By Blogger Linda Ross
Two years ago, my daughter’s gradual change of thought regarding her career culminated in a decision to leave the corporate world to go to culinary school full-time. Several months later, distraught and in tears, she phoned me as she was driving home after saying goodbye to her Chicago office. She explained how much everyone said they would miss her, including her boss who offered to take her back anytime should life as pastry chef lose its appeal. The best I could muster to comfort her was, “Sweetheart, sometimes life’s big transitions can be messy.” Still in tears, she thanked me and hung up. I felt I had not helped in the least. I prayed about how to be a better comforter.
The next day, still feeling totally inadequate as a mother, my heart leapt as I read in the morning newspaper that Martha Stewart would be signing her latest cookbook that afternoon at a local store. Certainly a just published cookbook with a personal note to my daughter would be the perfect way to comfort her! During the long wait in line, we were briefed that because Martha had a limited amount of time to sign books (there were several hundred of us) we were not to engage her in conversation or ask her to inscribe personal messages…
When it was finally my turn to approach the table where Martha sat signing books, I took a deep breath. I thanked her for her work as she opened my book and began to sign simply, “Martha Stewart”. Without looking up from the task, she replied, “You’re welcome.” Then I said, “Martha I’m going to ask you to make an exception.” She put her pen down rather firmly and looked at me without a smile. I told her briefly about my daughter’s call the day before.
Martha leaned across the table and said emphatically, “You give your daughter a message from me. You tell her I have had 7 careers and I have no idea what I will be doing 2 years from now. You tell her that life evolves and we must evolve with it! And if we don’t, and if we don’t (she paused) – well, it’s just over! I’ve decided to make an exception. What is your daughter’s name?” Martha then wrote an encouraging note and I thanked her with all my heart.
In retelling this experience, I thought of my own life evolving – sometimes quite radically – from the familiar to the promisingly unfamiliar to once again a better place. As I look back, there was always present the golden thread of faith, summed up in this passage from Proverbs:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Linda Ross is a Christian Science Practitioner living in Connecticut.