It was my childhood dream to become a fashion designer. I remember passionately sewing clothes for my dolls and sketching pictures of dresses from primary school right into high school. But the dream was stolen in my matric year and my desire to pursue it faded in the background.
However, God restored the dream unto me and gave me the opportunity of making a dress for my daughter to accompany my friend’s son to his matric ball. The dress was almost perfect when what was supposed to be a simple adjustment to the back ruined it. My daughter couldn’t wear it and I was devastated. Having fought the enemy tooth and nail while making the dress, I now went through major stress doing everything in my ability to fix it, but I couldn’t. It failed. But God came through at the last minute and she could wear another dress. Although everything turned out perfect, I was a complete, disoriented mess. All my hard work was destroyed in seconds and what was supposed to be a masterpiece ended up in ruins.
Coming home to the aftermath of it all, staring at pieces of material and a dress cut in half, with visions of me frantically trying to fix things, trying to put the pieces together, I feel distraught, a failure, a disgrace – overcome by feelings of disbelief and disappointment. I feel beaten down, limp, broken and bruised by the enemy. I feel lost, feel that I have lost.
But laying here with my face down in the dust, searching for air, for breath, for strength to raise my head again, I realise that I’m not dead; I still have life in me. And that even in death there is victory. I am determined to get up and complete the good work that God has started in me. Just as Nehemiah and his helpers, amid opposition, had rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem, I will get up and rebuild the ruins that lay scattered on my bed. I will not give up. Like them, I will fight the enemy with one hand while rebuilding my dream and fulfill God’s purpose with the other (Nehemiah 4: 17).
I realise afresh that we will have to fight the enemy until death – he will not stop. We will always be under attack in doing something good and striving to fulfill God’s purpose. But just as Nehemiah made sure that they were ready for every attack, never removing their clothes or weapons (Nehemiah 4: 23), I will not remove my armour and stay dressed for battle, ready for every attack until the work is complete! I might be tired, but the Lord is my strength! (Nehemiah 8: 10) I will not allow the enemy to steal my dream again!
If your’e feeling tired of fighting today, laying beaten down, broken and bruised by the enemy. Remember, for every wound, God is your healer; for everything you’ve lost, God is your provider! The enemy might have knocked you down, but he certainly has not killed you! You simply cannot give up, you cannot give in. Get up, dust yourself off, draw your weapons and continue the fight! Stay determined, you’re stronger than you think!