By Jody Williamson
Several years ago, I started attending Chamber of Commerce lunches in the area. At first, I questioned the nudge to attend these lunches and it took time to begin seeing the value in going, but over time relationships began to emerge. It is fascinating to watch them unfold.
At these lunches, I have met people from all types of business and backgrounds. It’s really fascinating – so many dedicated people who come together to network and share with others what they do. One of the topics that often binds people together is leadership. This topic continually creates opportunities for conversations that lead to building relationships. These relationships are building a bridge between Lighthouse and the community. It is fascinating to see what God is up to through them.
Recently, I had a conversation with a person I’ve been building a relationship with for quite some time. She is highly respected and very influential in her field of work. She exudes the essence of quality, leadership, humility and passion for community impact. Our paths have crossed through Leadership Northwest (a Chamber sponsored, non-profit organization for developing leaders through various outings in the community.) After deep soul searching, she shared that this fall she will be making major changes in her life. The stress, the frenzy, was just getting to be too much. She’s leaving a great career a few years early. She looked at me and said, “I just need to fill my soul.”
Like many “baby boomers,” this friend is also grieving the recent loss of her father, wanting to take more time with her mother and love on a new grandchild. She remarked at being pulled in so many directions, but at the same time, she knew she would always have a desire to make a difference. She said she would be seeking ways to serve—in the community and in the church. It made me pause to think about how much courage it takes to leave a career like hers and simply want to serve others and take the time for what’s most important.
I believe there are many people in our community who are inwardly crying, “I just need to fill my soul,” but on the outside, we may think they have it all together. Every day, everywhere, we encounter stressed—out people in this fast-paced world we live in– you see it in the harried looks on their faces and you hear it in their weary voices. The “successful” person we meet at a Chamber luncheon or elsewhere in the business community could be easily overlooked unless we take a closer look. Thanks be to God for the doors He is opening with people like my friend who is seeking to “fill her soul.”
Jody is the Director of Equipping at Lighthouse Fellowship. If you have any questions about this article or about Lighthouse, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.