Today I had a meeting with my mentor. Have you ever been faced with a situation that you knew was going to be an absolute disaster? I mean the type of disaster that is front-and-center, focused around you with potential to ruin your career or reputation. Well, my mentor began as an absolute disaster.
The disaster began when my co-speaker had to back out last minute from our joint lecture at a conference, leaving me to cover both parts of our lecture by myself. One part of our lecture, I knew quite well (obviously, my part) but the other topic (her part) I knew essentially NOTHING about. This wasn’t just any lecture. This was my first conference lecture…at a national conference…and I was on the conference planning committee so technically I was supposed to know what I was doing/saying/etc. And to make matters more embarrassing, I was speaking immediately prior to a well-known, well-published, expert nurse leader. She was a “big deal” if you know what I mean! I was completely in over my head and I was confident it was going to be a disaster.
One of my favorite passages to read in the Old Testament (and let’s be honest, the Old Testament…not my favorite. I find it challenging to read and apply.) is the first 9 verses in the book of Joshua. Quick background, Moses has died and Joshua is going to assume Moses's leadership position—so God offers a bit of encouragement. Because let’s face it, Moses is probably one of the more well known biblical figures…would you want to suddenly have to step into his shoes?
2”Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people… [the verses lay out a relatively detailed description of the forthcoming trek] 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 6”Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and success in all you do. 9 This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
I’m not sure how great I did with being strong and courageous but I do know the 'absolute disaster' ended up a success. Little did I know that I would bond with this “well-known, well-published, expert nurse leader” and be sitting in her office two years later discussing plans to collaborate on future projects! I also had no idea she would transform our two lectures into one awesome workshop. The moment can only be described as a blessing. And this absolute disaster evolved into a beautiful disaster and ultimately an amazing mentorship.
So as I sat in her office today and discussed ways to make a doctorate practicum work between Florida and Massachusetts over the course of a semester, I thought about how sometimes horrible disasters work for the good of the order. When faced with pending disasters, we need to remember to be strong and courageous and allow God to handle the disaster in His way. Because when we don’t know the way, He places people in our lives to carry us, lead us and mentor us in the right direction. It’s like a puzzle. It starts out as one big pile of puzzle pieces that look like a disaster and ends up a beautiful picture of success.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
Strength, courage and absolute disasters,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.