When we met for lunch at the tea room downtown – an early 20th century bungalow and remodeled café offering “English Tea with a Southern Flair” – and Carol asked me to lead the women’s study at our church in the fall, I told her I’d prayerfully consider it, but I knew God was handing me a gift.
As a professional nurse, I’d flourished in leadership opportunities in the past. With experience and growth in confidence and skills, I grew to love speaking in church, at retreats and to groups of women, but when I assumed my mother’s full-time care, I began turning down opportunities. A few years after mother died and my health declined, I rarely accepted the invitation to speak.
By the time Carol offered me this new opportunity, my leadership and speaking skills needed brushing off, and the systemic effects of chronic rheumatoid disease continued to slow my pace, but six months past my last total knee replacement, my mobility was better than it has been in years. More importantly, I’d been anticipating the hole that my son’s family’s impending move – far from our home on Pollywog Creek – would leave in my heart and awareness of purpose. The opportunity to lead the fall study, to be able to do what I love, to experience a renewed sense of purpose, and to have a focus for my time and energy seemed perfect – until I began to compare myself with Lisa.
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