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Friday, March 18

Others lifted me up 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Joshua 1:9 

Last spring I experienced what I call an “All-Star spring training” period at work. All-time highs for sales growth, margin growth, and customer satisfaction had me riding high and dreaming of big things that come with that type of success — more responsibilities, pay raises, and promotions.

But sometimes life throws you curveballs — and normally when you least expect it. Some are big, slow, looping curves that are easy to hit out of the park. Others look like easy-to-hit home runs in the making, only to change direction suddenly, causing you to look silly as you swing for the fences and make no contact. Still others come up and in and cause you to dive out of the way.

Life threw that high, hard one that sailed up and in and it hit me — hard. That 95-mile-per-hour curve ball came in the form of a corporate restructure that displaced me from the place where up until then, I had been riding high. I had enjoyed nearly 18 years of success and had really found my niche in the last seven years of my career. It all came to an end in a blink of an eye. It hurt. It hurt badly.

I thought of the words of Joshua, but I did not feel strong. I was afraid and it was hard not to feel discouraged. But the Lord my God was with me. He was there in the form of the most supportive and encouraging family one could ever have. My wife, Carole, as always, was there to help prop me up and encourage me. God really shone through that first day when my children came home from school and hugged me, encouraged me, comforted me, and told me they loved me and that everything would be all right. It was so emotional for me and I felt God’s presence so strongly. Up until then I had been the one comforting, encouraging, and supporting them. I never expected them to lift me up. Since that day so many others through God have been there for me in much the same way.

Dear Lord, thank you for your presence in my life. Thank you for giving me the strength and courage I need to be brave. Amen. 

Jake Parrott 

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