The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow

A Dark Day

A Dark Day

I’ve been sitting in front of this laptop for several hours searching for a topic to write about today. Well, it’s not that I don’t have anything to write about; there’s an ever-growing list of things that God has done in my life that I want to share with you.

But it won’t be today. Today is different. Today I’m hurting on the inside. Today I’m battling demons. Today the last thing that I want to do is write a post for The Seed of Hope, but I’m going to anyway. I need to. Not for you, but for me.

In the past, sharing my thoughts with you has given me new revelations about God, my faith, and myself. Writing has given me an outlet, a platform if you will, to express the joy of walking with God every day. Writing The Seed has helped me to grow spiritually, and it has always been my prayer that The Seed has helped you in your walk as well.

Today it is comfort and strength that I am seeking, and I believe that the Holy Spirit has already given both to me, but I’m just too blinded by my own eyes to see it. So please bear with me as I search…

Sleep was very elusive for me last night. I found myself looking at the clock every thirty minutes. And I found myself drowning in a sea of anxiety. I kept praying myself back to sleep, puzzled by the fact that the strength of my faith was nowhere to be found; which only served to make matters worse.

I’m gonna tell you the source of my problem in just a minute. There’s something that I need to tell you first; something that only compounded the situation:

I love writing The Seed of Hope. For me, it’s not a hobby, or something that’s done on a whim. It’s a part of my life, a part that consumes me. I believe that my writing is a gift from God. Funny thing is, I never asked Him for this gift, or the passion that comes with it. He just put it there, because, well, because it was part of His plan for me. Who am I to say, “Thanks, but no thanks, God. You can give it to someone else.”

So I’m lying in bed last night, knowing that I needed to finish today’s post, which was about spiritual gifts, but knowing that it wasn’t gonna happen  because I was in this ever-widening sinkhole of helplessness, and I can’t tell you that “it’s all good” when it’s not. What was I gonna do? Would this be the first time in a year and a half that there wouldn’t be a post? Do I sit down and tell you about the times when it’s not all good, when I’m in the midst of it? Or do I wait until the storm has passed and then tell you about it?

Well, I guess I’m answering those questions right now, aren’t I?

The source of the problem…

I guess by now that most of you know that my wife Jackie and I are owners of a hair salon, Salon M², here in Birmingham. We’ve been in business together for almost twenty-one years. Jackie’s role in our business is that of a hair stylist, “behind the chair” as they say in our industry. I’ve worn a lot of hats in our salon during those years; salon manager, appointment maker, shampoo assistant, repair man, bottle washer, and any other job that has needed to be done.

My biggest challenge, my highest mountain to climb, has been to grow not only our salon, but more importantly, to grow the careers of those that work with us, and quite often to help them grow as individuals. I set lofty goals for all of them, and I will push, pull, tug, shove, and threaten them to reach those goals.

As they grow financially, of course, so does the salon.

Through the years, many have chosen to stay with us, while some have chosen to move on.

I was informed this weekend that one of our team had made a decision to move to another salon. I usually take these things in stride, but I’ve got to tell you, this one kind of took my legs out from under me, for several reasons.

This young lady is an awesome Christian, a kind-hearted soul, and a very talented individual. Her presence in our salon has been a blessing. I watched her grow so much, in so many ways, during her time with us.  From a personal perspective, I hate to see her leave.

This young lady’s income has been on a gradual incline during her time with us, even during this economic turndown. She’s become a real factor in our financial “bottom line.” From a business perspective, I hate to see her leave.

My struggle since I learned of her decision has not been with her, but with myself. Or perhaps it’s the hand that I’ve been dealt.

I’m going to compare my efforts in our salon to pushing a huge ball…

For twenty-one years I’ve used all my resources to get this ball up the side of a mountain. I’ve pushed, pulled, tugged, threatened, and done whatever else I could think of to get this thing to the top. And every time I get this ball to a point where I can get a glimpse of the top of the mountain, something happens and it rolls back down the hill. Every time.

God, I know that You’re listening right now. I know that You’re always listening.

You were listening last week when I told a friend that God has a plan for us, that we must always remember that He knows what He’s doing when it comes to our finances and the paths that He takes us down.

You were listening last week when I told another friend that God has a plan for us, that we must always remember that He knows what He’s doing when it comes to struggles and personal challenges and the paths that He takes us down.

