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"The view from the top of the stairs...."

 Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny....” 

I entered through the double glass doors and made a slight turn to the left and started up the first set of stairs......I could fell the sunshine warming my face as I came to a small platform that lead into another set of stairs.....I stepped onto the first step and then the next....with each step I took a slow, small smile started to spread across my face. I could feel the sunshine coming through the window and lighting up each and every step I took. By the time that I got to the very top was a full blow, confident, I'm so proud of myself smile. I turned and gazed out the large window laid before me....looking out over the quad of Troy University. 
That journey up the staircase was 8 years ago. I was scared...I was young....I had skills that had not yet been established and sharpened....I still felt like a little kid inside an adults body. I felt like I was playing dress up in my new dress and high heels that I bought just for this day. My first day as a Troy University employee. 
I stood at the top of that staircase....looking at the view through the window and thought to myself with tears in my eyes "I have finally made it." I heard Dr. Hawkins step off the elevator and I turned and was immediately tongue tied as he asked me if I was lost.....I finally responded "No Sir....I am new here and today is my first day. I was just admiring the view at the top of the staircase." Dr. Hawkins responded "It's quite breathtaking at times. I am pleased to have you come work for our great University and we are happy to have you."  And thus began my 8 year journey at Troy. 
Last week, unexpectedly, I was told that my position with the Troy University was being terminated due to budget cuts. I felt like the breath was knocked out of my blanket of security was being yanked away. I've been on this the top of the stairs with the view through the window...with my colleagues that have become family for the last 8 years. We have watched each other have children, get married, laugh, celebrated birthdays, small successes, failures, ready to throat punch one another one moment and in the next second asking what it is we can do to help them. These people are my family. 
I took a couple days to myself last week and reflected on the change that was about to take place in my life. I was given 3 months to find another job and was assured that I would be helped and I had a whole slew of people in my corner to make sure I was taken care of. 
While sitting on the beach Friday afternoon, looking out over the beautiful water and watching a family play in the water....I thought about how life is a journey. Often times our story takes unexpected turns and we find ourselves in places we never thought we’d be.  That’s the beauty of life.  Uncertainty, although scary, is what gives life meaning.
Think about it.  Love comes unexpectedly.  Children sometimes come unexpectedly.  Job promotions, raises, friends and even death.  All the things that make life great come as a plot twist in our story.  We don’t know what lies ahead.  That’s the way an author likes it.  That’s what makes for a good story.
Life is an amazing adventure.  We will have good times and bad, but our attitude makes the difference in how we come through those things.  A good attitude even in the worst of situations will take you a long way.  Will it be easy? No.  It’s not supposed to be easy.  We wouldn’t need God if it was.  We have to be totally dependent on him.  He’s the author.   When you read a book, you trust that the author is going to weave a good story that will leave you longing for more.  Trust him.  Surrender everything to him and know that no matter what you’re going through, he has put together an amazing story that is all your own.  No one else has your story.
Allow yourself to experience life.  Don’t close yourself off.  Don’t put up walls.  We tend to do that when we’ve been hurt or when we’ve experienced great loss.  When you hide yourself away, you are telling the Author that the story he wrote for you, isn’t good enough. Turn the page.  Know that he has your best interest at heart and that he will come through for you.
So as I prepare to leave my job of the last 8 years....and my future with Troy University is uncertain. I want to take a moment to appreciate what the view at the top of the stairs has given me. 

It gave a former teenage mother that had worked tooth and nail to find some form of stability in her life the platform she needed to build on. It gave me a hope that someone like me could make it....could struggle and strive and make it. I gave me the opportunity to work on watch people of a higher standard and to learn from them. It gave me the best work family I could have ever dreamed gave me a girl that I am honored to call one of my best friends...and I can't tell you how hard it will be to not be right across the hall from her. Most of all, it gave me a sense of pride. I stood at the top of those stairs....and I was proud of myself for once. I was proud to be a Troy Trojan. 

So, Thank you Troy.....Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the view at the top of the stairs. It's been a great view and one I will never forget.

You were right Dr. Hawkins.....It is quite breathtaking at times. 


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