Defining Moments


  • Elle Jay

Updated: Apr 2


noun /mōˈmen(t)əm,məˈmen(t)əm/

: a property of a moving body that the body has by virtue of its mass and motion and that is equal to the product of the body’s mass and velocity

: a property of a moving body that determines the length of time required to bring it to rest when under the action of a constant force or moment

: strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary (on-line)

Ch. Ch. Ch. Vroom… Vroom. Vroom.
Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Vrooooooooooooom.
Ch. Vrooom…
Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch… nothing.

It did not start. No vroom.

These sounds are associated with attempts to start my beloved vehicle as it shows every sign that it is about to break down. The car I affectionately refer to as Black Beauty has an inconsistent and sporadic nature, which is mind-boggling, stressful, yet jarring as if I were playing a game of roulette. Every time I turn the key in my car’s ignition switch, I sit waiting in hopes that when the ball (the ch. ch. ch. sound that comes after turning the key in my car’s ignition switch) loses momentum, the croupier (my car’s engine) shouts, “vroom!” signifying that I can make it to my next destination where I eventually will have to place another bet.

This routine gamble of waiting for Black Beauty to successfully receive a signal to start its engine is both alarming and comforting. Alarming because I know, ultimately, I will have to find more money in my budget for its repair or to purchase a new vehicle. But it is also comforting because the times I expect my means of transportation to fail me, it surprisingly cranks up giving me momentum to get to my next destination of uncertainty.

Until this one moment…

It did not start.

No vroom.

And conveniently and ever so subtly depression finds its way back in my life as if it were saying, “do not forget I am here.” And with a tearful, perplexed response, I say, “Wait. What? How did I get back here again?” As my car showed signs of breaking down, I, too, was breaking down while inconsistently and sporadically discovering a spark to keep pushing myself forward until that moment… a moment where no internal spark, inner strength, nor intuitive motivation or faith could do its job to pick me up and transport me to my next destination…

Finding momentum to push forward in the midst of challenging circumstances (i.e. that insurmountable amount of debt, that failed or hard marriage, that untimely death, that terrible job, that wretched heartbreak, that recurring depression, that anxious thought, too many to-do's, etc.) is tricky yet empowering for its occurrence can easily become revolutionary when put in proper perspective and intentionally managed. Gaining momentum is uncomfortable and involves a shift in how we shape and internalize the meaning of unfortunate and uncertain circumstances. Challenges can be used as tricks of the enemy and make it easy for us to wallow in it and feel shameful, hurt, and discouraged due to life dealing us what is perceived as a bad hand again. However, it can be empowering once utilized as fuel to revolutionize our lives and propel us toward destiny.

We can acquire strength and momentum in hard times by living life in a push-pull kind of way – consistently pushing ourselves forward towards destiny (even when failure tells us we cannot do it anymore) while pulling ourselves out of our comfort zones lending support to Godly inspired progression. Gaining or regaining momentum to push forward regardless of our circumstances requires strategy – a strategy defined and re-defined over time as life presents more of its resourceful and timely lessons.

So, I have come up with a strategy – a strategy recently incepted to overcome the luring tendencies of someone like myself who lives with clinical depression. It is a strategy that I deliberately and with increasing delight choose to test out in faith knowing that God emboldens me to get back up. God honestly frustrates me and seriously makes me contemplate giving up on Him, which leads to giving up on myself, but I am still deliberately choosing to live life His way despite being sick and tired of falling down.

"The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, and He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him.” – Psalm 37: 23-24 AMP

Here’s my strategy. Feel free to take from it what you need and create your own strategy.

Call for help. Remember, my car did not start. No vroom. What did I do next? As tears profusely rolled down my face, I immediately called for someone to come help me with my car issues. Equally, I had this urge that I needed to do the same for me. “As uncomfortable as this is, this is a call for help.” This is a snippet of a text message sent to a group of my friends who I knew could intercede in prayer on my behalf. I realized I had no more faith left in me to pray for strength to endure the pains of living with depression. This is an example of when it is absolutely necessary to put our pride and emotions aside and call for help at the onset of a challenging circumstance. These ladies drove to my home instantly, encouraged me, made me laugh, fed me, and, most importantly, they prayed with and for me. With persistent encouragement from them and others, I also sought professional help reaching out to my therapist with embarrassment and shame requesting her services again.

