You are Needed:
Your Presence and Your Gifts
By Cherie D. Trahan
October 22, 2017
Something personal and deeply spiritual about me, which I also share in captivating details within the pages of my draft manuscript for my Christian Living memoir entitled, S.W.A.G. (Spiritual Walk Appointed by God): My Accumulated Miracle Blessings, is how I often have colorful, memorable, and sometimes foretelling dreams when asleep. Further, this reoccurring life phenomenon when experienced usually then leads me to spiritual-driven interpretations, thoughts for wisdom, and revelations about real-life issues and true life events that are worth sharing with those around me and as an up-and-coming Christian author.
Therefore, one dream that I had most recently was not any different. In this vivid and memorable night vision, I was swimming in an indoor swimming pool alongside a few other swimmers. It then wasn’t too long before I noticed two individuals, who were standing on the platform area while completely decked out in their lifeguard attire. However, there was something extremely odd about their body language and overall auras that provided me with non-verbal indications that their attitudes toward their important roles and responsibilities as lifeguards was vastly off.
While one came across as being far more interested in how cute she felt she looked while in her lifeguard swimsuit, the other simply lacked the level of alertness and interest that was needed to adequately serve in his role and purpose, as he fell asleep right in his lifeguard chair! So despite being two individuals who presumably had met certain criteria and passed certifying tests that deemed them as capable and qualified to take on the title of a "lifeguard," which of course came with the very important responsibility of looking out for the safety and well-being of all swimmers through preventive and lifesaving efforts to guard people against the risk of drowning, they instead were either highly distracted or completely out of touch with the significance of their presence. Their focus was simply on the wrong things such as how good they felt they “looked” when on assignment and while on their designated platform.
Then sure enough, a worst-case scenario began to unfold right before my eyes. In a split second, my attention was abruptly grabbed by a swimmer who was visibly in distress. I watched as his head started bobbing in and out the water. I then started screaming at the lifeguards to help him (as I am not a good swimmer), but to no avail. As every second then became crucial, the distressed swimmer simply did not get the life-impacting attention, encouragement, expertise, or help that his ability and will to stay afloat was counting on and needed, as he started to sink and became completely submerged under water. I had also taken notice of how it seemed as though he had used all the strength he had and then just completely gave up, leaving me to wonder about the difference that could have been made and the life-impacting actions that should have been taken, if only the two lifeguards understood the significance of their presence and the positions they were in with a missed opportunity to offer hope and provide the help that was needed to rescue someone else while on their designated platform, as expected of them. I then awoke—to unshakable meditation as well as repeated mental reflections on the interpretation of this dream and the spirit-awakening message I received.
As we are all created in God’s image and with divinely-assigned purpose, each of us therefore carries a God-given gift that resides strongly within us, as well as a unique life journey that is filled with real-life stories that are both valuable and needed. First, it is your gift—the very thing that you do so well and with natural ease such as having the ability to lead and connect with children as a teacher, or having the ability to fix just about anything with your hands as a handyman or a mechanic, or having the ability to creatively decorate any space with a keen eye for details as a decor specialist and event planner—that divinely qualifies you and equips you to help meet a specific need here on earth for the benefit of others. So, in essence, there are people who await and are in need of your presence with certain aspects of their lives being dependent upon you fully tapping into and using your gift (e.g., as an artist, as a minister, as an entertainer, as an author, etc.) to your fullest potential, as it will positively affect and impact their lives and their life experiences.
In addition, we all have a story to tell and often naturally embedded, for example, are real-life instances when you had to confront and deal with adversity situations and challenging circumstances that resulted in valuable life lessons or memorable faith experiences—or both. So while you don’t have to tell every single detail of your personal business, what you can enthusiastically share (whether on an informal or formal platform) are the most significant details that will allow for your presence (as the "living testimony" that you are) to serve as an authentic and persuasive example of the level of perseverance that is needed, which can then give hope to others.
