On Wednesday I’ll have the honor of being one of four speakers at a luncheon for the Christian Women’s Small Business Association here in San Antonio. The theme of each of our messages will revolve around one resounding word: “Relentless,” which Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines as “showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace.” Great word, isn’t it?! To me, it conjures up blockbuster images of a superhero crouching atop a skyscraper during a vicious storm, staring his nemesis boldly in the eye. It’s been one heckuva war with this nefarious foe. The hero feels anything but heroic; he’s tired, wounded, with everything to lose, most of all the loved ones whose very lives depend on his victory. But this is the last battle, and he refuses to back down. He chooses to be relentless.
The president of the CWSBA wrote to me that she wants this event to encourage women “to not give up on what God is calling them to.” It didn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to whisper exactly what I should share. It’s nothing like a dramatic final scene of a Marvel movie, but it’s definitely more believable and, I hope, relatable to my audience. I’ll share a bit of it with you in a series of posts, if you don’t mind.
Three years and ten months ago, my dad passed away suddenly, as many of you know. (You can read in-depth about it here.) Had I not leaned on the Lord during that time, I believe one of my long-time dreams would have died also. You see, I had just graduated from the University of Texas at Austin as a Radio-TV-Film major. But in that season of my life, I had been given a strong passion not to pack up and head to L.A. to work as a waitress by day and a starving artist by night (though doesn’t that sound swell?!), but to save money and open a personal training studio with a friend of mine and help others become their fittest.
I had been running a successful boot camp for a few months and was excited about what the future held; little did I know that the One who held the future was about to let my present endure a blockbuster movie-size storm.
I remember vividly the shooting star I alone beheld while my boot camp ladies were facing the other direction, working and sweating hard, paying no attention to any celestial pyrotechnics. The star blazed a brilliant path across the Austin sky at approximately 6:15 a.m. on August 12, 2009. A little over twelve hours later, my father’s spirit would be on his own journey across the heavens, into Jesus’ arms.
There are several reasons why that star is so meaningful to me, but the reason I’d like to highlight now is the fact that in Genesis 1, we find that God placed the stars in the sky to be “signs” and “tokens” (Gen. 1:14 AMP). The Hebrew word for “sign” and “tokens” is pronounced oth, and can mean “a distinguishing mark;” “remembrance;” “omen;” and “miraculous sign.”
This star was the first of many, many more that I would see illuminating the darkest night of my life, hours after my dad had shown me his grand coffee table book titled, Cosmos, filled with spectacular images of nebulae, supernovas, planets and stars. My dad was always a stargazer, always awestruck and made a poet by the wonders and beauty of nature.
This star seemed to carry with it this simple message from on high:
“I am with you. I’m in control. And I’m never leaving you.”
Thank you for reading Part I of this blog series. I hope it’s encouraged you to think of the metaphorical shooting stars God has sent into your skies, giving you strength to endure the night, and assurance of a bright morning to come.