The First People To Hear My Grandmother
Mimi’s Eulogy Were A Group Of Little Kids.
The day I received that phone call that she had passed away was a Sunday morning, and I was scheduled to teach the children’s class at church. The story I was to teach them about David and Goliath. The focus word for the kids was courage. I was an emotional mess. Everything that morning reminded me of my Mimi—especially this particular story and word. But I would not quit. I would go tell the story of David and Goliath and my Mimi.
As I stood before the kids, I didn’t have to embellish the story to hold their attention. The story of how a shepherd boy defeated a nine-foot giant armed only with a little slingshot, some common river rocks, and an enormous belief in his God is still riveting to me.
When I finished, I promised these children God would never ask them to fight a nine-foot giant with a slingshot! I did promise them, however, that at some time in their life—and probably more than once—that He would ask them to do something that was very difficult, very scary, and could only be accomplished with an enormous belief in their Creator, and all the courage they could muster. Every adult in the room nodded their agreement.
I then told them about my little grandmother and the giant she had to fight. It wasn’t a nine-foot-tall Philistine. It was prejudice and racism in the Deep South during the early 1940s and 50s before there was a civil rights movement. She fought this injustice courageously because it was simply wrong to treat any person with cruelty. She spoke up when it would have been safer to be quiet. She battled this giant because she believed her God asked her to. And now, I do the same. It is my purpose.
Our purpose is in our DNA and it is often in our histories and the generations that have come before us! Sometimes we must look back in the past before we can journey to our future.
There is deposited within us a desire within us to matter—it is part of our identity and destiny! That desire is for us to be water-walkers, giant-slayers, and history-makers. If you don’t have a family tree that includes a grandmother like mine, your destiny may be to be the very first water-walker, giant-slayer, and history-maker in your family! Take courage! Your children and grandchildren will thank you.
You being you matters. It matters to this generation and the one to come!
How high will be the ceiling you leave for the next generation? Ignore the “what ifs” and the “how will I ever” taunts of the giant. You will be provided with all the slingshots and rocks you will ever need. Let your passion compel you into action!
Let your life be the breadcrumbs others will follow to their unique destinies!
“Finding your passion isn’t about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The only one You’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.”– Kristin Hannah
On the first day of a spiritual gifts class I attended at my church, we were asked by the instructor: “What are you passionate about?”
Passion? My passion? Me? Hmmmmmmm … The question loomed. I didn’t have an answer. My anxiety mounted as the group began putting their pens down; each person’s paper was full of passions. My paper was blank. The instructor began calling on people to share. I had no idea what I would say when it was my turn. Jenny? My mind was blank, my hands were sweating but my mouth blurted out everything – I am passionate about everything!
That was my problem.
Whatever we were having a conversation about I have an opinion on and a passion about. Ugh! How would I ever find my destiny if I couldn’t narrow down one particular passion?
I went home that night, embarrassed and whined to my husband about my predicament. I know your passion. You are the Dear Abby of the neighborhood. You love to talk. You love to give advice. You love to give encouragement. You are the eternal cheerlead! Yes! I am! Yes! I do!
This profound discovery of my passion, led me to action: I opened my home weekly to a small group of women to “do” life together. We read books, did bible studies, laughed, cried and shared our hearts – intimately and authentically. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was doing something that lined up with my passion. This group of women became the first righteous girlfriend group (RGG). We believed for and with each other. This was my first taste of my destiny—of being and doing all I was created to be and do. It was highly addictive!
Defining my passion was difficult for me, but it was a clue to my destiny. Passion was so nebulous to me. I could recognize it in others but not in myself. I did a little research on the word to help clarify exactly what a passion is. Webster calls it “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate.” Ah, simplicity!
So on your journey to your destiny look for clues in what you love, hate, or get emotional about? What is your passion?
“All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
I challenge you. Dare to dream. Dare to imagine the impossible becoming possible, the ordinary; extraordinary, the mediocre; miraculous. You are chosen, you are designed, and you are created on purpose for a specific, unique purpose. Shout it out loud! Risk being seen as crazy. What do you really have to lose … except the fulfillment of your dreams?
