Little did I know that when I said YES to an invitation from an 87-year-old woman named, Ellen, that my life would change dramatically and quickly. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years ago this Thanksgiving that I first visited Maui. I had never traveled so far by myself on vacation and I had never left my children at Thanksgiving. It was a big step.
I had been invited to speak at a church service about my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” After the service Ellen, who was visiting her family in Rhode Island, came up to me and shared that she lived on Maui. I said, “It’s always been my dream to visit Maui.” She smiled and said, “You can stay with me for as long as you want and you can use my car.” She showed me a postcard of her condo that overlooked the ocean. Ellen and I met for dinner before visiting her on Maui. She shared “This will be my first Thanksgiving alone since my husband died a few months ago.”
I couldn’t refuse the offer, especially since the month before I had signed up for a new credit card while walking through the airport and received a round trip ticket for anywhere in the world.
As I think about it today, I’m surprised that I had the courage to say YES to stay with a woman for 2 weeks that I had never met or knew nothing about. What would we do if we didn’t get along? Of course, I prayed about it and the answer was YES.
It was the divine plan and Ellen and I became fast friends during my two-week vacation. I swam with the turtles and watched the gorgeous sunsets and surfers riding the waves. Ellen showed me all around and I fell in love with Maui. Ellen wrote me a card right before I left that said, “KEEP THE VISION OF COMING BACK.”
That’s exactly what I did. I KEPT THE VISION OF COMING BACK! The following year Ellen invited me to stay in her condo for a month while she traveled. I couldn’t say NO to a month on Maui living on the ocean by myself for FREE. It was during that month that I heard the small, still, voice of God say, “I want you to move to Maui for 6 months.”
I really struggled and kept going back and forth about why I couldn’t do it. All of my “stuff” came to the surface. Where would the money come from? I was living on social security and a small pension. The biggest struggle was that I didn’t feel worthy or deserving to live on Maui for 6 months. I also couldn’t imagine leaving my kids and grandkids and moving 5,000 miles away. What kind of mother would do that?
I prayed, meditated, and let go. I only wanted God’s will if I only knew what it was. I was literally driving myself crazy until one day I said to God, “I need to know your will NOW.” I said out loud, “I’m going back to live in Rhode Island.” As I said it, my hand went to my heart and I gasped. That was my answer. My body was speaking and letting me know that it was God’s plan to move to Maui for 6 months.
The rest is history. Not only did I live on Maui for 6 months in a condo shared with friends for $400 a month, but I also moved here permanently in January 2011. I just kept saying YES to God’s plan. I live in the most beautiful place in the world with my soulmate and husband. We rent a home that overlooks the ocean. It’s all because I had the courage and faith to say YES to God’s plan for my life.
It has been an amazing journey and adventure. I have expanded more than I could have ever imagined. Here is some of what I have learned:
· God’s plan is always BIGGER and BETTER than mine
· I can trust the small, still, voice of God within
· I can trust myself that I’m being guided and protected
· I always have a choice to say YES or NO to God’s plan
· Fear is useless, what is needed is trust
· It takes courage to step out in faith and follow God’s plan
· I must be willing to go into the “unknown” and not have all the answers
· It’s all been planned in the mind of God and I just have to “show up”
· I’m responsible for my own happiness and can’t control others
How often have you said NO to God’s plan because of fear, not feeling deserving, or knowing all the answers beforehand? Is there something in your life that you are saying NO to now? I encourage you to say YES and to trust God that you are being led to the next right thing in your life. You can do it, trust yourself and God. Your answers are within.
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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