When I was asked who has helped me along the way, and how has my faith been a part of it, I had a hard to pinning it to “one person” and one moment. There have been many angels along the way of life and having faith in the unknown has always been present. One very vivid memory stands out.
It was the summer of 1994 when I sold books door to door while in college. I was traveling alone in a different state with car issues. Unfortunately, one of the car break downs was on the highway, 10 pm with a failing alternator. I was pretty much in the middle of no where with the exception of a few businesses, gas station and a hotel. That Hotel that was a pay by the hour hotel, (I did not know that at the time) across the street from the gas station where we were at staring at my car engine.
As we (Gas station worker) and I were standing there looking at my failing car, a group of 8 or so men appeared to fuel up and get snacks on their way home from a bible study group. The Group consisted of 1 pastor and loyal church goers. They stopped over to see what was going on and if they could help … They knew the gas station worker… small town.
Well upon discussing the issue with the car, how to move forward and what next steps should be… the pastor asked where I was staying for the night. I looked up and pointed to the hotel across the street and said, ”I guess there” … There was really no other choice for I was not able to drive more that night. His eyes about popped out of his head, and said I would not stay there. The look of concern on his face.
He (the Pastor) offered for me to follow him to his and his wife’s place to sleep on the couch that night.
Crazy Right? Especially when you look at how crazy the world is today?
All the flags went off… of no, I could not do that. I would not want to inconvenience them… It was no problem to them to let me sleep on couch. I felt weird… I talked to his wife at length on phone. There was absolutely no pressure from anyone of them to ever say yes. They were very patient for my answer an hour later.
A small voice said it was OK. Complete strangers and I was going to sleep on their couch who knows where. Everything was going to be OK was what the small voice said as my conscious mind said that’s crazy. That small voice persisted and said it was OK. So, I listened to the voice, my instinct, had faith and followed him in my car to his and wife’s place, slept on couch, no issues.
The next morning, they made me breakfast and followed me for part of my journey to make sure I would be OK. Angels.
They were one of several angels I met that summer while selling books. Another one loaned me their truck while my car was getting serviced to change out the alternator so I could stay on schedule and deliver the books.
I was alone, but I was never alone. God was always there with me.
Fast forward to about 7-8 years ago and I had another one of those very profound grateful moments and discussion with myself. My stable (not so stable) good paying job that sucked the life out of me wanted me out. So, I with my husband’s blessings, put my notice in without a job lined up. I had already been looking and continued to do so for some time after. The Issue was no one was hiring at the time and if they were it was for a lot less than what I was making.
During the time of looking for a new job, searching, applying, interviewing etc., I had extra time and I begin painting again every day. A little more time goes by and that voice woke up again and this time was asking me “What do I really want to do?” Now’s the time to change if I am going to do something different.
What … do …. I …. really … want … to … do?
I want to Paint. I want to be an artist, a full-time artist. Just like that, all the rules of what “I am suppose to do” were thrown out the window. I was being honest with myself.
I researched other people making a living as an artist. Read how they were doing it and if it was possible. Upon reading stories, I said to myself one day, Why not me? Why don’t I go for it? If a single mother can make it work, why can’t I? This is my dream… Has always been the dream, Make someday, today.
I approached my husband and proposed, what do you think if I made a go of it as an artist? His response after a long breath was, “If you make x amount of dollars.” OK …. That’s a YES… A Greenlight.
OK, What will this look like?
Part time jobs, reaching out to art mentors, art workshops, teaching art classes and signing up with a business coach I am still working at it… evaluating where I am at every year… I am still not making what I made at the job sucking the life out of me, but I am happier. I am busier than I ever could imagine, work a lot of hours, but I feel ALIVE. I am making a difference for others. I found my purpose and have a new found confidence. I am a better mother for my kids.
Through it all, God is the constant. Having faith in the unknown, that it’s OK to move forward, pursue a dream, trust strangers, work hard, it will all work out. Faith, you know that thing you can’t really touch, describe or hold but it is always there, if you believe. When you are willing to listen for it, feel it, and accept it without a doubt, Faith is there no matter what.
People need to believe in truth and perseverance to set themselves free, know they matter and have faith doing it.
You may remember me from the Appleton Art Fair. My brother bought me the painting of the barn at Richfield Historic Park. I was rendered speechless at the time, so I just wanted to tell you how much I love this piece. I’ve hung it at the end of our hallway, and I’ve declared that the hallway shall no longer be called the hallway, but shall now be known as The Gallery. I look at it every day, and it brings my heart so much peace… so much serenity. I can feel the light and that crunch of the gravel as you walk the road, and barns and trees have always made me happy, even since my childhood.
I want you to know how much I love the painting of yours that I purchased from the Blizzard of Art show at the CCC. Your work stands out and I love your style. In fact, I was very surprised that you didn’t receive one of the awards. The subject matter was also appealing to me as I am a fisherman and am well familiar with that time of day going back to the dock as the sun is setting after an exhilarating day of fishing.
Michelle’s motto is to always be learning, help others and be happy