Do you believe that God has people He wants you to meet? Do you believe that God brings people into your life for a reason? Do you believe that God orchestrates your day and allows things to align as He wants them to? Do you believe He is in both the good and the bad? Do you believe He works all things for your good? Even if it is bad? Or do you believe it is just the good that God is in? Do you believe that these people are used to help you learn lessons about God, yourself and others? Do you believe the journey brings you ways to teach you how to love? Do you believe this is all apart of your journey that nobody else gets to live?
The journey is uniquely yours. Pretty incredible, huh? Yah, when you understand that it is, it actually will empower you!
I must be honest. I have and haven't believed this. I have believed God is good, but not in everything. How could He be good in everything when I have faced so many horrific things in life? When day after day seems a downright battle. I have believed He orchestrated the sun, the earth, the moon, the stars, created Adam and Eve, created the law of gravity, etc, but I have not believed to the level of who God is. I have been learning the last year to believe in Him, as I should have been all along! He is God! When you tune into that feeling and knowing that He is God, He is in Control, and your frequency is set to learning to listen to Him, follow His leading...you will find that God will amaze you.
Dr. Saade and I had lunch yesterday. In some ways we had casual conversation that went various places and in other ways deep conversation that could have lasted all day. We discussed business, the industry we our in, decisions we have made relating to that, our personal lives, our purpose and goals in life, our relationship with God, family, church, our strengths from a Strength Finders assessment that we both have done, books we are reading, current things we are struggling with, and shared prayer requests. I won't share all that I learned about him or that I shared about me, but I will tell you that I walked away knowing God had us connect because He wanted it that way. He left a confirmation with me in my heart that he has a plan and that he is actively working His Plan. The purpose of this plan? For now, it is to know that there are other believers out there that wish to invest in your life and get to know you, show support for what you do, and want to encourage. Pretty cool, huh? Is that all the plan is? I doubt it, but I am not going to second guess God.
During conversation, after he learned some of my childhood and history, he said you don't seem like someone who would have faced these types of things, you seem so sweet. I had the opportunity to share with him that the only reason I am who I am today is because I have let God control my life. I would not be where I am today without God. Period. I either choose to allow the things that happened to me to have its perfect work, or I can become angry and bitter. It is my choice. He listened to what I said. I got the chance to tell him that I am not who I am because of any one thing I have done. I am who I am because of God. I could be like my brother, a drug addict, bipolar and on lots of medications. Or my sister who is angry at anyone, everyone, and everything associated with her "previous life". It is hard to explain to someone in a few words and sentences all you faced in 20 years of your childhood and seriously how you know you are not the child you were and yet some days you feel like you are.
He asked if I blog. I asked him personally or business? He said either. I said I do both. He said really? And then asked how often. I shared what I attempt to do each week, 3-4 posts on my personal blog and then 2-3 times a week on the business blog. He was surprised that I did both. I shared that my goal is to share nuggets, stories, quotes, information, pictures, life. It was at this point that I decided I would share with him that I blogged about his speech last Saturday and why it was good for me to hear it. I shared my takeaways and the nuggets of reminders that were important for me and the things I got out of his speech...The first nugget was the reminder that you have to be patient. I get frustrated many times with the slow progress. The second nugget was his statement that there is a difference between leaders and leading was profound. He asked me to define what I meant by that statement. I was puzzled. I said, "You are the one who made that statement on Saturday". He said, "I did? But what does it mean to you?" I replied, "I took it to mean that leading means you are directing, pulling people along, trying to draw them out, foremost purpose to guide. Leaders mean you are creating movement to get people to have ethics principals and purpose; to stand firm and encouraging them to be strong, to take courage and be dedicated." The third thing was that I want to remember that I do what I love and that it will impact lives. I can't loose focus or heart at expecting excellence and results, even when it seems all odds are against me. These were my three main nuggets. Did a part of me wonder what he would think when I said all that? Yes, of course. I have feelings just like you do of fear of how you will be received, even if I try to hide them or don't show them like some people do, they are still there. I am no different then you. I want to be liked just as much as you do. I want someone to appreciate me for who I am just as much as you do. But just like I tell others to have courage and be themselves, I have to live out my life and be me. That is exactly what the blog post was about, how I processed what I learned from the day and how I want it to impact my life. He said I made his day. Did I expect this comment? No, absolutely not. What did me sharing what I wrote about do for him? It made an impact directly back to him that what he did matters, that his speech was needed and important. Isn't that what relationships are all about? Sharpening and encouraging one another on this "courageous journey"?
We discussed God and how he is apart of our lives now and what we are learning. He shared his upbringing in relationship to this and where he is now with it. His greatest fear is that he wants God to be his not because of who he was taught he was, but because he believes it. I felt that this was an incredible desire, that each of us should have. He was open and didn't feel he couldn't tell me, a new connection, what God meant to him and what he wanted God to mean to him. It made me reflect on how easily over my life I have held back and don't share my faith with people, even people I don't know.
At the end, he asked what he could do for me and I asked him to pray that I do not get caught up in all the stress going on in my clients lives right now, that I keep my focus and remember to have patience, just as he spoke of last Saturday. I told him that I love what I do but sometimes it is difficult for it not to let these things suffocate the life out of you. Do you know what being able to share a struggle with someone you know will pray for you does to your relationship? It strengthens it. Yes, the voice in your head will tell you to keep your struggles quiet, but what benefit does that give you? None.
He then asked me for a favor, that I pray for him with regards to his belief in God as we had talked about [that could be a whole blog post in itself so you will have to forgive me for not giving the details of our complete conversation]. Because I shared a heartfelt prayer request, he was in turn able to share back. I told him I absolutely would! He asked me for one more favor, to give him feedback on his talk, things I liked and thoughts I had. How many speakers do you know that will share with you their mission and goal in life and then ask you to critique it?
You can not spend time with someone on this kind of a level and not see and feel God. It is not possible! I walked away from the time again feeling a strong feeling that God led us to meet for a reason. Exactly why, I don't know but I know that as a God who orchestrates my life according to His Plan, I am going to let Him take the lead. I pray that I may be an encouragement to him.
When I got home from our meeting, I sent him this email:
You have allowed Dr. Saade's path and mine to cross and we have connected on several levels. Please be with him and guide him in his passion to positively impact and influence others, both with patients and the community. Show him what you want him to be about in this venture, lead him to meet the people he needs to meet to interact with, help him show them you through his efforts just as I saw from his speech on Saturday. You know what he is facing in his heart and mind and how deeply he wants to come to understand you not on the terms of what he has been told you are but for his own belief. I know you understand the thoughts and intents of his heart more deeply then anyone else and only you can bridge this gap. You promise that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. I ask you to reveal yourself to Dr. Saade and give him the foundation he needs to renew his faith, diminish the strongholds that are keeping him from being confident in your love, increase his vision and hope in you because you are God and you are in control. Help me be a friend to him and encourage him on this journey. We each have our struggles and battles but it is through remembering that you are God and there is no other that we learn to give our battles to you. For we can do all things through your strength. I ask this all on behalf of my new friend, in your dear name, for you are good, Amen!