Hey you. . . don't give up

by Jamie Zenteno

Despite all odds the world really doesn't want you to succeed.

It wants to steal your dreams, tell you that you can't, and say that you're not good enough.

Growing up in a small town there's not a lot to do but hey a gal can dream right? 

I dreamed that my world was bigger than the tiny map dot I grew up on. I dreamed that I could and I would change my circumstances. I knew that I had the tenacity, strength and boldness it took to keep pressing forward despite all odds against me.

I had very humble beginnings but my parents loved me the best the could with the best of their ability. They taught me to rely on God's strength when I had absolutely none.

Strength isn't about sucking it up and putting on a front in front of everyone saying that nothing bothers you. Honestly that's just a lie you're telling everyone including yourself.

True strength is looking at what is before you, praying on your knees for days on end not seeing things change yet, finding the courage to move forward when everything around you is crashing down. It's not giving up with hope that better things are right around the corner. It's saying that despite what people are telling me...family even...that you are going to pray for your marriage until things change.

You may be reading this thinking what does this hometown country girl know about hard times. You may even be thinking geez she's only 29 how could she possibly have the life experiences to encourage me. You might be reading this thinking to yourself I'm sick, the electric bill is due tomorrow or it gets cut off, my husband just lost his job, my marriage is falling apart, my kids are going crazy.....

Trust me when I say that I know what its likes to pray through hard times because I've been through them. Yes I'm only 29 but I have many a times been driving home from work praying, screaming out to God saying its not fair and crying (ya that ugly cry that when people look over at you at the stop light . . . they're not sure what to do but just look away ugly type of cry).

Mom got sick when I was 11, I was scared she wouldn't see me graduate.

My marriage was falling apart from year 3 to year 5 and so much so that we couldn't even stand the sight of each other.

I've had bills I couldn't pay and services were cut off while we at church no less.

Our finances were such a mess that we filed for bankruptcy.

I've had times when I was criticized by close friends and family members by what I knew was the truth. People even telling me that I should just get a divorce.

So yes. I know what it's like to go through those ugly hard times.

As a woman of God you have no idea how much authority you have right now this very second. If God gave you a glimpse of the power He has given you, would you believe it?

The bible says that God will give us strength we need but you have to call out to him to get it. If you never open your mouth to ask, how do you expect to get an answer? 

Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Greater things. You are meant to do greater things. You are meant to pray for greater things. You were meant to live for greater things.

Pray until something changes and surround yourself with people who love you and will hold your hands up just like Aaron did for Moses when he was weak.

Exodus 17:12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Don't give up. Allow yourself to dream of the day when things are better. I promise you that day is coming.

If something is going on in your life that you are worried sick over, I pray that you can surrender it to him this week. That you can place it at His alter, that you can resist the temptation to pick it back up so that your Father in heaven can.

I challenge you to write these things down and pray over them until something changes.

Until next time. . .

-Jamie Zenteno