Journey Mercies . . .
Have you ever prayed for someone who was going on a long trip? Maybe one that would take them to a place they have never been or one that could put them in harms way? Did you ever ask the Lord for journey mercies on their behalf? Sixteen years ago I divorced. After 23 years of marriage and four kids, I found myself alone. As traumatic as that was, the thought of being on my own was even more overwhelming. Would I be able to afford to stay in my home, pay my bills and move forward in my life? Was I strong enough to face the future head on? Who would ask for journey mercies on my behalf? I felt frozen.
Some of you know that feeling. No matter what situation you’re in, it starts in the pit of your stomach, creates a feeling of hopelessness and speaks loudly to your inner self . . “You’re never going to be able to do this.” It was the most devastating time in my life!
I had been working for O’Connor Mortuary nearly three years at that time, and when Joe O’Connor, the CEO, saw me struggling, he became the first of many who offered their wisdom. Like a child, I found myself eagerly paying attention, so I wouldn’t miss a thing.
I listened closely as he made suggestions and offered solutions. One turned out to be a most valuable asset. Sylvia Szabo-Larson, a friend of Joe’s and a fellow Rotarian. Meeting Sylvia was the first of many positive changes that I would make.
My initial appointment with Sylvia was certainly not what I expected. We talked about my fears of being single and that of being overwhelmed financially. Not only did she understand me, but had experienced some of those same fears. For the first time in a long time, I felt a sense of peace inside. This new someone was going to show me how to take care of myself. You would think, after 50 years of living, I could figure it out on my own. I was wrong! I had made some terrible decisions in my life, both personal and financial. Now they were all on the table. The journey had begun.
We began talking about my future. Really? Did I have a future at this late date? I couldn’t think past that moment, much less 20 years down the road. Her words cut to my core . . . “to build you will need to sacrifice.” How can I sacrifice when I don’t have anything left to give? Her reply, “you do, and you will.”
This was the first of many meetings, but each time we met, I realized that I was making positive changes and moving in the right direction. I listened and I responded. I realized that for me, sacrificing meant saying yes to hard work when all I wanted to do was say no! I trusted her expertise, achieved my goals, and have begun setting new ones. In the beginning of this journey, I was overcome with fear, but I learned that if I persevered I would succeed, and I did!
Here are four things I have found to be true, as I have moved through the past 16 years.
• It’s never too late to begin again! When we’re at our lowest the only way out is up! It’s ok to fail. It means you are trying, so pull yourself together and start again!
• Find quality people you trust. We all have access to people in our lives that we admire for their character, wisdom, or their ability to rise above adversity. Seek their advice, or use them as someone you are accountable to.
• Sacrifice. It’s better than the alternative. Becoming empowered financially was the first objective. It meant that down the road the proverbial “nest egg” would be waiting. Know in your heart that you can accomplish anything. You can!
• Keep Moving Forward. Be courageous and fearless. There will always be challenges, but they will strengthen your resolve to succeed. Hold fast to your commitments. Here’s a great link for women in transition or any of us looking for encouragement, education, and self empowerment: www.womansage.org/. They are dedicated to providing opportunities, experience and education though diverse programs that enhance and empower all women – their families, careers and communities.
None of this happened overnight. It took a long time for me to overcome the fear of failure, past, present and future. It was one step at a time, one decision at a time. My blog entries will be about the Journey Mercies I’ve received in my life whether they be joyful moments of success, difficult lessons, or simply the hugs from my grandchildren when I need them most.
Here are some questions for you:
Have you ever had to start over?
What was your greatest challenge and who did you turn to?
What was your greatest success? I’d love to hear your story!