I am not sure where this story is going to end up, or if it will even make sense when it is completed, but however it ends, I am called to share it. An hour later, as I edit it out, the lesson found herein is as much an admonishment to myself as it is anything else.
While attending the 20th annual Charleston Leadership Prayer Breakfast with several others from our company, I was once again reminded that there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to anyone’s struggles, victories and defeats. The event was again hosted by Seacoast Church and while I haven’t seen the attendance figures, there appeared to be a few thousand “in-person” attendees and several thousand watching the live feed.
Some of our struggles, victories and defeats might be found on the pages of the newspaper, FB, or maybe even on television. They are there for the world (or anyone who might care) to see.
Some may be contained within a small circle of family, friends, co-workers or even bloggers.
Some may simply exist between us, the mirror and our God.
Regardless of how your story may play out and during these days of division (“me vs you/us vs them”), all humanity shares the common bond of struggles, victories and defeats.
The keynote speaker at this year’s Leadership Breakfast was Shannon Bream of Fox News. I will be candid and admit that I had low expectations for the address. I knew very little about Shannon other than that she was an anchor for Fox and probably attractive, smart and successful. Her story would be just one of victories, right? Once again, I was wrong and am not ashamed to admit it.
Shannon shared her journey to today, including working countless hours for next to nothing so as to gain the skills and relationships to be at the right place at the right time to take advantage of an opportunity. She also talked of her suffering from an incurable disease that almost ended her career. She told of the two times she was seriously considering completing suicide because of the pain and hopelessness of her medical condition. Instead, she continued to place her trust in God and that trust sustained her.
Her enduring trust in God’s plan for her life turned out to and continues to be her greatest victory.
Shannon’s was a very public testimony, but we all know people who live, not in the bright lights of a TV studio, but in the often shadowy light of everyday life . . . struggling, winning and losing. The rest of us are out there also . . struggling, winning and losing.
Let us not forget the power of a simple telephone call, handwritten note of even a text message. A saying I learned 39 years ago. . .
“Joy shared is joy increased. Pain shared is pain diminished”