i was speaking with someone yesterday.
the conversation went to life…business…schools and religion.
the company that she worked for was intertwining business and religion.
my thoughts went to our business...
i reflected, i prayed, and i have a story to share...
i was 22 weeks pregnant with our second child, my london marie.
it was a typical day in the life of a young mother, with jonah, 11 months at the time. my dad was in from arkansas visiting…i was planning a shopping trip with my mother in law...
and the bleeding started.
at the hospital, i had escalated to full labor and was losing a lot of blood.
i had placenta abruption. whatever that was, was now a term that would mean life or death for my unborn child.
everything happened so quickly, all a blur… i was being loaded into a helicopter to be flown to pittsbrugh. if my child survived, she would need a life saving respirator that our NICU was without.
the flight, the arrival into the hospital. the only word to describe it is, surreal.
i remember thinking it looked like i was being lifted into the blades of a great meat grinder as they lifted the gurney to raise me into the helicopter. those chopper blades looked like they would swallow me up alive.
being whisked out of the chopper…dozens of people around me…the gurney flying through the halls...
the exams…the i.v.'s….
my head was spinning, i was alone, and my heart was screaming out to God to save my unborn baby.
charlie would not arrive for another 4 hours. he had to drive home from work, pack and find care of jonah, pack for himself, and then make the drive to pitt.
in the blur of everything, the bleeding stopped. the contractions slowed….
miraculously, labor was trying to cease.
i had kept my eyes closed for a long time.
praying…begging…just trying to breathe.
and i saw this.
i saw my unborn child, in my womb…in shades and tones just like the image.
and i saw two large hands enter the image…the hands gathered my child from my womb, and lifted her away. and all i felt was peace.
intstantly, the hands reappeared. the large fingers began to caress my baby's face...
over her eyes, over ears, over her mouth, her head...
and as they moved, i knew they were healing every area that was touched.
lastly, the image changed to the large hands around her body once more.
they lifted my unborn child, and they raised her into charlie's and my waiting arms.
and i opened my eyes with unbelievable peace…and joy…and HOPE.
the story in my heart was not that i was promised death, healing or even that we would receive this child.
this story in my heart was that this child..our unborn child, was in the hands of God.
and in His hands, peace, joy and hope were all i needed for those moments.
i carried London Marie, to full term. when she was delivered, the placenta was examined.
they could not even find where the placenta had torn. it had healed completely.
and my declaration?
what does this story mean to my conversation yesterday, you, and even more so, our business?
it means that i don't mix religion with business. i don't mix religion with anything.
God is PART of me, and therefore, will be involved in anything i take part in, invest in, or speak of.
i love people….
no matter what you believe, look like or smell like (however i adore fine men's cologne!)...
i will never judge you, or force what i believe on you….
but know this...
if you speak with me, hire me, meet with me, dine with me...
HE is part of ME.
the beginning of the scenes that i saw that evening actually did not start with seeing my unborn child.
the scene began in my 100 year old house, with charlie and i pulling our carpet back to reveal our beautiful hardwood floors.
underneath the floors, there was dirt. so, so much dirt.
we kept trying to push the dirt underneath that carpet so it would go away.
we thought twice about baring those beautiful hardwood floors, because the dirt...
the never ending dirt…
it was too much to clean way.
but we did.
we began feverishly removing the dirt in every way possible to get to that hardwood.
and that is when the hands appeared on our unborn baby.
i've spent time this year cleaning the floors of my heart to reveal to you all gleaming restored hardwood.
there have been times that this business, in all it is, was, and will be, tried to die in our hearts and our arms.
but this i know.
God created in me this vision, this art, this talent, this message.
it is reborn and it is not mine even though it carries my name.
i have taken it from His extended hands, and we are humbly recreating it for you…in incredibly different ways.
i invite you to follow us on this journey...
Isaiah 55 (the Message)
“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
12-13 “So you’ll go out in joy,
you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
living and lasting evidence of God.”