By AYANNA CLARKE
I guess this is a re-introduction of sorts.
You've gotten to know me as Ayanna with the voice note series, or Ayanna who sings. Let me introduce you to the hardest working Ayanna of them all - the recording artist. She has fought long and hard to add this title to her name. Tons of tears shed and many dollars spent have brought me to "So Incredible!" On September 28, I will take to the stage and share music from my first album. Was the journey hard and daunting? Heavens yes!
But throughout the process I was reminded of a 2009 song that blew up the international charts. Its chorus: "Ain't about how fast I get there; ain't about what's waiting on the other side...It's the climb!"
"The Climb" is all about appreciating what happens before before you reach the finish line.
We often set goals for ourselves, and sometimes give up because of the great sacrifice it takes before we bask in the glow of achievement, but James 1:12 encourages "anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate...for such persons .... the reward is life and more life."
Achieving any goal is painstaking. You have to have the tenacity to create windows when doors were shut in your face; to build yourself, despite others tearing you down; to find encouragement or encourage yourself in a maelstrom of enmity.
But somehow it is all worth it when you achieve the long-awaited goal. Now I'm at the threshold of "Incredible"!
We've all journeyed to our own incredible - achieving what seemed impossible, and changing for the better in the process. I'm stronger, wiser, more discerning and so much more confident than at the start.
I've watched obstacles change to opportunities; and stumbling blocks - either removed or become stepping stones.
If I told you that this was my first foray into gospel music, I would be misleading you. I have written and recorded with several artists; and been offered opportunities to get my voice heard. Imagine the discontentment of helping others reach their goal and never achieving my own. I was often asked, "Ayanna, what is holding you up? What are you waiting for?" I'm finally able to answer: Nothing happens before its time!
Galatians 4 tells us that humanity for a long time was imprisoned by immature precepts but when the fullness of time came, Christ came to redeem us. As you gain knowledge and understanding, you too will achieve your goal - in the fullness of time.
I believe that I am living out a season that I have been preparing for my entire life. Each tragedy and triumph shaped me into the person who will take the stage, sing my own songs, and enjoy it with friends and supporters alike. Often times life has a way of slowing us down or even stopping us, for a time, in order to teach wisdom, temperance, patience or a skill that we'll need further down the road.
On my journey to "Incredible", I faced circumstances that were less than ideal, but instead of sitting back and complaining, I became an author of two books, an entrepreneur, a producer and songwriter; I preached, sang and worshipped my way into my fullness of time.
Each battle supplied great faith, inner strength and reminded me that although my goal was delayed, it was not denied. Anything worth achieving takes work and the wait gets frustrating. But let me encourage you - never doubt you deserve God's best.
Progressing through each life lesson, and each life experience or task, will make you more resolute to complete your journey. You will move closer your own fullness of time.
God bless you this week!