Last week I met a young lady with a story that forced me to reassess a few things in my life. Ok, I use the word met loosely because I've seen this woman plenty of times. She is the shampoo assistant of my hair stylist and although we've always spoken and exchanged pleasantries, our conversations never extended much further beyond "Is your hair itching anywhere?", “How much longer do I have to sit under the dryer?”, and occasional small talk about current events. This day was different; she and I were the only two in the salon (my stylist hadn’t arrived yet), and for some reason I wanted to know about her so I asked if she had aspirations of owning a salon. She quickly replied “No!” as if I’d asked if she wanted to thread weave needles for the rest of the day! So I said to myself, “Not today Sharnikya, just mind your...” But before I could finish that thought, I had already asked “Why are you doing this then?” Yes! I was all up in the business of this woman I didn’t even know…but I genuinely wanted to know the answer.
She said that a little over a year ago, she owned a daycare but got sick and ended up in the hospital for a couple of months. I wasn’t prepared for that answer. I didn’t have a preconceived idea per se but subconsciously I’m pretty sure I expected her to say something along the lines of “I’m doing this until I get out of school.” Either way, that certainly was not the response I expected. And I most definitely wasn’t ready for her to tell me that she lost the daycare and is living in a shelter – separated from her daughter – as a result of bills, a period of depression, and a string of poor choices. What?! I see this woman about three times a month and I had no idea. Clearly, it wasn’t for me to know until now and that’s ok, but it drives home the point that you never know what someone is going through. She is always pleasant in the salon and her face never showed her ‘story’. We talked at length about what she would need to do to move to transitional housing, get her daughter back, and open a day care again. We’ve agreed to touch base regularly as she continues on this journey.
Subsequently I started thinking about why I received this information. Of course, I can and will help her, but I wanted to know what else God wanted to show me and it led me to question my behavior while waiting for God. Waiting is not always easy and I’ve certainly been a little bratty at times while waiting on God – judge if you like but I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world that wants what they want when they want it. This woman inspires me because her demeanor has been pleasant even while waiting for God to turn things around. She was not moping around and most definitely didn’t look like all that she had been through. I was reminded that my behavior and disposition while I’m waiting is just as much a part of the testimony as is the outcome.