Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blessed and Highly Favored

I had the extremely good fortune to speak at an outreach seminar this past weekend. The women attending are residents of a drug-rehabilitation facility who seek to start anew. Many of them have lost their children; many of them will be homeless once they’re released from the facility. These are women from various age groups and walks of life, covering a wide range of ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds.

My job that day was to discuss with them interview techniques and dressing professionally.

As I set up for the seminar, a woman, whom I’ll call Flo, entered the room.

“How are you today, my dear?” I asked, fumbling with booklets, pens, and what-not.

“I am blessed and highly favored, thank you very much!” she proclaimed through a toothless grin.

Soon several women joined Flo and me. We began the seminar, and I literally had to take pause: these women, eager to learn, took notes, asked great questions, and genuinely seemed excited about the information presented. We laughed, we pondered, and more than one tear was shed when several shared some very personal information about their pasts.

After the seminar, Flo approached me.

“You know, now I’m not only blessed, I’m empowered, too! I don’t know what’s going to happen or where I’ll go when I get clean, but I’ve got faith, and I’ve got some knowledge, and I’m going to be okay. I’ve got a purpose!” We hugged, and Flo departed.

Flo’s comment really struck me for a couple of reasons: First of all, there truly is nothing greater than faith to carry us through tough times. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Just step out on faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” These women I spoke with that day possessed such faith, and seemed genuinely excited about what the future had in store for them.

Another reason Flo’s comment was so right-on is because she recognized that even a bit of knowledge will take us to a new level in life. Those women were there because the wanted to be; their desire to learn how to work and function is society was incredibly strong.

Flo was correct, too, when she mentioned her purpose. We all have one, and we cannot let set-backs or poor choices deter us from our true calling. We must remain focused, centered, and allow the universe to guide us in all that we do.

The experience truly put things in perspective for me, and you can bet I counted every blessing I had on the drive home. Which reminds me – nothing blesses us more than reaching out and helping someone in need. We can’t be stingy with our time, or too wrapped up in ourselves to share what we can with others.

We’ll find ourselves blessed and highly favored, for sure.

Beth Newman

Fashion and Lifestyle Advisor


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