I was 10. A fifth grader. Laying stomach down, chin propped up with fists.
A commercial interrupted my afternoon tradition of Saved by the Bell and The Cosby Show. It was an airline commercial. I don’t remember which company it was or what they were advertising. That wasn’t important. What happened next, was.
I turned to my mom, ‘That’s what I want to do.’
She looked at me with a questioning stare. ‘What?’
More determined this time. ‘That’s what I want to do.’
‘You want to be a pilot?’
‘No, Mom!’ Thinking to myself at the time how funny she was. ‘I want to be her,’ pointing to the TV.
The commercial had shown a woman in her 30’s, dressed in a dark skirted suit, briefcase in hand boarding a flight for a business meeting in New York City.
Now, you have to understand, my mom stayed at home to raise me while my dad went to work, usually a company he started. And the only travel he ever did was in our home state. My mom had been a teacher in her ‘previous life’ but never worked outside the home after I was born. My grandmothers and all other influential women in my life had made similar career choices. I’m sure she was wondering ‘Where is this coming from? Where did she get such a notion?’
Until that moment, I had no idea.
That commercial didn’t give me an image to mimic, but for the first time I could see and respond to part of the vision God had planted in my heart. At such a young age, I didn’t realize what was happening.
Thankfully, my mom knew in that instant that something big was taking place.
She saw a vision being birthed, His vision in me. One that was different from her own but still very valid. One she didn’t quite understand but wanted to encourage. A vision she knew was planted while I was knitted in her womb.
My mom recently reminded me of this pivotal story in my life. (When I feel ‘abnormal’ and like I don’t fit in. When I don’t know why my story is so different from other women. When I’m excited about another door that God has opened that others would see as too much work or travel. My mom, one of my biggest cheerleaders, is there with an insight, a prayer, a virtual shot of God-sized confidence.) Sometimes we forget how God has prepared us for the moments in our lives and need others to remind us. She has done just that for me, all my life.
How does this story end? Well, I don’t know, it’s still unfolding. But I do know this. I’ve traveled to New York City with every job I’ve ever had, sometimes solo but never alone. I have a passion for business and love to help inspire others. And I’ve recently had the honor of starting my own business.
I know this might seem boring to some or maybe even strange. I know it’s very different than most of your stories. Sometimes I don’t understand it either. But that day in 5th grade, God shined on my soul-dirt and began to grow the tiny seed He planted years before. It wasn’t my dream. It was His dream, for me. And with Holy Spirit power, I plan on living it out. . . but without the navy suit.
What is God’s light shining on in your soul-dirt, years ago or for the first time today, that may sound strange to others but is His will and purpose for your life? I’d love to hear about how He’s gifted you and how you’re living it out.