Summary: Are you experiencing times in your life where you feel the bottom has dropped out? Are you ready to give up? Dr. Hughes encourages you in this teaching to never give up -- your destiny and purpose will come to pass no matter what trials come your way.

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I never will forget that day. We had all the belongings we could carry in our car. We were driving down the street trying to figure out what we were going to do. We had no where to go. We couldn’t believe it. Had we now become part of the homeless population? As my husband and I retreated to the decision that at least we can go to a hotel for the night, the car suddenly stopped. We looked at each other as our daughter sat in the back seat and asked, “What are we going to do now? Where are we going to live and how will we get there?” Our hearts melted on the spot. We had hit the bottom.

The bottom. In Webster’s it is defined as “the lowest part of something; the lowest part or place”. I had so many bottoms in my life. As I mentioned earlier, I had went through homelessness, repossession, foreclosure on a home, lay off from jobs, and so many situations where life trials knocked the wind out of me. I had often looked at my life’s situations as failures. I would often ask myself questions like:

• How did I get so low?

• Will I ever rise up again?

• Why is this always happening to me?

I often think back to the many New Year’s that we had and said that this year would be better. We entered each year with a bolder determination to rise above anything that would come our way. There would be someone saying “It is about to turn around”. However, the year would bring many challenges and again the wind would be knocked out of us. We reached the bottom again. Where was our hope when time and time again we were knocked down. We had hit rock bottom. Again.

I still had many bottoms in my life. In this teaching, I would like to share with you the principles I have learned to follow when the bottom drops out due to situation and challenges in my life. I have put these principles into practice to live “on top” even when the bottom drops out.

Principles for Living on Top

1. You have a purpose on this earth. You are not here by accident.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I don’t care if you were adopted, don’t know your parents, and was conceived in the back of a 1967 Plymouth car – there is a divine plan for your life.

I don’t think anyone is here on this earth to waste space. The issue is that many of us have gifts and talents that we never tape into.

Many say that the greatest resources on earth are in the graveyard! They never taped into their abilities or used their gifts or talents in the earth. I wonder if the cure for cancer or the greatest doctors ever got a chance to express themselves when they were here on the earth.

You are important and have gifts and talents. You are here for a reason. Ask God to show you your gifts and talents. Then start investing time to cultivate them and start looking for ways to use them.

2. Accept that life’s challenges happen to everyone.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45 (NIV)

I use to think that I was the recipient of bad luck. I use to have what I call “pity parties” where I was the only guest, with the birthday hat on and dialoguing with myself. I would rehearse the cake incident for 20 years.

Many of you are missing opportunities in life because you think life is just hammering at you only. However, take a moment to start talking to someone else and hear their life story.

I recently broke my shoulder and was crying everyday about how I couldn’t use my arm. I went into a bank one day and met a bank teller who only was born with three fingers on each hand. She had a presence and smile about her and didn’t let her limitation stop her. She counted my money and was going on with life. Here I was crying about a shoulder that could be repaired! I am not saying that just because someone else has a worse situation that you that you should feel happier about yours. I am saying that you have to see that life challenge’s happen to everyone. There will always be obstacles to overcome and limitation that try to stop you.

But don’t let it stop you. You need to get up and keep going. That’s the spirit of a fighter and not a quitter.

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