By Jaime Vernon
All entrepreneurs who stand on a mountain of success can also share about the even larger valleys of failures where they nearly threw in the towel or lost it all.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a physician, housewife, husband, cashier, mechanic, or a CEO…you can relate. Life is tough. We accept unfathomable challenges to help others with the best of intentions; yet often fall short of the goal. We seek to create jobs, heal the sick, raise loving, respectful children, serve others sacrificially, or fix a single mom’s car so she can get to work.
I spend a lot of time in the valley running my charity: Songs for Sound. Songs for Sound began with a mission to RESTORE SOUND & HOPE to 360 MILLION people worldwide suffering from a disabling hearing loss through MUSIC. Honorable right? Absolutely. Seeing someone hear for the first time is both a personal and professional goal. My daughter is deaf and her cochlear implant surgery at 18 months of age has now turned into a 7-year-old little girl at CPA with perfect speech, an amazing student, incredible athlete and a TYPICAL little girl … who LOVES & HEARS music.
However, the BEAUTY of giving the first sound to a deaf child in a tiny village in Jamaica didn’t come without pain, hardships and an occasional, exasperating: “I GIVE UP.”
In our 1st and 2nd year, things went so well. We raised a great amount of donations, were releasing large grants and hosting incredible AWARENESS events for programs across the country. Then, year three hit. The “rough patch.” The economy tanked and I had some business relationships that were just tough. All I wanted to do was help the deaf receive their hearing miracle.
WHY GOD, WHY would you call me to this, and then leave me?
What would I do? Would I give up? Would I rely on God’s strength and have FAITH to endure both His good times, but also those times where He was HONING me? God doesn’t CAUSE these tough times. He is GOD. He is LOVE. He is HOPE. He is JOY. However, deep down, we KNOW we need to be developed and taken from places of pain, strife and resentment. We need to be healed from the hurts of our past or handle a business deal better than we did before. We know we need to stay focused on LOVE and when our love wheels are imbalanced, God permits a time in our life that will REALIGN our hearts, minds and eyes to remain focused on HIM.
So when the tough times in life hit, what do we do?
SEEK LOVE FIRST.
• Is your heart focused on the well being of your team?
• Are you focused on the department meetings or a healing for the child?
• Are you worried about the bottom line or have you sat the employee down and asked if there’s anything you can do to get them through this rough month and get their numbers back up?
• Have you asked your child if anything is going on at school or are you focused on that F on their progress report?
• Last, but not least, HAVE YOU PRAYED FOR THEM?
1. Start your day in God’s Word.
3. Be open and honest; ask for HELP from family, team members, co-workers.
4. Approach every problem prudently. Think of OTHERS first and be SERVANT-MINDED.
I STAYED THE COURSE. Songs for Sound is THRIVING. We are preparing to launch a massive tour with a mobile health vehicle to serve communities. As Joyce Meyer puts it, however, “new level, new devil.” PREPARE YOURSELF.
BECAUSE OF MY TRIALS, I can say, with confidence:
• My will is stronger.
• My understanding of the model is better, my business practices, time management and communications styles have developed immensely.
• I AM BETTER. I LOVE BETTER.
1. READ Galatians 5:1-12
What is GRACE?
It is God’s UNMERITED FAVOR: God loving us just because He loves us. Not because we “earned” it. Where am I in my understanding of God’s grace for me? Do I believe it? Do I receive it?
What is circumcision? (It represents the “law” that Jesus died to abolish.)
The Old Testament is full of the “blood sacrifice” for sins. God realized the “law” and this sacrifice wasn’t working, which is the entire point of why He sent His son to die for us. He knew we needed more. We needed to live by LOVE. In Galatians, ‘circumcision’ represents the LAW.
Am I running a good race? What is keeping me from running a good race, serving and loving others? Do I understand the difference between normal “tough days” and when God is trying to steer me away from something?
2. READ Galatians 5:13-26
When life gets imbalanced, move toward a loving, compassionate heart for God and for others; transformation and total reliance will follow. You won’t want to seek any other form of wisdom.
About Songs for Sound
Songs for Sound is a non-profit organization, inaugurated by Kevin and Jaime Vernon, parents of toddler and cochlear implant recipient, “Lexi” Alexis Vernon.
The focus of the organization is to promote Cochlear Implant Awareness. We will find the children who are not being given this miracle and help them seek a mainstream life! We also financially support cochlear implant programs, pediatric patients and their families, tell the world about cochlear implants, how cochlear implants work, how bilateral implantation has changed our lives, and how cochlear implants can change the lives of thousands of deaf individuals. Visit www.songsforsound.com to learn more.