“What is your purpose? What’s your excuse for not showing up?”

I spent the past five days at a conference in Phoenix, AZ. The conference was designed to help further develop our parenting  program and to give us the tools for immediate impact on our vision for serving our clients.

The first night of the conference, I attended a mastermind breakout and I had the absolute honor of meeting a very special woman by the name of Tammy.

Out of everyone in our room, Tammy had the most confidence and focus on her direction. She had been a pastor of a church for the past 20 years, and she decided that her church platform was no longer the best way for her to reach her people. Her mission was simple; to get the congregation out of the pews and into action.

As she spoke about her dreams, you could see the passion within her. She had a flame burning inside of her that one could only dream of developing. While the rest of us were  trying to figure out how we could maximize our business model, Tammy had no doubt and she had the strongest will to succeed out of anyone in the room.

Throughout the next couple of days, the keynote speakers spoke of Tammy several times, as even they were in awe over her dedication to her mission. It was just another example of the very special message that this woman conveyed with such authority.

While seeing Tammy several times throughout the conference, we exchanged very polite interactions while sharing our experiences. She always had a smile on her face and faced the day with commendable enthusiasm.

On Friday night, I did not have a chance to connect with Tammy and the next time I saw her, there was a genuine shift in her demeanor. I immediately approached her to make sure she was okay and to see if there was anything I could do to help her.

It turns out that shortly after a presentation, her blood pressure dropped and she lost consciousness several times. Due to the lack of oxygen to her brain and other organs, the paramedics had to shock her heart back to life.

She shared her story with me and explained that she was alone and had a difficult time getting her health history conveyed to her caregivers. One can only imagine how awful and frightening the entire experience was for her.

You see, Tammy has been battling cancer, stage 3 kidney failure and she was recently diagnosed with the early onset of Parkinson’s disease.

I had no idea.

She never once complained or alluded to the fact that she was having difficulties. What defined Tammy was her mission, not her illness.

Even after being hospitalized, Tammy showed up, and proved to us that nothing is going to stop her from moving forward in what she truly believes. A true warrior is the only way to describe her.

There was something so special about this woman from the second I met her. The truth is that she does not know what her future has in store for her, but she is eager and willing to make the most out of every minute that she has. She knows that she can make a difference in this world.

We are all here for a reason – a specific purpose – we have a gift that we are expected to share with this world.

So I ask you today, “What is your purpose? What’s your excuse for not showing up?”

Deb

PS. I simply ask again, “What is your purpose? What’s your excuse for not showing up?”