Off and on in my life, and more so these past few weeks than ever I find myself asking the question, “How did I end up here”. Coming back around full-circle I question my purpose and want to make sure that exactly what I’m doing is my purpose.
Ashley Horner at American Brew Coffee & Whiskey, Virginia Beach, VA
Here’s a story I have never told before and maybe I’m telling it now because it’s making more sense four years later. I was working-out one evening at a local fitness gym while living in Guam. It was semi crowded time in the area. I finished my lifting and was hitting my last 20 minutes on the dreaded StairMaster. A middle-aged, local man walked up to my machine and said, “Excuse me ma’am can I talk to you for a minute?” I glanced down at him and then back at my machine and replied “um…well you can talk to me while I’m on here.” He hesitated and then said, “okay… well… I don’t ever tell people this but I need to tell you, and this is going to seem really strange, but I wanted to let you know that you’ve had two little kids playing around you. A boy and a girl since you’ve been in here.” At that point I almost fell off the stair climber. As I made a jerking move with my body to turn and look around me. I didn’t see anyone. He said, “They have been playing around you all evening. And it’s okay, it’s not a bad thing, it means that children are attracted to you because of a light you have.”
As bizarre as that is, it has stuck with me over the years. I don’t think we are supposed to always know our purpose and if it’s the right one in the here-and-now. Many of us are doing our purpose and probably don’t even realize it. In the same sense I think many of us think we are doing our purpose but have missed the mark completely. I believe that one person can serve many sole purposes at different stages in their life. If you would have asked me a year ago if I think I’m serving my purpose, my answer would have been with hesitation and thought. But YES I believe for the past few years I am serving my purpose and it’s leading me to a greater purpose. We must go through growing pains to get there, heartache, loss, victories, celebrations, and development. For the longest time I have believed that right now I am collecting my tools, experiences, and bringing people into my life that will help me serve my ultimate purpose. I’ve always been a woman of faith, faith gets you through to the other side, though hard time through struggle and trials you have to have faith that things will work out. Just two weeks ago at night, in my quiet bedroom, I flopped down on my bed looking up at the ceiling as if I was about to make a snow angle in my sheets. I sat in silence for a moment with a loud sigh I spoke out loud almost in an annoyed whisper, “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO BE DOING?” I paused as if waiting for an answer in the silence. I am always content being where I’m at especially if I’m living my purpose as to what I’m supposed to be doing. But I’m always ready for the next step.
Three days later I was looking up orphanages in Haiti, something that I would occasionally do but hadn’t in a long time. For some reason, something had been on my heart but I never knew why. It’s an overwhelming experience looking at Haiti and knowing what organizations to be apart of or how to help. I even sent the Haiti adoption link to some of my friends (more in a joking manner). I spent about 45 minutes looking at things in Haiti online and it just ended as that, everything seemed so confusing. Two days later sitting at the end of the bar at American Brew, my coffee whiskey shop in Virginia Beach, I struck up a conversation with the girl who happened to be sitting next to me. Her name is Eva and she is a photographer. “What type of photography?” I asked. She told me, “for a marketing company and I work with an orphanage in Haiti.” I about fell out of my chair.
In order to grow and learn you have to be willing to learn and accept the change, challenges, and growing pains that will lead you to victory. When I’m alone I truly never feel alone and I think that’s because I’m so connected with the depths of me that I feel things. I don’t live day-to-day but try to be alive for each day and to have intent and meaning with everything I do. The challenge is there if you’re ready for it. Be open and willing to listen,  listen to your heart and know that everyone who comes in-and-out of your life is there to teach you something. To equally help each other grow and to share experiences together. It’s what makes us, gives us a defining character, and keeps our roots deep.

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