“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
It was a busy afternoon at the St. Louis, MO airport. Lots of people waiting impatiently at their gates on delayed flights due to a bad storm. I was in a rush to get to my connecting flight, only to find out it had also been delayed by three hours. My heart was racing, but not because I had been in a rush to get to the gate, rather from wrestling with many of the unknowns in my mind about my future and the support needed for the newly formed nonprofit I had founded two years prior when I was 19.
Coming to the United States from a former communist Bulgaria on December 5, 1994, with just a $100 and having to learn English in less than two months, was like experiencing the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament. Instead, my ‘red sea’ was impossibilities, insecurities, financial struggles, identity crisis, and overwhelming cultural barriers. At 21 years old I was still establishing myself as an evangelist, speaker, and a CEO of an organization. In those days as a young, single woman, people often didn’t take me seriously, and sadly, there were those who watched me from the sidelines in anticipation to see when I would give up or fail. Now here I was trying to get to my speaking engagement but was faced with a delay and was trying to come up with a plan within my natural ability and resources.
What seems like a delay in life is often God’s set-up for a miraculous encounter and a solution. Therefore, it’s very important to have the right perspective on the delays and look for the invisible mentors in our life during hardships. This particular St. Louis airport delay brought a life-changing experience through a divine appointment created only by the Lord. Sitting next to me at the gate was Dr. T.L. Osborn!
Together with his wife Daisy, and daughter LaDonna, they were one of the very first American Evangelists to hold the largest mass-miracle events around the world. Immediately, he recognized my Eastern European accent, and we began to talk about Bulgaria, evangelism, healings, and miracles. The time quickly flew by, but his words still echoed in my ears. They changed the way I viewed myself and ministry; brought peace and confidence into my soul. Their wisdom and value transcended time.
That night I wrote them in my journal, so I would remember them and share them with others, like you, who may need encouragement and direction:
“In life you will have many opportunities. It’s easy to get distracted when you don’t have clear direction. Wait on the Lord, ask Him for wisdom, and only choose the opportunities that will take you closer to the fulfillment of what God has called you to do. Don’t waste time exploring unnecessary routes. I don’t do anything more, even if the whole world was for me, and I don’t do anything less, even if the whole world was against me. Be free from other people’s opinions and their approval or rejection. Preach the Gospel of Jesus and don’t preach about yourself. Only Jesus changes lives, therefore live and do everything only unto the Lord! He is the only One who counts!” (Dr. T.L. Osborn, 1923-2013)
I have been in full time ministry now for almost 28 years. The shy and insecure person that I was back then has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve gained wisdom from the Word of God and from key leaders the Lord brought into my life. It is on the straight and narrow path where you will meet the people who have paved the road of faith for us and have passed the baton into our hands. Thus, we can continue to create a path by sharing God’s miracles to the upcoming generations.
Young women and ministers, often expect their dreams and visions to be fulfilled right away once they begin full time ministry or are in pursuit of their calling. Unrealistic expectations, lack of preparation, and inconsistency will become major roadblocks and create setbacks along our journey. It’s easier to take the elevator to outward success, rather than the stairs leading to internal character development. It has taken--and continues to take--many years of doing my best when no one is watching. Choosing to study new topics and develop my giftings, even if no one believed in me or invited me to speak anywhere. Showing up faithfully and with a great attitude, even if people didn’t appreciate what I had to offer. Learning how to be consistent and transparent on and off stage. Feeding the dreams in my heart, by reading biographies about other women and men who had similar callings. Those were the seasons of growing pains. They are not only important, but they are also a critical part of our journey of spiritual development.
When God births a vision inside of you, you don’t have to beg for recognition. Remind yourself of the story of Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45). Whoever is impregnated with the same vision, or has walked the path before you, will recognize you and will invite you to travel with them. It is important to write the miracles down along the way so that you can remind yourself of the journey you’ve been on. They will serve as an encouragement to you and will keep your faith ignited and your passion stirred.
I have chosen the road less traveled, and on that road the only one you can rely on is JESUS! No matter what lies ahead I have chosen to never limit God nor make decisions based on the unknown future in front of me. I invite you today to do the same! May all our decisions be made based on God’s kingdom principles, rather on past disappointment, fear, or self-limiting believes. The Lord has traveled the unknown path before you. He knows what you need, and He will order your steps. Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled when the Miracle-Worker has chosen to journey with you!
Cheering you onto greatness,
Founder & CEO “Changing a Generation”