You were listening last week when I told both of them that You don’t expect us to be happy with the situations we find ourselves in, or the “kicks in the gut” that we take from time to time.

It’s those financial issues, struggles, and personal challenges that make us better people, that teach us many lessons that we’re supposed to learn, and that draw us ever closer to You.

I will never take my eyes off of You. I will never question what You give me, or why You give it to me. I will never question Your plans for me, and while I may not like what I’m going through, I will never be angry with You while I’m going through it.

I know that You are my comforter, and strength, my sustainer, my provision, and my salvation. I know that You will supply me with everything I need.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

If you made it to the end of this post, I want to thank you for allowing me to share a dark day with you, a day that already seems brighter.

I’ll see you next week.

 

 

 

Comments

Mike Burnett wrote on 05/17/10 9:48 AM

Hey Sam, Sorry to hear of your challenge. I feel your pain. Been there my friend. I get strength from Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." And this a quote I put on my FaceBook wall today "The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments,propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." by M. Scott Peck
Peggy Dew wrote on 05/17/10 4:22 PM

Hi Sam: I read the Seed of Hope and can certainly sympathize about the "Dark Days". I've been there also. Psalm 66:11-12 has always helped me. I am learning day by day to give thanks to God in everything. I have even been able to give thanks for Multiple Myeloma because I know if I can thank Him for it I have really given it to Him and He can certainly do more than I can. You mentioned you had been doing everything you could to get the ball to the top. Maybe if you thank God for this upset and put the ball ih His hands the dark day will disappear. There is also a scripture I want to share with you because I know it is what you are already doing. God gave this to me many years ago when I was scheduled to give my testimony at a church. It is 1 Corinthians 2- 1-5. God has blessed us by allowing us to have two such special friends as you and Jackie. Your Seed of Hope is a great blessing to us. In His Love, Fred and Peggy Dew
Christian Maniscalco wrote on 05/17/10 8:49 PM

Dad: Good stuff man! You know our book has been written. I can't wait to see what the next page is like. I have a feeling that next page is going to be AWESOME. God is going to provide and knock your socks off! Look forward to next weeks post.
David Crump wrote on 05/17/10 9:34 PM

Sam, your words ring true in almost every business, whether the business is big or small. Good people, christian people, people of faith, stuggle each and every day with the good times and bad times of life. It's easy to praise God on the mountain, but few are called out to praise Him in the valleys. It is those few that reap the harvests that God has planted. You have given this person the knowledge and the character to venture out just as you did with Greg. You told me once that you are a mentor, a father, and a friend to many in your employ. Some day even the most loyal have to spread their wings and with the courage and tenacity you set for yourself, they too must try new ventures. It will be hard at first, but like me, I have found a family there and this person will be missed, but not forgotten.
Linda wrote on 05/18/10 6:23 AM

Praying for you, as always. Love you, Sam :)
Susie McCullum wrote on 05/18/10 9:02 AM

Just now reading this Sam...but I want you to continue speaking and claiming this sentence you wrote: "I know that You are my comforter, and strength, my sustainer, my provision, and my salvation. I know that You will supply me with everything I need." Sometimes we don't "feel" like it....but we just choose to believe that HE IS ALL WE REALLY NEED.......HE IS OUR COMPLETE SOURCE! My prayers are with you and Jackie and M2 Salon. He is always GOOD....keep speaking it Sam. Love you guys...thank you for opening your heart to your friends!
Lisa wrote on 05/19/10 7:38 AM

Sam, I understand your shock and confusion. Sometimes His ways are so beyond what we can even imagine. All the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad have a greater meaning. I know this! In my life I can always count on God working for His Glory through every situation. Romans 8:28 is such a comfort and a blessing. He takes those things we see as difficult or even terrible and makes something wonderful happen. Always! Even if we cannot see it. "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news...and Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." Romans 10:15b, 17. Keep your journey strong. The Lord has much planned.
Robert Young wrote on 05/23/10 9:29 PM

Being in the same industry, Sam, I have some non-biblical, practical thoughts for you! No verses, just common business sense. You gotta take it in stride, always keep recruiting good talent and have people in the hopper, create a great place to work so that you stand above other salons and have stylists wanting to work for you, never assume the same people will be there next year, don't worry about things you can't control - like other people's decisions.....and, wait, these all ARE Christian teachings in some form or another!! Well, wow, how about that!! LOL
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