The last five years have been full of fun, travel and relaxation...a somewhat early retirement. I was in the throws of helping my Bonus daughter plan her wedding which has now been moved to next year due to Covid-19. Does staying home feel like a punishment for you? As one who enjoys being active and busy outside of my home, I often feel hemmed in.
This is life though, isn't it? Those unexpected roadblocks that you wish wouldn't happen and then later in life you reflect back and discover all of the benefits you gained from that disruption. I have had many roadblocks over the years...cancer scare, divorce, loss of a job, failed business and the list goes on. I must say that I have always seen God show up when I thought there was no hope. I have learned that roadblocks in life can often provide the most amazing opportunities for growth, success, and surprises. Because of my faith, and I believe... my tenacity to move forward in difficult circumstances, I have seen doors open when others have closed and I have had more adventures than I ever dreamed.
I imagine each of you reading this will have an immediate thought of one most challenging time in your life. Can you think of one positive outcome from the roadblock that you experienced?
What I have learned:
Roadblocks expand our horizons...
I loved being a mom and when I realized I needed to be a breadwinner, I went back to the classroom doing something I said I would never do...use or teach technology. I cried the whole first year, because it never occurred to me that I needed to read a manual about using a computer. It sounds silly now, but because I jumped into the deep end of the pool...I learned to swim into the world of technology. In the early 90's, Apple Computer hired me to be one of the first sixteen trainers for their new education division. That opened up a world of possibilities that forever changed my life.
Roadblocks often show us what we can accomplish
In grammar school, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. All through middle school and high school I thought everyone knew I had a learning problem. School was challenging because reading was hard. In high school, the college counselor told me I wasn't college material. I was determined to go to college like my friends, mainly because I didn't want to miss out on the college fun! At long last, I was accepted into a college and receive my degree in elementary education. Later in life, I needed to get a Masters in Education in order to move into the business arena for education. At an educational conference, my friend and boss asked me to talk to Pepperdine about their graduate program. I knew with my Dyslexia, I would never test well...ultimately be rejected so I was very hesitate to ask for an application. I shared with the man in the booth about my desire to get an MA, but felt that my dyslexia would prevent me from passing the test. We talked about my work with technology and Apple. He paused, reached into his jacket and pulled out his business card..."I am the Dean and you are coming to Pepperdine, fill out this application and return it to me." I learned that when we show up God often intervenes when we least expect it! I graduated with a 3.9 from Pepperdine at age 50. After all the hard work and determination I finally realized that I was actually one smart cookie!
Roadblocks may require us to be resilient
I once had a cookie company that made delicious handfolded fortune cookies. I borrowed money to start the business and we sold cookies across the country. Starting a business is never easy...the statistic of success is staggering low...with the statistic of failure is very high. Only someone crazy would try this...that would be me! It was great fun, the hardest work I have ever done, other than raising my children. It failed not because the cookies were bad, but because we handmade the cookies and I got terrible arthritis in my hands. This was the only way to make the cookies and all my worker would have the same problem with their hands. I closed the business and I was determined to payoff my debt which I eventually did....sometime you just have to close the door and turn out the light, never looking back...because another door will open.
We all have choices when it comes to unexpected roadblocks...pull the covers over our head or rise and shine!
This compels us to:
Believe in ourselves
Step out in faith in order to grow our faith
Face our fears
Allow others the privilege of helping us
Always be kind, help others and do your best work