Taking a trip always brings about new revelations and new opportunities. My arrival in Fort Lauderdale was no different. I was presented right away with an opportunity to minister to a woman. In my last blog, I spoke about missed opportunities. Times I’d passed up a chance to show love because I was distracted or too busy. My flight had arrived late that evening, and it took a while to get my bags. I was rushed because my Airbnb owner was waiting to give me the keys.
I went to get my rental car, and the lady working the counter noticed my Graduate College of Social Work shirt. I’d worn the shirt for a field trip earlier in the day and had planned to take it off… but I hadn’t.. She talked about how her son graduated with a social science degree and couldn’t find a job. She spoke of another girl that graduated with an environmental health degree who is now teaching. We chatted a bit about the difficult job market. Then she began to share how she’d once gone to nursing school and found out it wasn’t for her. She didn’t finish, but had accumulated some debt in the process. She wanted to go back to school, but felt that at her age of almost 60 she was too old.
I really needed to be on my way, but my spirit told me to slow down. So we talked, and we talked, and we talked. As the lined backed up, we continued to talk. I asked her about her passions. I asked her what she would do if money and time were no option. She shared that she’d been a teen mom and had lost sight of her dreams years ago. Then she began to share about her love of cooking, and her skill in sewing – a skill she’d picked up from her grandmother. She showed me a picture of beautiful prom dress she’d sewn for a girl a couple of years ago. Just as soon as she’d gotten the picture out, she began to come up with excuses as to why a career in sewing wouldn’t work – her eyes aren’t what they used to be. People may not like what she has to sew. I asked her about cooking, and she brushed that off, saying that she was no chef. She had a thousand excuses as to why she would have to settle right where she was.
I encouraged her to go back to the place where she had a dream. Go back to the time where there were no kids, no responsibility – time and money were no object. What would that girl do? I told her she was not too old, and sometimes you have to take chances. I asked her what she felt God was calling her to do. We finished off our conversation, and I went on my way (upgraded from economy to mid-size).
I began to thank God for the opportunity to minister to others and spread his love and encouragement. I couldn’t believe that He had done it again. As I drove off, I realized something important.
I wasn’t ministering to her. She was ministering to me.
God needed me to see the end result of not following your dreams and your passion. He needed me to see what happens when we allow fear, insecurities and excuses to paralyze us. He wanted me to remember to listen to His voice, even when He is asking me to do things that I’m not sure I was capable of.
I recall the woman saying, “I’m just not strong enough.” Oh how many days have I felt that way? Telling myself that the task is too big. I’m too old. The wheel shouldn’t be reinvented. Why waste so much time and money on school only to go do something else?
The voice of the enemy was distracting me and telling me lies, and God needed me to know right then and there that He will equip me with everything I need to do anything He is asking me to do.
And He needs you to know that too.
He needs you to know that the still small voice you are hearing is Him. He needs you to go forward even if you can’t understand. He needs you to jump even when the wall is too high, or the hole is too deep, or you can’t see your landing point. God is so faithful to fulfill every promise that He has given us, but we have to be willing to do what He asks – even if we have to do it afraid.
I arrived to my Airbnb. It was even better than it looked in the pictures. Right as you walk in, there is a picture of the world. God’s gentle reminder that the desires of my heart are within reach, but I have to let go to grab on to them.