My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for October, 2010

Dreams deferred? Live in hope, change will come

“What happens to a dream deferred?” asks Langston Hughes, but he never really answers. His subsequent questions are all possible scenarios to what happens to dreams, or maybe dreamers, when dreams are delayed. “Do they dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore … Maybe they just sag like a heavy load. Or do they explode?”

It appears that deferred dreams are not new, in fact, having to wait, hold on in faith, persevere until change, is life — but it can sometimes be tough and burdensome. A writer in proverbs says it can even make one sick, for, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” (it sucks the life out of you, makes you weary to the bone, discouraged…)

But are you willing to persevere? Willing to maintain purpose in spite of difficulties or discouragement? For I heard that we have lost hope, that the things we dreamed would take place after President Obama was elected are still not realized, that we are so discouraged that we have decided to become voiceless, to sit out the upcoming election.

We may have lived so long desiring things to be easy and immediate that we may have lost what our ancestors had, that ability to endure; maybe we closed our minds to what our ancestors fought for, their right to person-hood; certainly we can’t have forgotten what our ancestors knew, that real change demands action and it takes time.

The proverb found in chapter 13:12 concludes showing us the other side of delayed hope,” … But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” I am Dona Halliday challenging you to remember the past, fight for your future, realize that giving up and sitting it out are not options. Show up, have a voice, be responsible, vote!

Symbol of hope — fight against breast cancer

Pink - Symbol of Hope

I looked around, still giggling out loud. I was leaving the Halloween section in Kroger and my favorite thing there every year is the candy bowl with the skeleton hand. I had pushed all the buttons, giggling like a child as the skeleton hands had grabbed, and those wicked, raspy voices had laughed and asked “Want some candy?”

I had spent too much time there already, but as I looked around the color pink caught my eyes. Orchids were now housed in pink containers, cases of bottled water were wrapped in pink plastic with the stories of cancer survivors  printed on them. I pulled out my glasses, stopped, read their stories, suddenly feeling somber. Blurs of pink passed me as I read, and I noted that like myself others were wearing some shade of pink. “Who were these women?” I wondered, “what are there stories?”

For the week I had wrapped my head in a pink scarf in support of  Breast Cancer awareness month, I saw pink as this symbol of hope, this reminder that others were aware of this challenge, that people were uniting their efforts, pooling their resources, something was being done. But even as I had worn pink during the week my mind had been occupied by other things, it’s so easy to forget when the struggle, the pain, the loss, the victory is not our own.

As I pulled cash from my purse to pay for my purchases I also pulled out a card and handed it to the cashier. The card, urges us to moves beyond the symbol to a point of action where we take personal responsible for our health. This card introducing BreasText is sponsored by Doris Shaheen Breast Health Center at Piedmont Hospital, 97.1 FM The River and Best Self Magazine. Personally, I had already taken action, I had texted the word Breast to 72239 and immediately I had received a text from the hospital assigning me a day that they will send me a reminder to do my monthly breast self-exam.

Symbols are great, but they should focus our attention on doing something, taking action, getting involved, making a change. I am Dona Halliday, challenging you to take personal responsibility and sign on for your health, send a text that can save your life.

Relationships — Moving pass failure

It was Saturday, about 8:00pm, I was dressed in my favorite four and a half-inch high-heeled sandals, a little black dress and too much self-confidence for my own good. I was comfortable, at home, my surroundings familiar. My friend who was working at my desk turned and said “We should get married tomorrow.” I laughed and replied, “I hope you don’t throw that around to everybody, someone might have you down the aisle before you finish that sentence.” Then, “what would you have done if I had said yes?” I asked. “We would get married,” he stated simply. I really like him, he’s laid back, has a great sense of humor, a keen business mind and one of the most focused persons I know. We’ve known each other for several years, we are friends — I was comfortable. So comfortable that I kept ignoring the little voice in my head.

The next day was Sunday. After church I took a different exit because of where I had parked, I had been late for church. I had used that exit only once before but I lived about 7 minutes from the church, so feeling “comfortable” I drove. Finally, I came to an area I knew, I had driven 25 mins  in the opposite direction.

Saturday evening before I left home, I had been totally exhausted, that’s what the voice had been trying to tell, or remind me rather. One of the boundaries I’ve set for myself is not to go out when I’m so tired, when I’m tired I’m vulnerable — I like closeness and comfort.

If we are honest, we would admit that normally on our way to the course that leads us away from what we have determined to live by, there are several warnings. When he had asked if I wanted to postpone, I should have listened to that voice, and said, yes. Before we left, I had leaned my head on his shoulder as we talked, I should have listened to the voice that said “Girl, you’d better sit up straight!” When we got to the restaurant, at the dinner table and I realized I was playing footsie beneath the table…, well, I did stop, but I should have listened.

One of my favorite verses. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life,” comes to mind. There has never been a time when I’ve failed to guard my heart, that I have not failed. Whether it’s a physical act of flirting too close to the edge of right and wrong, responding with a bad attitude, or giving in to anger, guarding my heart is absolutely necessary to living a life that represents God well.

Failure for me is saying no when God says yes or vice versa, forging my way when God says to wait, choosing what I want instead of yielding to God’s word. You see, God’s word is the standard, it’s unchanging, everything else vacillates. So when I fail, God’s word does not shift to make my wrongs right but I have to shift, repent, to meet His standards.

Over the years I’ve learned when I’ve chosen my own path that finding my way back to God is easier than finding my way home. For His word says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I’ve realized that when we fail, the challenge is not to allow shame, guilt or pride to keep us stuck, reluctant to admit our wrong doing, hinder us from making it right with God. I believe that’s really the enemy’s winning card, to make us feel we can never go back, to silence our voices, put out our lights. If you have failed in any way, I am Dona Halliday, challenging you to refuse to stay there, to get up and go back to God, for what I was reminded of in Church on Sunday is that covenant relationship, God’s kind of relationship never gives up on us, neither does it passively wait for us to return but He comes seeking those who lose their way.

Dirge Dancers — Challenge your troubles

Hope in God will infuse us with life

Don’t let your hope die. Dead things CAN live again

Dirge_Dancers
Everything seemed lifeless, so still, so cold,
A sign read – “Death Lives Here,”
A piercing tune from beneath filled the air,
With a tale of doom and deep despair.

“Hope is dead,” it continuously said,
“Come bury your lifelong dreams,
Why don’t you give in, with this there’s no sin,'”
Sang that lying tongue from beneath.

“My hope is not dead,” I continuously said,
Then spoke life to my hopes and dreams,
Then I broke out in dance, and started this chant,
“God’s promises will NEVER cease.”

I danced for my mate, on God I will wait,
Raised praise for my hopes and dreams,
Then I sent up a shout, that was mighty & strong,
To still that lying tongue from beneath.

“Death was defeated a long time ago,
I will make no pact with the grave,
You will not deceive me, get thee behind,
For I know in whom I believe.”

I danced through my troubles, I danced through my storms,
I said goodbye to past pains,
I skipped over hardship, gave a nod at my needs,
Victory was about to reign.

I paused at my doubts, I meant to take that thing out,
So I started this victory dance,
As my faith kicked in, God said “Child you will win,”
And silenced that voice from within.

Trails won’t last, they will past, THEY WILL PAST,
Your life is safe in my hands,
Trust and don’t doubt, let Me work things out,
And change every dirge to a dance.

%d bloggers like this: