When I was 13, my parents and I started going to a campground, which birthed a lifelong friendship between the owners’ extended family and us. One of the family members had her first child the second year, and she immediately crept into my heart like a daughter or a baby sister. Little did I know, her choices would directly impact my journey, as she and her husband became influencers in my life.
We spent a lot of time together over the years as she grew up. I was in her wedding when she found the man of her dreams: a calm, quiet, and dependable family man. I came to know his mother during wedding festivities. She shared how her son came to experience God and know for sure we are loved and cared for by our Father. When his best friend died in his arms, he felt the presence of God arrive at the moment of his departure….so powerful, so real, and unlike anything on earth. It’s not a question of faith for him. He knows.
Over the years, they have had 3 boys, built a beautiful family, and then he found his passion running a successful farrier business. His new path appeared when putting on a roof for a farrier, who ran an apprentice program, but kept telling him that he was too old to enter the business and knew nothing about horses. His persistence and determination allowed him to follow his dream and build a successful business. His sons are already entrepreneurs and hard workers. One, at 15, sells handcrafted hoof picks all over the country. Two of the boys work farms or ranches outside of school term. They know hard work, and the God, who introduced himself directly to their Dad.
They have followed their calling as a family, including a trip to Montana that had all the hallmarks of not being meant to be when logistics got in the way, but undeterred, they found a way and heeded the call to go. But for her determination and the long ago purchase of a pony that led her family to horses, their life’s path would have been very different. They met people and made friends on that trip that are impacting their family’s path and their children’s destiny every day.
At a key moment for me considering a new calling into my own business, he quietly answered questions about his faith in following your passion, doing what it takes to learn what you need to know, and betting on yourself. He gave me the courage, and his words stayed with me during a crucial formation year for my company. He provided encouragement to write my first book when he declared he wanted to read it. I learned faith and taking action when you hear the calling create linkages that are meant to be.
These influencers had not even been born when God had worked out his plan for how I was to serve and how they would help me to accept the call. The loop was closed on the day my first book went live. With great synchronicity, I received the call from the publisher the day I returned to visit them. It was the same day that their new uniform shirts arrived; advertising their excellent farrier service in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond.
I’m so glad God led us to life long friends, and to the beauty of being able to positively reinforce lives throughout the decades of love and friendship. My dear friends, thanks for the reverse mentoring and the blessing of courage you gave me to get on with it and trust in God. He had you picked out as my influencers before you were even born. I dedicate the next phase of The Leaders’ Haven to you.