do. This text meant, we are all special in an individually unique way and nothing and no one could stand in the way if someone was supposed to do something. Destiny.
How refreshing. How empowering! How naive.
What I did not take into account in my youthful gullibility was that despite one's talents, things would not always be as easy as just doing the best one could and walking the path. Sometimes, there would be challenges along the way that threatened to relieve a person of their predestined path. There would be events and people along the way that try to actively stop them from succeeding. What a twist of fate, huh?
But no matter, we were designed to overcome obstacles such as these.
to do through me because it challenged them or made them uncomfortable for some reason. They had other ideas of what they thought should happen in my life or in their churches despite God's will He had so graciously revealed to me AND them. For various reasons, whether it was because they wanted someone else to take a position over me because I didn't know them as well as the other candidate did or they didn't care for my style so they tried to usurp my calling and play chess with my anointing... Man, I got stories for days...
But honestly, none of that really mattered. When the rubber met the road, those blocks did not stop what God wanted to do for me... through me... in me. All they did was create plot twists in my story that made for a much more compelling read. What those setbacks did do was strengthen my faith. They forced me to remain humble and dig deeper into my relationship with God so I didn't miss what was in store. Character building experiences... that's what they became - moments in which I had to choose to become more than I had been before.
I'm not saying it was easy by any means. It wasn't easy. It was really difficult. At times it felt downright impossible.
The point is this: do not let anything make you doubt what God said would happen. When you KNOW that you KNOW that you KNOW you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, do not stop doing it! Sometimes the manifestation looks different than you originally imagined it. So what! Sometimes the promise takes a little longer to arrive than expected. But trust me, it WILL arrive. And when it does, you have to be ready for it. So while you’re waiting, while you’re struggling to keep your faith strong, remember you are in a season of preparation. And when God says, “now”, you better be ready for immediate action.
2 Timothy 4:2 says to be ready at all times. Be ready while you wait.
Carla is a performer, playwrite, director, blogger and entrepreneur from Burlington County, New Jersey. She joined The Bridge PHL's team in 2017, and works behind the scenes in everything from web design to photography to social media management. Her background in Psychology, Social Sciences and nearly two decades experience in Business Administration, Christian Ministries, and Worship Arts, gives Carla a unique perspective that helps further The Bridge PHL's mission and opens dialogues on self-love, women's empowerment, racial equality and the power of black girl magic. Check out her blog and the entire Living With Purpose series here.