Have you been at a place in your life that feels like you are walking through the wilderness? When nothing is working out in your life? When you feel forgotten and totally lost? You may feel alone and that your vision for your life seems to be missing. I have had plenty of these experiences. Sometimes they last for months or even years and then all of a sudden, I feel like I just came into another season of life–a more hopeful season where things are looking up and life is starting to click. Maybe you finally landed that job you have been praying about for years or you finally met a special person you feel like you have always been searching for. Whatever it is, you know when you are finally out of the wilderness.
Looking back at my life, I know I felt this for many years. My life was going nowhere and my future was over before it began. At 19 years old, I had just got out of high school and realized my family was in a financial mess. We had no money for me to go to college and so I felt I had to stay home to somehow help the family get back its feet. What a wilderness experience this was for me. It lasted seven years. It was very tough for us all. At one point I was the only one with a job because my dad was not getting any offers. My brother was in his senior year of high school and so he was not able to help. This was a wilderness time. I always say we were so down that we looked up to just see the bottom of the earth! That is pretty bad! I learned so much during those years. Life was tough. It did not give any breaks. It taught me to push through and look for hope and grace.
This wilderness experience proved to be character-building which changed my life. It made me who I am today. It made such an impact on my life, I am now launching a book about my story. We did come out of this horrible time and eventually started Columbia Southern University. We are family-owned and changing lives through education. This experience taught me so much. I learned that when the going gets tough the tough get going. You can’t stand around and let life pass you by. This experience taught me to pull from within and to think positively about myself and life. I knew if I pressed on that we would come out on top and be winners.
You too can make it! Remember if you are going through a wilderness season in your life, realize first that it is just a season. Your character will be tested for the better and when you come through it you will be ready for what is ahead. Life has a funny way of getting you ready for the next season of your life. Hang in there and let this season take its course to the end. Better things lie ahead for you!