Hello friends. Posting this blog from the St. Louis airport, which has become my very dear friend seeing as I have flown in or out of it four times the past two weeks. I have been bopping around the great state of Missouri traveling to Culver-Stockton College, William Woods University, and finally, Mizzou. In between those visits I hopped on a plane to return to Georgia Southern for a weekend, making the past week of travel a hectic one. This trip has been huge for me because it has been the hardest and longest trip I have been on so far. I have so much to talk about I just don’t even know where to start…maybe the beginning is a good place.
God’s timing is perfect. There is purpose in every visit, every conversation. Sometimes I may not get to see the impact I make on a visit, but recently, God has been so present in my life. He has provided faithfully during sleepless nights and days, providing me opportunities I never thought could be, giving me the confidence to trust Him in ALL things. Man. I didn’t think I could do it, but with Him, I did.
At the start of the trip, I arrived at the airport in tears. I did not want to leave my Fort Worth crew yet. I wasn’t ready. I needed more time at home. I knew I still loved my job, I just didn’t want to leave my people. I needed them. I didn’t think I could do it. I felt alone and tired and unequipped. Simply put, I didn’t want to go.
God refused to let me sulk in my unhappiness and doubts though.
I got on the plane, put in my headphones, and a song called “He Is Here,” began playing. As I looked out my window I saw the most beautiful, breath-taking array of clouds I had every seen. The clouds were so intricately designed and went on for what seemed like forever. They had no end. It was the most beautiful symbol of God’s vast, endless love for me. His presence with me as I traveled to my next destination. On a morning where I felt lonely and sad to be leaving, He provided me a beautiful reminder of His faithful presence and unending love. What a God we have. What provision.
Sometimes on visits, I don’t see the impact I am making immediately. I may not exactly know why God has me in this state at this school talking to these specific women. These past few trips though, I have seen his purposes so clearly. I have seen how He has provided when I feel like I can’t go another day and how His timing is perfectly ordained to have me where I am, when I am.
Timing is everything. Seeing why God has me talking to specific members at specific times of their lives is so beautiful. I had one conversation with a member who was upset and confused about a decision that had recently happened, and I was able to encourage her and remind her of the values we hold as Chi Omegas and strengthen her through those. Another member was discouraged about struggles with a friendship, so I was able to draw from my own personal friendships and relate to her and guide her through this hard time. Another new sweet friend was feeling burnt out, tired, and as though she had not done her job well. In this time, I was given the opportunity to love her, hug her, and tell her, “No, you did a great job, do not be discouraged.” His timing, not mine.
One night I had arrived at a gal’s apartment I was staying in after a packed day of meetings and a long night of travel. I was just staying one night in this apartment so I could be ready to wake up at 3:00 am that morning to go to the airport for my next trip. Upon arriving at this apartment, needless to say, I was worn. I was absolutely exhausted physically and emotionally. Then I looked on the bed and saw this pillow that read God is within her, she will not fall. What a perfect message for how discouraged I was feeling. He was reminding me He was within me and would not let me fall. He would strengthen me and provide for me if only I would let Him. What provision.
One of the most impactful ways God showed me his purposeful timing in the most gracious way was by allowing me to return to Georgia Southern University to help with the Re-Installation of our newest Chi Omega chapter. Being given the opportunity to reunite with the same girls that we recruited was simply magical. I am forever grateful I got to be apart of the day they all officially became Chi Omegas. One member ran into my arms and hugged me with tears streaming down her face, and I will never forget that moment of sweet reunion. All I did was simply stop these girls on the sidewalk and ask them if they wanted to join a sorority, and now, their lives are changed forever. Without the hard work of each member of our team, these girls would not have the opportunity to join Chi Omega, and to be able to come back to congratulate them all and tell them all in person how proud I was of them was unreal.
Also, it was such a gift that I was able to spend some time with a few co-workers and women I greatly admire during my visits this stretch. I was feeling alone and needed time to talk to people who would understand exactly where I was at, and The Lord’s timing was perfect in giving me that time with my friends that I had. A few laughs with gals who get exactly what you’re going through is all you need sometimes to turn things around. Late night life chats with your best friend/mentor/boss are also moments I am forever grateful for. These women I work with inspire me daily. I am forever grateful.
This past Monday, traveling back from Georgia to St. Louis again was a long day with delayed flights and lost luggage. By the time I was ready to be picked up, I was on the verge of tears due to exhaustion and stress. As soon as my friend arrived though, she greeted me with a huge basket full of treats and gifts and I began to cry. What a gift. Literally it was a great gift, but to be welcomed by a friend with comfort and love and care made me remember that God is loving me and providing for me everywhere I go. What provision. What timing. What love.
I was also really worn down earlier this week, but it was so beautiful to be knocked down to be reminded where my strength truly comes from. The days I rely on myself to get me through are the hardest days. I must be leaning on and depending on the strength of the Lord and trust His provision and timing to get me through each day on the road. He strips me of all my comforts to make me lean on the one, true comfort. And I am growing so much stronger as a result of it.
As I am sitting here writing this blog, I am coming off an incredible conversation I just shared with a member about the highs and lows of life. We talked about our dreams and our challenges and how faith plays into our lives. She reminded me of the importance of putting our faith in what will not fail us. I am excited to continue our conversations as I return home to Texas, knowing that she and I were so similar and connected in so many ways. I had another conversation this week with a member who reminded me of how proud I am to be a Chi Omega. She absolutely loves Chi Omega and all it has taught her so far. Hearing her describe to me the support she has received from the girls in her chapter during some difficult times, and hearing her perspective on certain things that may have been different than mine reminded me of the incredible ways Chi Omega simultaneously challenges and supports me. Those conversations of mutual encouragement and inspiration are what energize me the most. What provision. What timing.
Looking back, I have only been home for four days this past month. This is definitely the hardest trip that I have taken yet. Yet this last full day of travel I have felt the most energized as a result of the incredible conversations I get to constantly share on these visits. I feel empowered by the women I get to work with. I have seen God’s provision, perfect timing, and love play out in ways I never could have imagined. I fully believe that traveling has opened my eyes to Him in more ways than staying in my comfort zone ever would.
I was reading a blog this morning of a woman whose work I admire greatly, and she wrote this about traveling:
I think in my hardest moments in life I have always wondered if I was very strong or very capable. Being a road warrior has taught me repeatedly that I am resilient, adaptable, powerful and mostly unstoppable when I set my mind to something. It taught me that I am worth it and more than my doubts. ~KJ McNamara
Reading this reminded me that I too have been learning these things about myself. I am more resilient, adaptable, faithful, and confident than I have ever imagined I could have been. And I owe it all to The Lord and His perfect provision, timing, and love.