Thursday, November 15, 2012

She said...

Her words to me this morning were...

"I just looked you up on the computer- I found you- I just called you.
I read about you- everything I read- I knew I should call and talk to you.
You understood grief- you were a christian- you were a pastor's wife- you had experience in other people's grief.

You don't realize how qualified you are- but I know!!!"

She was right... I don't know.  Sometimes I wonder at the fact that somehow, something I said, or more specifically asked, stirred something in someone else that made a difference.  It is a wonder!  I love it!  

But do I feel qualified!  No!  Sure I went to school. I've got a bachelor's degree, as well as,  certification for Coaching in life, relationship and master coaching.  I coach coaches in a master class.  I hold groups and coach individuals and even work with businesses for team building and leadership training. I must know something, right. Maybe! But it could just mean I'm busy.

But it's not really the degree or certifications or all the 'busyness of business' that makes me qualified in the eyes of most of my clients.  

I'm qualified, because I've been there!  Her words to me 'you understood grief' and 'you had experience in other people's grief."  We're not just talking about having lost a daughter or having helped others who have lost a loved one.  That catches the attention of many people, but it's more than that.

It's having had a dream- and having to let it go.
It's having a title and walking away from it- even when I didn't know what I was walking too.
It's having a job- then not having one.
It's being secure financially- then not!
It's almost losing a family- then working really hard to get it back- only to have it ripped apart again by loss.
It's building an intimate relationship with the Lord, but then wondering if He would let all these 'bad things happen to good people' if he were truly God- and realizing that if I could explain all this, then He wouldn't be God,  and choosing to trust Him with the 'mystery' called life.
and having to start all over in all of it - again.

They don't even have to know my story to know I get it!  Sometimes I wish I didn't!  Couldn't life be easier, Lord!  But most of the time, I'm learning to be grateful.
Grateful that if I have to struggle so to overcome some ache in my heart- someone might benefit from my journey.

Grateful that I can empathize with people on so many levels that, in the past, I often just offered that platitudes that sounded as 'christianeze' as possible.  But we know when someone doesn't really know.  I know!  You know!   You just know!

Grateful that each area of struggle is another opportunity for me to see God at work- in ways I never have imagined.  It's an opportunity to see HOPE- green hope- life giving hope!
It really doesn't matter what the issue is- we all have issues.  We all experience loss at some point in our lives.  We all have times when it feels like we are spinning out of control in a whirlpool that is sucking the breath out of us and crushing us under the waves that continue to roll over us.

I guess that makes me qualified!  And yet it's more than that! Because it's not the issues or loss that become the defining moment in our lives. We all have that!  It's HOW WE RESPOND to them that makes all the difference.  

If my friend from the beginning of this post had read story after story- post after post of 'woe is me, i've suffered all these things...' would she have even wanted to talk to me.  I know I wouldn't.  I'm not qualified because I've known pain.  I'm qualified because I've chosen to look for  hope at the end - and often in the middle of every struggle I've ever had.  Now by no means does that mean I always respond right.  Don't ask my husband how I was this weekend.  I'm ashamed to say that after coaching several clients last week to live gratefully and with hope- I wallowed in the sea of forgetfulness and had a pity-party deluxe that zapped all my strength from me.  It happens to all of us from time to time.  

But the Lord- and Rennie- wouldn't let me stay there!  And one by one, I was reminded of how God had met a need, or a dream or just a whisper.  My eyes were open to how God was providing now and what moments of hope looked like- right now!  

This week in my mailbox God provided. One day it was a journal that a sweet friend found at Target and thought of me.  They cover said Live in HOPE! and it had a beautiful green tree on it.  It's just like the one Cait bought for the HOPE CABIN.  But my friend didn't know that.  A reminder to LIVE ---IN --- HOPE!!!

Another was a letter addressed to Rennie.  No postmark, no return address.  Just a card that said Blessings with $200 cash in it.  Lord!!!!!  thank you for the friend who shared!

It was a friend who sent an idea for cupcakes
or the one who called out of the blue just to talk
or the one who said, 'don't quit now!'

It was the client who said, I'm so grateful for you.
Or the note that said why.
or the husband who pursued me when I wanted to crawl under the covers and not come out.

I know, it sounds like I'm depressed!  I was!  Not sure of all the whys! Life isn't terrible- in fact, it's pretty good.   It could be health, or big events in our life, or daughter's growing up or... maybe just forgetting how I long to respond to all of life's issues- with gratitude and hope!  And I can-- not because I'm so good, but because God is so great!

My friend is right!  I am qualified- to share my life as it happens with others who long to share theirs.  How about you?  

Thanks friend for the reminder! 

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