When Lightening Strikes

They say lightning never strikes twice.  
I want to tell you about the day that a lightning bolt entered my life.

We had thunderstorms all night.  All night I tell you!  They were loud, disrupted my sleep, scared my sweet dogs, overflowed my pool, soaked my new patio furniture and on the other hand, the flowers are blooming, the grass is greener and the birds are splashing all around my yard.

Though the first meeting only took a milisecond, it would change my life forever.  
Had I known the significant role this person would play in my life, I might have been a little more thoughtful in the way I approached her personally the first time.  You know, YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION!

As fate, or Jesus, would have it, this particular day was in the first week of June.  It must have been 2009 or 2010. I happened to be on the green lawn of my favorite summer camp.  This camp is a family camp that my family has visited for the last 17 years.  I won't be there this summer which makes my heart more than a little sad.  I will never forget where I was when this shocking event took place.  It was almost like time stood still. I can only imagine the smile that was happening in Heaven when he was watching these two souls meet.

Then, it happened.  What took only a millisecond would change my life forever in about a million different ways.  She wouldn't just change my life, but countless other lives as well.

I can not tell you what possessed me to do what I did next, but I walked over to a picnic table where this gorgeous, I mean truly beaming and intimidating gorgeous woman was sitting and I sat down next to her.  Then, out of nowhere, I shared my deepest darkest secret with her.  I know..... craziness!  I have no idea why I would feel compelled to do this!  I thought my story might help her in some small way and figured I would never really talk to or see her again, so it wouldn't matter if I looked like a fool in this moment if I could be helpful to her.

That was it, the moment that would change my life forever!  It was like a lightning bolt entered my life!  The excitement, the loudness, the music, the joy, the tears, the laughter.......it would never end.  

Words can't explain the friendship that I share with this amazing woman.  I have watched her overcome battles that she was never meant to fight.  I have watched her persevere with courage, with tears, with contagious joy to all those around her.  She was going to reach her goals against all odds.  This week, she did just that! She graduated from college!

She went back to school and graduated this week.  You have no idea the cost of this moment.  Not just the financial cost, but the greater cost.  You see, she is a single mom.  She tries very hard to make ends meet.  She is living in the middle of nowhere with only a few others to encourage and support her.  She is in her own desert.  She did it!  She worked hard for every single A, B, C AND even maybe a D.  (Math isn't her strength!)  

I have never been so proud of someone!  You see, this graduation means so much more than a piece of paper.  It means that a middle aged woman, can go back to school to better herself and her children.  She doesn't have to stay stuck in her current situation.  She found a way to get out of her situation.  She did it..... she made it through.....All the early mornings of making breakfast and lunches and getting kids to school by herself, all the evenings of helping kids with homework and tucking them in bed before starting her own homework, all the days when money was so tight that she was scared, all the days of going to classes with people half her age, all the moments of wondering if it would be worth it......she made it through all THOSE moments.  She kept her promises, even when others didn't keep theirs.  You see, she made a commitment to herself.  She is an example to us all!  If she can do it, you can too!  Whatever your facing today, your strength and determination are stronger than the obstacles in front of you!


Sherri GrafComment