Whittled By the Wind: it’s supposed to be that way

Right now, I’m breathing air at 7,000 feet. In Abiquiu, New Mexico.

Surrounded by deep canyons, hidden away in the landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe a mile above sea-level, is the place I call home for the week.

It is the place I return for an annual writer’s conference. It’s a place to watch the sun rise over the canyon and set into the desert plains. It’s a place to walk the labyrinth and breathe the chilling wind. It’s become a place to release intentions.

The canyon-walls, mesas, and chimney-rocks have a story to tell of years of whittling by the wind. The wind/Wind creates the beauty of this place.  It’s a Wind I’ve come to know. It’s a Wind that’s always well meaning and full of love, but the gusts can be frightening.

I take my lessons from the canyons allowing the Wind to do Its part. In this place I’ve learned to quickly release my intention.

That first year, I arrived with expectant intention. I had a plan. A course. I was going to get my written book published. I read everything I could about writer’s conferences, prepared myself, my portfolio, my business cards, my pitch. And that was all good.

It was supposed to be that way.

Yet while I was there the Wind did gust and ultimately changed my course.

I was in a workshop led by an esteemed agent. This person was clever and tricked people with reverse-psychology questions—making us students feel far less superior. I was full of determination and thus hadn’t completely lost hope after the first hour. I gave this person a second chance by sitting at their table during a meet-and-greet that afternoon. Excited to be chosen first, this person asked me who I was, what was I about, etc… With all my home-polished practiced, I began to tell my story—my passion—my book. When I finish this person blankly looked at me and said, “No one wants to watch your family vacation movies.” Then proceeded to use me as an example to the other conference attendees gathered around the table.

The air grew thick. The table’s tension thicker. As the seated participants settled into a deep-freeze, the agent tried to warm things up with a smile and quipped, “So Sherry, (glancing at my lanyard to confirm my name) did you learn anything?” I replied, “Yup! I just learned that I have no idea how to pitch my book because you just described a book I did not write.” Back-peddling with a half-assed apology uttered, this person asked me what my book was about. But fifteen-minutes had already been focused on me, seven more nervous-looking people came for this agents attention. I said I’d pass since others deserved audience. Although it seemed like no one wanted “audience” after watching me be passed through a gauntlet maze.

I didn’t go back to the workshop. I found another that seemed…interesting enough.

It was supposed to be that way.

This new workshop was led by a man teaching post-modern writing. Honestly I didn’t even know what that meant. But as I got to know the teacher, I learned he was a Life Coach. Our conversations dipped in and out of this information. He was encouraging, and yeah, I thought about it. But I had a good job and stuffed the information deep into the backpack of my mind. It seemed like a forgotten moment. BUT IT WASN’T. A seed was sown.

That less-than-kind agent, my bravery to change course and let go of intention, led me EXACTLY to where I am today. A Life Coach, an Author, and Healing Art Instructor.

That moment years ago was a catalyst in becoming a Christian Life Coach. Combining my years of experience as a Crisis Counselor for battered women, being a trained/volunteer sexual assault advocate for victims, years of working out conflict with managers and staff, years of employees telling me of their hardships—tears—fears—and getting them through that moment and planning how to move forward. These experiences, a seed, further education and certification has landed me in a my new path.

See, had I not had the “bad experience” I wouldn’t being doing this thing I love. Coaching. Teaching. Giving hope to the hurting.

It was supposed to be that way.

I’ve attended conferences since that first experience. And each time I’ve learned to hold things loosely and allow the things that will happen, to happen. Because most times, I have ZERO control over the circumstances. It’s God’s plan—it’s circumstances He either creates or allows—He’ll have it run its course as He best sees fit. My part—where I have control, is my responsibility. My choice is how I respond or what I choose to see, hear, and learn. Do I see the doors when God opens them, do I trust Him, do I hear the things I need to hear, OR am I too consumed in things not going according to MY plans?

So yeah, releasing intentions and plans, listening and being wide eyed with wonder and interest when the Wind pushes really hard—is sometimes the very VERY right thing to do.

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2 thoughts on “Whittled By the Wind: it’s supposed to be that way

  1. God works in such AMAZING ways!!! I remember that first time you went – all the prepping and planning that you did for it and I was soooo impressed. I just knew you were going to come home with a book deal because I loved (and grew so much) reading your blog and just HAD to read that book of yours! And I have seen how you have evolved since them, all because of God’s plan and your willingness to follow it (occasionally with some kicking and fighting :)). But you are a true example of how God can change our lives if we’re just willing to listen. Thank you for the wisdom and inspiration you have added to my life!

  2. Ooh, so wonderful.

    John 3:8 has become rather special for us in this newest season of life. My hubby says he likes to think of both meanings of the word born/borne – yes, having been given birth of the Spirit but also being carried by the Spirit – a little like the feather that Forrest Gump observed.

    I’m praying for the Wind to carry you where It will – honoring your willingness.

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