October 26th, 2006 was the most life changing day that I have ever experienced in all of my days on this planet. I was sitting at my desk in my home office when my then husband walked in. There had been so much tension between us and a divorce was only as far away as who would be the first to file. Up until that point I was adamant that I wanted to save my marriage.
He wanted to talk about money and had made it very clear to me that if I wanted to leave the marriage I shouldn’t expect to receive any portion of the fifty thousand dollars that we had sitting in our savings account. For that matter, I should not expect to get the house or the time share (which he knew I wanted since I used it for business) or anything else that we had accumulated over the seven years that we were married.
He made me a proposition: I could buy him out and if I gave him the full amount that we had paid for the time share I could have it. I asked him if he wanted to talk, angry words were exchanged, accusations were made and for the first time in all of our years together my husband decided to lay a hand on me.
The result of that incident is that I landed in jail with a felony charge of Corporal Abuse to a spouse and a bail set at fifty thousand dollars. My parents and four young children stood and watched as their daughter and mother was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car and hauled off to the county jail.
I didn’t quite know what to think as I was driven to the police station. I was numb and my body began to ache as the adrenalin high began to wear off. The cuffs were way too tight and digging into my wrists but even with all of that I felt a sense of peace that I had never felt before in my entire life. Not only did I know that everything would be alright, I knew that there was purpose in what I was experiencing.
I got to the jail and was placed in a holding cell. I remained there until I was taken out to be processed. As I was being processed, the initially rude clerk who was taking my booking photo asked me a routine question and continued to process me all while never even looking up at me. I answered her question. Upon hearing my answer she stopped dead in her tracks, turned to look at me and declared “I know you!” Being that I am a former officer I figured that she knew me that way and I told her so. She was adamant that that was not it and said “I remember you. I remember your voice!”
I share this story because it drives home the point I want to make with this post and that is that YOU are significant and have a voice!! This young lady was thrilled to see me again. She expressed to me that her meeting me and hearing me speak had inspired her in her life and that she had always wanted to see me again but didn’t know how to contact me since she had lost my business card. She told me that she never forgot what I had said to her or how I treated her.
I kept thinking about what the young lady had said about remembering my voice. I have always hated my voice and thought I sounded like a guy. It’s a soft voice but kind of deep. It is only recently that I have accepted the fact that I don’t have a normal girl voice and have learned to embrace it.
My desire for you is that you too will come to realize that YOU have a voice and that you will embrace that voice! I’m not talking about your audible voice but I’m talking about your actions! I’m talking about WHAT you say and the effect that you will have on someone just by what you do and what you have to say!
So many times we don’t think that what we do or say has any significance. I know because I too felt that way at one point. My experience of going to jail and reconnecting with this young lady changed all that!
We tend to look at people who are in the limelight or who are on TV with titles behind their names and consider those people the authority in their field. We look at them and think that they really have it all together. We compare ourselves to them and think that we will never have the impact that these people have because we are so insignificant.
But I want you to know that you ARE significant and that you have a purpose for being here on this earth at this time! You may or may not have all the resources to start a school in an impoverished country or give millions to a charity organization but that doesn’t mean you have no significance!
Perhaps you donate to a local shelter or help feed the hungry. Perhaps you drive your neighbor’s kids to school because they are unable to that day. Perhaps you greet the checker behind the cash register with a smile and address her by her first name. Perhaps you greet a stranger with a “good morning beautiful/handsome” and make their day! Perhaps you offer a word of encouragement to a teenager you know is having some challenges with friends or family. Perhaps you tuck your children into bed at night and spend time with them even though you yourself are exhausted. The point of it all is that no matter how small the gesture or how insignificant you think it may be, YOU have an impact!!
I never thought that the young lady that I had met at a meeting would remember something I had said or done or that it would have such an impact on her life. And of course I never imagined that I would go to jail and that that same someone would be in a position to now impact my life all because she remembered my voice!
So please understand that YOU have a voice and that your voice is significant! You may not think so but there is someone that needs to hear from YOU! There is someone whom only YOU can speak to! Remember that! Remember YOUR voice and when you feel an urge to say something encouraging to someone don’t hold back!! Say it! You just may change someone life!