What is your story?
We all have a story that changes the course of our lives. (If you don’t yet, you will.) We probably have more that one. For me, my biggest paradigm shift came in 2000 with a painful divorce.
I never wanted to be a single parent. That decision was a necessity. I had 3 small children and I was terrified. I had no idea how I would take care of them alone. My teaching license was from another state. I went for prayer and counsel to a couple at my church. The church man said to me,” Look at you. No one will ever hire you. You will lose your house. You will lose your children. How will you support them? Don’t expect to come to the church asking for money!” Asking for money had never crossed my mind. The church man gave voice to my deepest fears. I went home and spent a good deal of time curled up, in tears, exploring my options. I had to do the right thing.
As the years went by the girls and I struggled. I won’t lie. It was hard. Opportunities came and we took them. We succeeded. We failed. Sometimes we failed spectacularly. My goal was to get them through school so they could make their own way. To teach them to make good choices. To love them. I didn’t do it alone. I had amazing people who held me up, who held them up. And whenever I would think of that church man’s words, I dug in my heels and pushed harder.
This photo was taken the year we all graduated from our course of study. my oldest two graduated the same day from MTSU with their bachelors. My youngest daughter graduated from high school. I earned my EdD. from TSU. My girls have all gone on to be healthy productive adults. One is working and pursuing her MBA. My middle daughter is an oncology nurse and is raising two awesome kids. My youngest runs her own business after graduating from MTSU in fashion design. They are good people. Strong. Kind. Capable. All married to wonderful men.
I post this picture-why? To brag? No. We are not special. We are no smarter or better than anyone else. God saw us through. That same God will see you through whatever journey you are on. It might not be a divorce—perhaps you might face a health challenge, a job change, a mental illness, a death of a loved one or a financial setback. Everyone has a different story. Your story may be very different than you planned, but it can be richer than you imagined. Even mental illness can be a rich, productive part of your story.
And if someone, even a well-respected man from your church, tells you it can’t be done, that you will fail, just smile. With God all things are possible.