By: Roshanda Pratt
When was the last time you cried? I mean really shed some tears. You know, what us gals call the “ugly cry,” the one with mascara rolling down your face, and your heart aching, the almost beating out of your chest kind of crying. The kind of crying that gives you a headache, causes your eyeballs to hurt, and is so exhausting you want to take a nap afterwards. A cry like this can be therapeutic, especially at times when there are no words to communicate the depth of your heart. I have cried like this, not recently, but I had cause to do so. Within the last two weeks (as if I did not already know), I have come to terms with the fact that building a business is work. As the owner, I see everything: the bills that need to be paid, the clients who are needed to pay those bills, their gripes (I have not had any real problems here) and the day-to-day workings of running a business. I am the employee, CEO, CFO and janitor all in one.
I recently received a dose of reality that it is not for the faint at heart. About two weeks ago, I think it all came to collision. I could feel the tears welling in my eyes and the heaviness in my heart. First of all, I am a mom to three blessings and a wife. Honestly, there are days I feel like the people who motivate me to build my business are on the losing end. There are many demands between business, community service, church and just life. I am not complaining. My cousin once told me, “Girl, you are blessed to be busy.” And I would not have it any other way. I knew early on I would never be that traditional June Cleaver (Matter of fact, is anyone?). However, I still want to make sure my husband and children are getting the best of me and not leftovers. How many of you know that sometimes leftovers can leave a bad taste on the stomach?
So there I was, head on my laptop, thinking “woe is me,” as the tears began to form. I could sense this was going to be a WHOOPER! The feeling of being overwhelmed settled in. Feelings of wanting to quit, throwing in the towel, thinking this is just a pipe dream and lastly, “What am I doing to my family?” Then, it happened. The first tear fell and then the second. I could feel the floodgates starting to open. But before I could go there I had this thought: This is just temporary. Don’t let this moment or fleeting feeling determine the rest of your day or the rest of your life.
Immediately, the tears dried up. I then began to remind myself of what’s true. Oftentimes we cry because we are replaying the negative thoughts or words in our head like a black and white film. I had to replace what was false and remind myself what was true. I then prayed. I mean, I was totally transparent with God about my thoughts and my feelings. Then I got up, started to clean the office and put together a plan of action.
That mini meltdown taught me something about honor. It is not the most popular word we hear in 21st Century culture. But just because it is not widely known, does not take away from its significance. I had to get real with myself. I had not been honoring my time, my family, my spiritual commitments or my physical health. Honor. In life, I have discovered when we are neglectful in one area, it has a tendency to run over in other areas. I had to get back to Honor. So, I became intent on spending time with my family. I took the kids to the park and left the iPhone in the car. I played games with the kids more often and cuddled with my husband on the couch while the phone rang. Meanwhile, I implemented a plan to also honor my business by setting a schedule and sticking to it. Although my best intentions sometimes fall flat, I am still putting together a plan of action and that is a start! As I continue to grow in my endeavors I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses:
Psalm 126:5-6 reads, “Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.”
Since my days as a student at Winthrop University, this scripture has been a balm of healing. This scripture taught me my crying is just for a little while because in the near future, I will be shouting for joy and not rejoicing, but also carrying a harvest. Too often we become so consumed by what’s in front of us that we forget that everything is subject to change, just like the seasons. The cold, harsh winter is saying goodbye and the newness of spring is coming. So shed some tears if you have to just for a little while, water your good seeds with your tears, and watch a harvest awaits you!