As I stumbled along on my own journey, trying to find the courage daily to be the me I was created to be, I found another reason why birthing our dreams is so important. When you are being the “you who you were created to be,” people notice and are impacted. Your destiny isn’t for you, it is for others. Someone is waiting for you to be you.
Any and everything you have to battle through to uncover your identity and discover your destiny is worth it! Someone may be praying a prayer to God right now, waiting on Him to answer and move but maybe just maybe He is waiting on you.
“I would be dead if it wasn’t for you and your dreams. If you had not said yes to God I would not be here.”
Those words were spoken to me by a child who had been trafficked for sex since she was six years old. That is impact. I shudder to think where I would have been if I had not chosen to believe what God says about me, my life, my destiny and my circumstances. I admit there were days when I wavered with doubt, flirted with indecision, and cried a bucket of tears—but I never gave up. I never stopped believing. Quitting just wasn’t an option.
Please don’t be one of those who give up when things get difficult. Vow to never quit. Believe. Speak. Fight for your identity and your destiny. There is so much at stake! Never apologize for being you. Don’t play small so others feel better. Daily find the courage to be who you were created to be, nothing more, but absolutely refuse to settle for anything less and then encourage everyone else that crosses your path to do the same!
Speaking out loud, acting bold, seeming crazy, are all acts of faith that will grow you and your dreams. Dream big!
Therefore, it is so important to have the tangible company of another person who is just a few steps ahead of you, fighting for his or her destiny too. Sometimes I need a word of encouragement or a swift kick in the butt to get me moving. I need someone who has walked through the invisible wall of fear and experienced a successful, grace-filled transition. I realize there is a war being fought over me and my destiny. I need my battle buddy.
We were created to be in relationship and community with others. We are designed to need and complement each other. Intimate, authentic relationships with others are a prerequisite for successful transitions. They give us the courage to move.
When I sense a divine invitation into the unknown, the only people I want to talk to, or I want praying for me, are other experienced water-walkers. The other people who surround you in your boat of comfort are usually not water-walkers. When you are transitioning from the known to the unknown, the non-water-walkers in your life will try to hang onto your leg so you can’t do what you know you have been created to do. They will call you crazy. They will say it can’t be done. Once you start trying to get out of your boat, you will stir things up. Prepare for it. You will rock the boat and most people don’t like that. They like the status quo. They like you in their comfort zone.
When you begin transitioning toward your water-walking, giant-slaying, history-making destiny, you will leave people alone in their mediocrity. My advice? Just shake them off and keep on going. Don’t let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone speak negativity into your life or tell you that you can’t do what your destiny calls you to do. Don’t listen to them. Remember, you get to choose who will speak into your life.
Find some water-walkers and hang out with them. Ask questions about how they found the courage to get out of their boat. Find people who have persevered through difficult circumstances, courageously believing God for their harvest, and have them pray for you. Read your Bible or other books of faith, and read biographies of water-walkers, giant-slayers, and history-makers and do what they did.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…you must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
We all get scared and long for comfort and security. Daily we must ask for the courage to move outside our comfort zones, through the invisible wall of fear. Fear cheats us. Fear is designed to stop us from proceeding into our history-making futures. Fear entices us to settle for mediocrity. It makes us afraid to cast off the anchor we have hung around our necks.
Fear makes us believe we are less than we are. Moving forward through your fear is the secret to successful transitions from your comfort zone to the unknown – which is where your destiny is.
Do you have the courage to be you—the you that you were created to be? Prove it. Set a goal. Speak your dream out loud. Tell someone you are going to do what scares you. Take intentional steps toward your dream, regardless of your circumstances and in spite of your fear. That is courage. Come on, get out of your comfortable boat! Come walk on water!
I pray you will be encouraged to embrace the transition or change you are facing right now. I wrote this hoping you would begin to see transition and change in a different light, realizing that your destiny lies outside your comfort zone in the middle of the unknown. God uses change and transitions to move us from where we are to where He wants us – where we will best change our world.
Began to view change as a divine invitation to transition. You will be taught many lessons as your Creator orchestrates unique circumstances to transition you from where you are to where you are meant to be. You must choose to persevere and participate in the process because something is going on that is much bigger than you. You will be required to loosen your grip on the things and people you love. Courage will be required as you walk through the invisible wall of fear keeping you from moving forward into your destiny. Come on! The world is waiting for you to be you!