One of the most fascinating things about living this human experience is the other humans who intercept our paths. We will come across thousands of people in our life, but a handful will have the power to re-direct, shape, and inform your steps along the way. Interception, most notably linked to an NFL game (Go Giants!) can also be easily applied to the unexpected twists and turns that this life has perfected so well. Many of these interceptions come at the most inopportune times; others at the perfect time! The daily routine of life tends to affirm our inner voice that we have things under control. At least for the moment.
And then arrives a Way-Shower…a person or a relationship that teaches you, helping to guide you in that particular season of your life that feels lonely or lacking. I had a friend on my X-Country team in college who was an encourager. Krista left notes in my mailbox, uplifting words of encouragement in order to support me in the weekend race ahead. She knew I needed it. I was the #5 runner for the team, a pressure spot and I hated racing with a passion! In my first year of parenting my friend Dee was steps ahead of me and thought that no question I asked concerning baby-rearing was ridiculous, including, “what are the steps in giving a newborn a bath?” Katie, who taught me 10 years ago that I could co-lead a woman’s conference with confidence! Eric, who who I miss dearly and left more nuggets of wisdom than I can count. My favorite of these: “ Time with your children is the most important gift you can give them.” Thus, solo birthday dates with mom and solo dad or mom dates weekly, if only to Target.
Those are just a few of my personal and positive way-showers. People who arrived and stayed for a bit in order to move me forward in my journey. Their purpose at the time was unknown to me. I engaged and responded to them as I would with any of my friends today. It is only upon reflection that I can admire their way-showing abilities.
Naturally, if there is a positive way-shower, there is also the negative way-shower. This is the more difficult speed-bump to navigate. The one we would rather drive around and ignore than slow down and roll over with the least amount of bump in the process. The catch with speed bumps is that you are forced to slow down, forced to protect your car, and also not to irritate the passengers inside if going too fast. You can see where I’m going with this. Moving through that ease in life I talked about early on and then comes the speed bump. You must slow down, you must reflect, you must absolutely recognize the curve ball thrown your way. The choice to ignore it gets you nowhere, because you won’t successfully navigate that speed bump until you decide to face it and embrace it. In this case, I consider way-showers to also come in the form of life circumstances. The loss of a job, a miscarriage, a diagnosis, the list is endless. But it’s through these strategically placed situations that Life re-shapes for the better. It’s that moment when you are willing to surrender in the pain, disappointment or grief that this too will serve a purpose. Maybe not now; possibly years from now. The fruits of your compliance to walk across the gritty sand to smoothness again are discovered in the pearls that surprise you later on. My deepest heartache, the delivery of my 20 week old baby boy in 2013 has gifted me the chance to hold space for others in this darkness. But it has also brought a double blessing in my twins! It has caused me to hold fast and tight to these tumultuous parenting years, and most importantly it has taught me of God’s grace and redeeming power. A hard way-showing circumstance indeed, but I can say with full confidence that it didn’t take long to see the rainbow following the storm.
It’s my hope that upon reading this blog post you will consider two questions. Who might I possibly be influencing (that answer might surprise you if you think long enough)? Who or what has been a way-shower to me in the past? When you choose to live in your own awareness, you allow the practice on your mat to lead you to new lands. Bring these questions to your mat the next time. Slow down and reflect on the gift of intuition and influence that you are born with. I am 100% convinced that every conversation, relationship and conflict we face brings us (if we allow it) further down the path of self-realization.
So, be encouraged. You are a way-shower and you have been chosen at particular times to directly affect, at that perfect moment, the life of another human being. And they will undoubtedly reflect on you years later and internally thank you. Keep living; keep being open; keep being willing.