Therefore, it is important to know the importance of your story and the significance of your gift, as they can turn out to be the much-needed and on-time “lifeline” that someone else awaits and needs to help prevent them from becoming discouraged or prevent them from drowning in their challenging life circumstances and difficult seasons, as your life will help to show that it is possible to overcome. Further, as no one else can apply your gift or tell your story quite like you can, you have a God-designed role with a specific assignment at hand. So when you use your gifts in a manner that reflects humble gratefulness and with a full awareness of this (which also honors God, as the "gift giver"), or if you are someone who has a heart's desire to share your story to help inspire others, you will often find that platform opportunities for you to pursue will, in return, find you! Therefore, two things you must steer clear from is sitting on or sleeping on the importance of your God-given gift and the hope-giving story that you have to tell; and focusing on the wrong things such as how good you feel you will "look" when on a given platform, as what you carry within you is far more valuable than just that. Yes, you are tremendously valuable as a part of God's bigger plan, as He wants to use you, your gift, and your story to help bless the lives of those that He knows are connected to you and are counting on you to fully live in your divine role and God-given purpose.
Restaurant Revelation by Cherie D. Trahan
September 22, 2017
Who knew that an impromptu outing to one of our favorite restaurants would lead to a spiritual light bulb moment? Well, that is exactly what happened one Sunday after my young son, who was about eight-years-old at the time, and I had visited a church as first-time visitors and decided to go and get some lunch immediately afterwards.
Once we made it to the restaurant, we were then seated at a comfortable booth, and a friendly waitress took our orders just as done so many times before. However, it wasn’t too long before my son started to get antsy about the whereabouts of his food, as it was taking too long for him. It was as though his appetite was continuously growing with each passing minute, as we did spend most of that morning at church with half-empty stomachs.
So my son deferred to me a few times to inquire about the whereabouts of his food, which at least was a clear indication that he knew it was surely on its way, but just a bit delayed for his liking. I then simply responded with a few comforting words and positive reassurances of how sitting patiently for our food’s arrival would help us to instead use our energy and our time of waiting to enjoy ourselves and each other’s company.
That's when I then realized I was teaching him a lesson in how we had to trust that our waitress—and a chef who we knew existed, but remained behind-the-scenes—had the ability to do their jobs with the desire to tend to our requests and restaurant needs. Therefore, it was not a matter of whether our food would arrive, but rather when; and that’s when it hit me!
As my spirit started to do somersaults and then leaped, I immediately received the following spiritual revelation while sitting at that restaurant booth with my young son: similar to my encouraging and reassuring words as lovingly spoken to him, this is the same level of spiritual awareness, self-encouragement, and full assurance we should always strive to have and display—when we pray and then patiently wait for God's answer.
Similar to the level of trust and the automatic expectancy mode that we so often and naturally activate after putting in our meal requests during restaurant experiences, this is exactly what our heart’s posture and expectancy levels should resemble after sending our prayer requests up to God—as a part of our daily faith walks. As we believe in God's existence and know (with full assurance) that He loves us and wants to bless us, we must also fully trust in His ability to answer our prayer requests and tend to our life needs. Further, when sitting and waiting inside a restaurant, we are not in a constant state of worry or fear about our food, as we automatically believe and trust that it's on its way, as we so easily and patiently wait. We don’t repeatedly make inquiries or excessively check-in with the waiter or waitress; we don’t stare or focus on what’s going on at neighboring tables and concern ourselves with their restaurant experiences; and we don’t get up from our table and try to go behind-the-scenes to intervene or take over to see if having our hand in the matter will help speed things up.
Instead, we cast all our cares on using that time of waiting to have fun and “live it up” through engaging in animated conversations, telling jokes and laughing, and playing games at the table, as we simply focus on enjoying every second within "the wait" with a conscious awareness that any level of being impatient or worrying about the whereabouts of our food (according to our own timing) will turn out to be energy-zapping, joy-stealing, and counterproductive to activating the level of trust that is needed during our restaurant experiences; and this same principle applies as we must
activate our trust and faith with full confidence in God—when we pray.
You can pray for anything,
and if you have faith, you will receive it.
~ Matthew 21:22 NLT Version ~