Make a decision. I have made a decision that I am not going to allow depression to kill me. If I want to regain momentum in my life, I must declare I WILL LIVE AND NOT DIE! Yes, it is not and will not be easy; conquering death and truly living at our full potential is a daily struggle. However, His word says, I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord [Psalms 118:17 KJV]. And I have made a decision to not only believe it but also declare it with my words and actions. Will you join me in making a decision like this one?

Accept vulnerability. I hate vulnerability. Let me type this statement again for greater emphasis: I HATE VULNERABILITY! Its hatred is rooted in the strong black woman complex embedded in me as a child. It is a byproduct of one of my repeated and favorite responses, “thugs don’t cry!” Well, gosh darn it, thugs do cry and SHOULD CRY! I am working on accepting the fact that being vulnerability is not weakness; it is strength, empowerment, and promotes authenticity and deeper connection with myself and others. Furthermore, it allows God to step in and push us towards His outcome (our life purpose). Likewise, as vulnerability researcher and storyteller, Dr. Brené Brown, stated:

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it is having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness, it is our most accurate measure of courage.”

Eliminate the weight of perfection. If I had it my way, life would resemble a ride in a vehicle that drives without a driver and has the ability to turn into a piloted airplane. I would sit comfortably in one of the passenger seats enjoying the views of my manifested dreams and visions. When struggles and challenges show up in the form of traffic or bad weather or breakdowns on the side of the road, I would simply press a button that either transforms my car into an airplane, places a shield around my airplane, or instantaneously fixes my vehicle so I can arrive to my destiny in my timing with the least bit of restraint. Ladies and gentlemen, that is deadly perfection. And as someone who is a living, breathing perfectionist, perfectionism is a weight us who relish in it can no longer carry and must eliminate. It is unrealistic, wasteful, and prevents God from equipping us with the capacity to remain in destiny upon His perfect timing for our arrival. And guess what? His equipping process usually comes in the form of struggle, challenge, and vulnerability so why not let it go and embrace the is in what it is.

Lastly, my strategy to regain momentum includes being teachable, moldable, and taking it easy on myself. It is easier said or written than done but we are humans. A part of destiny is human error, disappointment, feelings of losing at life, wanting to give up, maybe even wanting to die and so much more. But as my pastor/“Pops” preached on the story of Peter found in the book of Luke, I find solace in saying as Peter once did, “nevertheless,” I will continue to be obedient to God despite its difficulty. I will allow Him and others He sends my way to teach me life lessons and mold me into everything He has called me to be. While remembering, yes, life is serious but it really is not that serious. I cannot allow my faux perfect ways and views to mislead me to believe life should not be challenging and stressful or depressing. I have to take it easy on me because for real, for real, I am fearfully and wonderfully made [Psalm 139: 14a NIV] and there is so much good in me and my life that far outweighs the bad. And this goes for you, too.

We cannot allow the enemy to break us down and have us thinking there is nothing else we can do to the extent that we lose hope. It is a lie, a trick of the enemy indeed. Simply place the key to life’s journey (God) obediently back into our ignition switch (our minds) while turning the key away from our wicked thoughts and perspectives, and wait on God to give us a big, loud “Vroom!”

Our “vroom” is destined to manifest itself time and time again because God is God. Take it easy, do not give up and do it again. The outcome might jar you just like it did when I literally placed my key back in Black Beauty’s ignition switch, the same day it broke down on me, and heard it go: Ch. Ch. Ch. Vroom… Vroom. Vroom! Thank you, Jesus… I will make it not just to my next destination but also to my destiny!

What’s your strategy for gaining momentum in your life? Comment below or send an e-mail to It is healthy to dialogue with others who may or may not share your same struggles so I am here if you need someone to talk to.


                        © 2020 by elle jay leads*.