A Personal Story By Motivational Speaker, Kelly Swanson
Sometimes we find a story in the most ordinary seeming of moments. Here’s mine. I have included the video version and the written version so that you may experience it in the way you like.
A Woman Like Faith, by Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson
I happened to be standing in just the right moment to meet her. We were outside the hotel, where just inside those doors the banquet hall was crowded with women excited and eager to better their lives. A women’s conference. A motivational speaker’s playground. Oh, where to start? I was leaning over to fix my shoe. (The patent leather bubblegum pink wedges.) I don’t know what made me look up, but I did, right into a pair of beautiful mocha colored eyes nestled in a blanket of deep wrinkles.
From the outside, we didn’t have anything in common which is the norm for me, considering I’ve got a four-inch rhinestone fairy castle on my pants, thirty-seven pieces of fake hair, and enough makeup to put me in a different weight category. There was nothing on the outside that connected us, but rather on the inside. I’ll call her Faith, because that was our instant bond – the one trait that doesn’t know age or color, size, or walk of life. Simple faith.
We went from hello to talking about God and His impact on our lives – which sounds like a strange conversation to have with someone you just met. I think that’s how I know they are divine appointments. They don’t make sense without Him.
When she spoke, every word held as much weight as the silence with which she listened to me, drinking in my words as if she were tasting a fine wine. What an honor to be treated with such respect. How I hope that just once in my life, I am one of those people who listens like that. But I fear if you took all my moments and ran them through a sifter, you would find but a handful that really hold that kind of weight.
Her eyes held kindness. No judgment. No condescension. No anxiety. Just the strength of her conviction with an openness to be changed. She didn’t make me feel less than, but even more than I was before. What a great combination in a woman. I want to be that kind of woman. A woman like Faith.
Our conversation had one theme – praising what an awesome God we serve. Our love for the Lord who we knew in different ways, through different struggles He had pulled us through. We talked about His promises and the goodness of His Word. Me, in my broken scripture, mixed up verses, and incorrect pronunciations. Her, in her flawless recitation of the words that had carried her, bearing witness to a lifetime of studying His Truth and having it embedded in her heart. The two of us from different places, yet bonding together in a common spirit – on fire for Him – each just as bright, just as fervent, with no tally marks. Simply reveling in the awesomeness of God.
What was so amazing to me was that this was not a “church” conference. We had not shared a day together or even a moment before this one. She did not know who I was, nor I her. We were simply two women caught up in the same moment, crossing over the line of strangers, skipping friendship, and straight into divine sisterhood. Those moments I fully believe are orchestrated by our King.
I thought it was odd that she didn’t stay, but rather walked into the other direction as we said our good-byes. I thought it odd that she was dragging a suitcase with a piece of masking tape on which a name was handwritten in faded letters I couldn’t make out. I thought it odd that I just now noticed she was wearing slippers.
“Wait!” I called out as she waved goodbye. “I didn’t get your name.” But it was too late. She couldn’t hear me. She was already across the street, shuffling leisurely, pulling her ragged suitcase with the masking tape monogram. I watched her disappear around the corner into the alley. She never looked back.
One moment more and we never would have met. What if I hadn’t looked up? I would have missed her.
I believe that life gives you a finite number of moments – counted out – hand picked. 60 moments in one minute – 300 moments in five minutes – 3,000 in ten – 3,600 in an hour – 86,400 in a day – 604,800 in a week. Each moment as unique as the person standing in it. A moment able to change with one hesitation, with one unexpected thing placed in your path – or one person – one action which results in another’s reaction – which turn and cross and intersect as each moment changes and rolls over into another – divinely orchestrated.
And I do not believe that there are any ordinary moments. I believe that in every moment there is a story waiting to unfold, waiting to be told. A truth. A blessing. A moment as swift and fleeting as a butterfly that lands on this flower petal only once. I believe every moment has the potential – the whispered hope – of being something divine. I believe that much is happening in every moment, whether we hear it or not. Whether we choose to look up.
I think we often talk about conquering our past, pressing on with persistence to future visions, and finding the strength to get through tomorrow – while stepping right over the moment we are in. The now. This moment.
Thinking about tomorrow is just, well, too big. Thinking about yesterday – wasteful – and not the direction in which we are going. Where you look is where you land. So don’t look out there, look right here. Focus on this moment where you have tremendous clarity – where you have tremendous strength – where something is waiting in the moment you have stepped into. This moment that will never happen again. It is yours. Your gift to open. Planned just for you.
So put down the to-do list, the worries, the distractions….and be here. Give it all you’ve got. It might be the only one you get. Even if it’s not the moment you thought it would be. It rarely is. But it is exactly where you are supposed to be.
What happens down the line could be a direct result of what you do with this moment. Don’t waste it. If you always focus on stepping into this moment, the future will be taken care of. The destiny will be forged. For you have done much more than planned the path, you will have conquered the moments. And those moments add up to a life well lived, a life with no regrets. For we don’t reach the destination in one giant leap, but in a series of tiny little moments.
Thank you Faith, wherever you are, for looking up. I miss you. See you on the other side.