My Nana once told me, “if you’re gonna give a testimony, then you’re gonna have to endure the test.” She was so right.  

And as  sometimes happens when I’ve got my eyes focused solely on the prize up ahead, plugging diligently away, a huge tree fell, unexpectedly, smack onto my path.

Barely escaping with my body and spirit intact, I was forced to stop and reevaluate my direction, my purpose and my dreams.

Stunned and standing in the shadow of the tree’s drooping and broken branches, I was at a loss as to what to do next, and I was forced to stand in the eye of the storm, with little to no protection.

Like all good tests, I would have preferred to study the lessons first, and to try to anticipate what questions would be on the test so I could prepare my answers, and pass the test. But life, well it just doesn’t work that way, while I was planning and strategizing , BAM, I was forced to pull up, stop and take stock.

At first, I couldn’t move or think, didn’t know what to do and I started to let doubt and fear creep into my soul and the darkness seemed to engulf me, surround me, stopping my creative flow and devouring my ability and determination to carry on.

As I took a deep breath, looking around at the damage, I am gratified to know that I have the best friends in the world. They have rallied to my side, supported me, (and if you know me you know I have a hard time letting that happen), talked me through the madness and helped guide me around the tree and back to my path. No judgement, no lectures just a few quiet reminders of love and support, and they guided me safely back to the road, to my purpose and to a new and improved dream. 

As one of my friends pointed out, “it won’t be the same  path but it could be a better path.” I have been tested, again, and I have endured and resurfaced better and stronger, and gratefully more equipped to take the test and get an A+.

I didn’t prepare for the test and I didn’t know the questions ahead of time, but faith and friends brought me home and here is my testimony. I am like the willow tree that loses a few branches in the wind, whipping rains pounding ceaselessly, scattering leaves and debris all around.  Yet, like the willow tree, I am snapping back with my roots still intact, grounded deep into the dirt, bended but not broken.

So, I’m back on my road again and although it has been dark for a few weeks the light is beginning to shine through and I am basking in its glow once again. This test is behind me and I don’t fool myself into believing there won’t be other tests, but I have the tools and the tribe to help me find my north star, should I lose my way again, or if a tree should fall in my path.

One step at a time, gingerly and slowly rebuilding my confidence, my spirit, and my committment, this testimony is complete and I am stronger for the test.

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