There Is a Way, and You Will Find It
Have you ever had a strong sense that there was something you were meant to do…but then second-guessed that knowing, because you couldn’t see how it would work?
Ever spent time in silence, getting clear on what you yearn for…and then felt a vicious wave of doubt knock you down?
I get it. I see it in my own life, and in my work with private coaching clients.
Often we pretend that the problem is not knowing what we want…when the truth is that we do know—we just don’t see a way forward.
So we say, “I just don’t know,” and, “I need to get clarity!” when the true difficulty lies elsewhere.
It’s not that we don’t know. It’s that we don’t believe it’s possible for us.
But what if we understood that taking action in the direction of our dreams is what allows the way to appear?
Here’s the story of a time when I learned that lesson.
From ages 13–21, I attended church summer camp in Scotland every year, on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. It was quite simply my favorite place on Earth.
The last several summers I served as a volunteer staff member, which meant that tuition was free. Airfare, however, was not.
When I was younger, my parents generously paid for my travel. One year, though, they (wisely) checked my privilege and said, “If you want to go to Scotland, you’ll need to pay your own way.”
I was a student, and I had just under two months to scratch together about $900. It felt daunting. But I had a very clear sense that I was meant to be in Scotland that year.
So I dove into applying for jobs. My old babysitting gig wasn’t an option, so I searched high and low. I submitted applications, made calls, and tried to sell a family heirloom. Nada.
At night I tossed and turned. I prayed and asked for help, but still, nothing materialized.
Why couldn’t I find a job, when I was willing to work and I had this clear, intuitive knowing that I was supposed to go to Scotland? Time was running out!
Just when I was starting to lose hope, my brother Willie’s behavioral aide came for her weekly in-home visit. When I greeted her, she said, “You told me you’re looking for a job for part of the summer, right?”
“Yes!” I said. Of course I’d told her. I was telling everyone.
“Well, there’s this preschool program for kids on the autism spectrum, and they need teacher’s assistants,” she said. “It’s only from now through mid-July, and the pay is pretty decent. I can refer you, if you want.”
“Yes! Thank you so much! That sounds perfect,” I said.
And it was. That’s not to say it was easy—is taking care of a passel of preschoolers ever easy?—but it was the right job for me that summer.
It gave me a taste of the work I’d do later on, as a caregiver for adults with special needs at L’Arche. It ended just before I needed to leave for Scotland, and it allowed me to earn exactly enough money to pay for travel.
And I do mean exactly. Working at the preschool, I earned precisely enough for round-trip airfare to Scotland and one Guinness beer, which I bought as a thank-you to the friend who drove me to the airport.
That summer, my friends bought glasses of wine and candy bars and postcards, but I smiled and said, “None for me, thanks.” There was no margin to speak of, and no money left over.
Yet I felt rich every single day. Why? Because I had been provided for. Because I was grateful.
Because I had just enough to be where I was meant to be.
Here’s what I want you to know:
You get to trust your inner knowing.
You get to pursue your own path.
If that resonates, I invite you to join me for The Pursue Your Path Series: How women who are great at doing what they’re supposed to do…start doing what they’re MEANT to do.
It’s a valuable—and totally free—online event, and Women For One’s founder, Kelly McNelis, is one of the featured speakers!
Claim your free ticket to attend here.
Previously published here.