Commitment

View from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory towards Belham Valley. (Photo by Nerissa Golden)

In 2008, the morning of my birthday I woke up feeling arms around me and the voice of my true lover whispering one word “commitment.”

I didn’t want to open my eyes. It felt great. I felt loved, I felt joy and I felt totally at peace. But life was calling. There were no arms around me and my gang was already wide awake and calling for me. Birthday or not the children needed breakfast and laundry needed to be done. It was Saturday. Not a day to laze in bed but to get ready for the week ahead.

Hearing that word got me excited because I was hoping it meant that before too long I would have that feeling in the natural, waking up with the arms of my husband around me, just feeling happy and loved.

But with God, it is always much more than the natural.

Its been two years plus since I heard that word and commitment remains a struggle for me. Not just in relationships but in every area of my life.

I can’t blame this only on moving during my marriage every six to 18 months but on a lifetime of movement as a preacher’s kid.

The name Truly Caribbean Woman is not just for style but because there are at least seven islands in the region that I have called home in my short life. Some of them more than once. I am most comfortable living out of a suitcase and it has been a struggle for me to change that pattern. My heart has always ached for home and I wanted to do that for my children, now that life had dealt us a different hand.

Even now that we are living in my island of birth Montserrat, I found by the end of the first nine months that I wanted to pack and leave. Nothing was wrong with home. I loved my job, loved the people and all of the opportunities that were coming together for me but I just had this urge to move. I fought it. To the point I never did send in those applications for other attractive posts abroad. I stopped researching houses and schools for the children and instead focused on doing more where I was. Of course, I seconded guessed myself and declared it was probably fear that kept me from applying but I realized I wanted more than anything to be committed to where I was and to putting down some roots.

I remember living in the UK more than nine years before and envying a friend because she was excited about finding a replacement dish for a wedding set that had been broken. I thought to myself, I don’t even have china that can be chipped. I had nothing that connected me with all my travels that I could put my hand on.

Returning after my second stint in the UK in 2005, I was distraught when I never received my suitcase which was packed with years and years of photographs, magazines, journals and other mementos I’d wanted to start my new life with. They were gone and never to be returned or replaced. It seemed like life was not going to make it easy for me to put down roots and get committed. Over and over it seemed as if my history was being replaced and all life was, was a series of start overs.

Commitment. Its not a location, its not a moment when it all just comes together and feels right. Its a process, a daily decision to just be committed. I’ve spoken of this many times before so maybe its sad that I am writing of this  struggle again. I look at the many things I begun and never stuck with. I want to chalk it up to the folly of youth but I know it has been my lack of commitment to follow through to finish what I started.

I write about this in The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur because it was one of the major barriers that I had to overcome to complete the book. I didn’t think I could do it after so many attempts at writing over the years.

Can I share the wisdom that the Lord has used to help me with this challenge?

Little steps. Small increments. I’d been writing the book long before I knew I was. The book is a combination of presentations, journal entries, lessons learned from business failures and successes. When I listed what I wanted to put in the book, I realized that most of the content already existed in various forms and files on my computer.

It doesn’t mean I no longer struggle. In fact, I do every day. I see choices that I have made simply to avoid making a commitment. I see business ventures I passed over because I didn’t believe I had the ability to stick with it to the end. In my personal life I see choices that I have made simply to avoid commitment.

When I think of what I want to leave for my children, I know that I want them to see the results of their commitment. My desire is to see them reap the rewards of working hard in school, honing their talents or just how they consistently keep their room clean (tall order…maybe). They don’t get it by accident. It comes from seeing me practice that level of commitment and providing the encouragement for them to do the same.

This is my declaration to this struggle. I have the spirit of a finisher. Just as God has promised that as He began the work in me, He will complete it, so will I complete the dreams and visions set before me.

Be blessed.

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