It seems like many divine connections happen for me at my daughter’s tennis matches. Last year, at this time, I met a school counselor, Sue Janowski, from Lima, and six months later, I was hired to be the Positive Addiction’s keynote speaker. From that experience, I developed a relationship with Lima Central Catholic High School and I am now working with them on implementing my Integrative Authentic School Care Strategy.
Last week, I ran into a fellow tennis mom, Beth Barrow, who is the Director of Student Services at Toledo Public Schools (TPS). We struck up a conversation, similar to my conversation with Sue. Two weeks later and I am now set to sign a contract with TPS to work with the school counselors, school psychologists, and special education professionals to inspire and encourage them with tools and techniques that will help them endure life’s daily fires without getting burned out.
It does not end there. On October 4th, something similar happened. I was chatting with the parents of the girl that our daughter was playing, physicians Dr. Jim and Laurie Mooney, about running, yoga, and how I engage in these activities to gain a sense of peace, contentment, and rhythm in my life. Dr. Jim Mooney had attended a conference discussing the Center for Disease Control’s Adverse Childhood Experience study (known as ACE). Of course, I was astonished at the irony because, as most know, my work is about helping people push past adversity, challenges, and abuse. After my initial shock and excitement, I notched up our encounter as a completely divine moment, just as it was when I met the school counselor last year, and Beth Barrow.
I have one last story. This past Saturday, October 14th, during the district semi-finals, I ran into Matt Skotysnky, a previous co-worker and friend of my husband.
Pictured here are Matt and my husband, David, at the tennis match, looking like twins.
Matt mentioned that his two boys are now in college in Colorado. Then, the conversation shifted to the sad news that Matt’s brother passed away, suddenly, while mowing the lawn, a couple of weeks ago. Matt was devastated. I offered my condolences. Then, he mentioned that his brother left behind an eighteen-year-old daughter who is struggling, not only with her father passing, but with some other personal teenage issues, some of which involve her mom. I nodded and assured him that I understand what she may be going through.
Then, he said something striking, “She’s also struggled with some abuse and other deep challenges,” of which I do not have permission to share in this blog. However, I gasped and immediately said, “You know, Matt, a year ago, I published my book, Inspiration in My Shoes, and I think my book could really help your niece.” I went on to explain a few things about my book and my life mission. Matt broke down and cried. We hugged, and he said, “Wow, I just got goosebumps.” Of course, I did too. Then he said, “Oh, and my niece is interracial, and that’s been a bit of a struggle for her, living in a small town.” That is when I clasped my mouth and said, “Matt, I talk about growing up interracial and the struggles I had in great length in my book.”
We hugged again, and I started to tear up. I forwarded a copy of my book to Matt's niece, Bridge. I'm hoping and believing my book will bring her some hope.
So, you see, yet again, another divine tennis match connection.
So, what gives? What is up with all of these divine moments happening to me at my daughter’s tennis matches? It is rather uncanny, and so I felt the need to write out my thoughts. Here is what I figure is happening.
One of my top five values is my family. Nothing means more to me than spending time with my children and participating in their sporting events and other extracurricular activities. It literally pains me not to be at our daughter’s tennis matches or to miss any of our son’s athletic endeavors and other events.
Yet still, I have a deep desire to help young people and adults rise above their challenging circumstances and push past abuse, trauma, adversities, and challenges. At heart, I am a true entrepreneur. I do not mind working hard and putting forth the inordinate amount of time and effort to make my mission and my work a reality.
The reality is God knows my true desires and my willingness to work, and he wants nothing but good things for me.
Here is what I believe for myself and for you: When the God of the universe knows your true desires, sees that you are committed to your decisions and you are willing to work hard, remain passionate toward your morally sound why, and how it blesses others, He will bring everything to you. There will be no need to manipulate others, bust down doors, live in fear, be timid or shrink down so that others do not feel insecure around you. People will begin to come to you. Opportunities will appear. Ultimately, your passion and your destiny will converge. That is just a universal fact.
That is what I see happening at my daughter’s tennis matches and, without a doubt, in other areas of my life. The same can be true for you. You must be committed.
Meanwhile, I am going to keep attending my daughter’s tennis matches and having more divine connections. Who knows? Perhaps, one day, Michelle Obama will appear and weeks later, we will be working on a project to change the world. Well, at least that is what I am going to keep on believing.
Diana Patton is a Speaker, Social Justice and Integrative Health Advocacy Coach, Author and Attorney. Learn more about her by visiting her website. Click here to read a free chapter of her book, Inspiration in My Shoes, or read more of her articles, here. Interested in having Diana speak to your organization? Listen to this 15 minute video and contact her.