“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
As I am coming closer to the end of this educational experience I am feeling a bit anxious. Where do I go from here? I feel that this program has brought me to a new place. I’ve been working for a long time in community organizing for justice in many areas. I’ve also been working for the funding of community organizing projects. Every once in a while I get a little video glimpse in my mind showing me the pattern God has created for me.
In a way, I’ve moved backward in the progress many people have made. I know many others who have also moved in this way but it’s not talked about a lot.
After graduating High School, the other kids in my family went to college. If I had gone to college first I may have developed an academic way of looking at life and how to serve those less fortunate than me. I may have missed the opportunity to “walk in their shoes.” Instead, I moved deeper into the world of all the abuses, sexual, physical and psychological. After years of trauma, at the age of 32, my life started moving in another way. I became a consumer/client of all of the systems, welfare, low income housing, DHS, the courts, social workers and police. And I felt like a victim of the system and everyone working in the system through my lens was oppressive and out to get me. Up until this point I had no voice, in fact, we as a sea of impoverished and disenfranchised people had no voice and no power.
My life changed forever in 1994 when I was a hotel worker with a broken back and exposed to toxic chemicals that people reached out for me and saw my value that I couldn’t see in myself and I became an organizer. After 33 years of silence and suffering I had a voice that would no longer be silent and I was taking every other victim to survivor status with me. I felt powerful and positive and proactive. There was and is a formula for changing one’s life and situation and part of that is organizing. There are also other pieces that are important.
God’s path for me has been poverty and oppression> organizing>government>academic>?
I’m now to the question mark part. I’ve learn so much, what is next? I am anxiously waiting to find out. The Bible says in: Philippians 4:6-7New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
So, I guess I am saying that since I put my life in God’s hands I’ve slowly learned that “obedience is better than sacrifice.” 1Sam 15:22. I’ve learned to wait and to trust in him and when I do that my life has been an amazing journey. I have also been given many opportunities to be a witness and share my testimony to let folks know, that they too can receive these gifts of life.
So my map for right now is to complete and receive the “letters behind my name,” that Dr. Richard Twiss spoke over me in 2011 and to be prayerful and patient.
I do recognize a flurry of distractions coming my way, my injury in my knee, my father’s health scare and eventual passing, the grand children and their future.
I must say though whatever is out there for me has been prophesied by many and it will be great.
I’ll end with this from Psalms 3,
1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase:
10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Thank you so much for teaching us.
Jeri Sue Jimenez 8/15/2016
Benjamin Franklin Quote- https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/460142-if-you-fail-to-plan-you-are-planning-to-fail
Bible verses (I prefer King James Version.)
Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious about nothing
1Samuel 15:22- To obey is better than to sacrifice
Psalms 3- Lean not unto your own understanding.
I’ve done a lot of these MAPS goals as I’ve worked to increase exercise, lose weight ,study and focus on self-care. MAPS are the criteria for creating change, the acronym means: Measurable, Achievable, Positive and Specific.