Life is not a journey you want to make on autopilot.
A few Sundays ago Jeff and I were flying out of Pensacola, Florida. However, we forgot that it was the end of Spring Break vacation for most people. There was only one flight to Houston that we wanted to be on. Just two seats, but the only seat left was the jump seat (a place that only a pilot can sit in) which meant I would have to find another flight. As Jeff walked down to the jetway, a look of sadness covered my face because I was left behind.
Left alone at the airport waiting for another flight, I had to find something to occupy my long wait time.( 7 hours to be exact) Being the observer I am, I found myself people watching.
I wondered, where all these people were going? Were they going home, traveling to work, or going on vacation? I wanted to know! I observed their constant activity; I couldn’t help looking at their shoes.
Shoes can reveal a lot about a person. I saw women wearing cute heels. Or people wearing boots, tennis shoes, or loafers. At the same time, I wondered what do my shoes (identity) reveal about me?
The Terminals I’ve walked down
In walking the different terminals (seasons) of life, I have worn an assortment of interesting shoes.
1.When my girls were in school, I decided to go back to college and pursue a degree in Hospitality management. I had a dream of owning and operating a B&B, and I worked hard at making it happen. We took off looking for B&B in an area of where Jeff would be close to work. We landed in the small town of New Smyrna Beach, Florida where we found the perfect B&B. We met with the sellers prior to our move and at that time felt that there was a connection between all of us. However, in negotiations with the owners, there were signs that this wasn’t going to happen. Durning our talks I spent a week with the innkeeper and walked behind her as she showed me the day-to-day operations. After that week, as I walked out the door, I knew in my heart God had shut that door and had me pack away my shoes (dream) for the time being.
2. A few years later, the church we attended didn’t have a women’s ministry. After talking with my pastor’s wife, she encouraged me and offered support and prayer in allowing me to share with the women at our church a vision to introduce a women’s ministry. However, over the next year and a half in developing women’s events and retreats, there was an unexpected turn of events. In that time I felt that this door was being shut as well. I needed to walk away. I did so with a shoe of grace and sadness. (To this day, I still get teary-eyed about the loss.)
3. During that season of serving as a women’s ministry leader, Jeff and I were asked to fly into the area of raising a little boy that needed a sense of security and love (go here to read more). At the same time, I also had unexpected health issues that required many doctors visits and some time in the hospital. ( In time I will share with you my story of healing.)
In all honesty, I found myself crying out loud and yelling to God as to why he was taking all this away from me. I had worked so hard, I moved and uprooted my entire life, even leaving friends and family, to follow a dream and share a vision to start a ministry. Now it was gone!
Wearing the shoes of hospitality, serving, being a mom to a little boy, and dealing with health issues, I learned that I was only to wear those shoes temporarily. God revealed many things to me, and in retrospect, he showed the closed doors were for my good.
God had me in an area where I was vulnerable, and I needed him to carry me to find my true destination.
As I struggled to find something to call my own, I discovered a few things about myself.
1.I don’t need to compare myself to others who look as if they had the perfect outfit (life).
2. As I traveled and searched for that one thing to fulfill me, I needed to be willing to venture out into other areas where God was taking me. If I needed to walk away, I learned to do so with grace and hope.
3.If there were something that I wanted to pursue that would allow me to use my gifts and talents, I needed to have the courage to share that with the people that I loved.
While I felt that each of these shoes ( passions and calling) were intended just for me, I also believed that they gave me purpose and magic. For a time, I guess they did.
Now I see that God had me try them on so that I could eventually walk in the shoe that I was intended to wear. I also know that He let them stay in my bag so that I could share with others what I have learned.
Your plane is here
“Believe in your heart that you’re meant to have a life full of passion, purpose, and magic and miracles.” ( Roy Bennett)
I have always had a passion for writing. It gives me confidence that I have never felt before. Over the past ten years, I have written devotions to offer hope and love to other women ( go here to read those). It was during these times of sharing that I felt alive and full of purpose. My family saw that in me as well.
In my struggles and searching, there were times where I found myself feeling tired of carrying around the weight of feeling lost in what it was I was ultimately designed to wear. I wanted to unpack those desires that I had and use them to bless others.
Recently I discovered four questions that I had written several years back when I was part of the women’s ministry. Maybe these questions can help you find your purpose and calling the exact shoe you were destined to wear.
Those are tough questions, and I had to prayerfully think about them myself. Perhaps some time alone with these questions can help you find the answers you’ve been searching for.
When I started this series “The Shoes a Pilot’s Wife Might Wear,” I came up with this acronym that I think combines my love of shoes with my calling and purpose:
She helps others evolve…..into the woman that God has intended her to be.
Each of us has been designed to help others evolve into something magical and purposeful. Something that fulfills. He has equipped us with our calling.
“I have been uniquely designed for a purpose” (Psalm 139:14-15 NIV)
Girlfriend, I pray that whatever shoe God has for you for your unique purpose that you wear it with confidence, strength, and passion. And above all else, wear it well.
Prayer for today: Father, you know my heart. You know what I am passionate about and what breaks my heart. I ask you to reveal that me in a way that only I can see what it is that I’m to wear. That desire in my heart that I have show me how to take those steps to do what it is that you have equipped me to do. “God doesn’t call the equipped, he has equipped the called!” I ask all this in your precious name. AMEN
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