Every person we travel these roads with have made their trek to us because they need us and what we know as much as we need them for what they can teach us. This idea has been stressed in earlier essays but it’s one worth further emphasis because of the importance of the journey we share.
Knowing that every person is specific to our education means we don’t have to be fearful about the experiences that present themselves. We have been guided to each experience and we will be led through it too. I have heard it said in many gatherings, that God never brings us to an experience without also promising us we’d be carried through it.
Having hope that this is the truth is a decision I was encouraged to make many years ago. A wise sponsor suggested that I had nothing to lose by believing my life was unfolding in a very timely fashion. I would always be at the right place at the right time, facing the next right opportunity, she said. How right she was. Even when the path got rocky, and there were many times it did, I hung on to her belief that what had transpired was what I was ready for.
The one time, in particular, that is still so vivid in my mind was when a professor told me my Ph.D. dissertation needed complete rewriting. I was stunned, to say the least, and initially terrified. The words that tumbled from my mouth were not really my own. I said, “Can we go through it so that I understand your objections?” fearful I’d not be able to respond at all. However, for nearly four hours, we did just that. I honestly heard nothing, not his questions nor my answers. But at the end of that time, he smiled and approved my dissertation. God had answered my call even though I wasn’t aware I had made it. I immediately called my husband, fearing I’d just been dreaming.
I remember reading the book, ILLUSIONS, by Richard Bach, very early in my recovery. At the time, I was scared and very confused by the changes that were happening in my life. I was also deeply doubtful that my life had any real purpose. But I was willing to be comforted by any reasonable suggestion and I found it on the back cover of that wonderful little book. It said, and I paraphrase: If you are reading this now, that means you are still alive and your purpose has yet to be fulfilled. That tiny statement actually gave me the lift I was so desperate for at the time. It still is a great reminder. I am still alive, and so are you, therefore, we still have work to complete.
It’s rather exciting knowing that we still have important work to do. And that work will continue until that moment when our journey detours and takes us to the last, peaceful stage. But until then, our most important purpose may well be to help those around us develop the hope they may lack at the time of our meeting. It is even now believed, by some researchers, that hope can be taught, that people can be shown how to build on the strengths they already have, rather than focus on what they lack. We can, in our role as way shower, guide others to discover the hope we have already achieved. This may well be why those others have appeared. What a worthy purpose this is. Knowing that we can “teach” hopefulness by demonstrating for others how we selected a strength and then emphasized it, gives each experience the value it deserves.