Suddenly the stacked plastic chair mats I was sailing across the polished concrete floor on in the dark … hit the wall. Which hurled me up into the air. Suddenly I flipped in the air and landed on my right side. Crushing the upper right side of my body.
What does suddenly mean? “An abrupt transition that occurs unexpectedly.” … “In a snap of the fingers, in the blink of an eye.” Yes. That was a suddenly. It was an unforgettable suddenly.
That’s the kind of “ suddenly” that none of us particularly wants! But there are those “suddenly’s“ that change our lives for the better forever.
Last week, I was listening to a message and the speaker said, “One 5 word text can change your life forever.” The point of the message was encouraging us to not miss opportunities to speak powerful words of support encouragement over people that we care about.
Have you ever received one of those kinds of texts? Or emails? Or phone calls? Something that was said that turned your life upside down for good?
I’ve been a big believer in “suddenly’s“ since I was in my late 20s in graduate school. I was taking an Ancient history course that pointed out how many times there were “suddenly“ experiences recorded in biblical accounts.
One of my favorites was the report about Ezekiel coming upon a valley of dry bones. Perhaps it resonated with me because of where I was personally. It was a desolate, dry time in my life. I felt like I had lost everything that had mattered to me up until that point.
When I read the account of Ezekiel speaking to dry bones and “suddenly“ they began to rattle and come to life, I was absolutely intrigued. Perhaps intrigued because I so badly wanted some rattling of the dead parts inside of me to come to life again.
As we studied about “suddenly“ after “suddenly” … I decided to dare to believe for a “suddenly” in my life. And it occurred in a totally unexpected way.
We’ve all heard of miracles, and most of us hope for one, but often don’t really believe they are possible. All I knew was that I had poured my life into things that had disappeared, and I desperately wanted to feel alive again. I so desperately wanted that.
It was an interesting time, because here I was earning a PhD in psychology. And almost all psychological theory points to “a journey“ or a “process“ for healing and improvement.
I understood the value in the ”journey.” I was already speaking to clients I was seeing in my internship about it.
But I needed something more than a journey at that moment.
I bet you know what I’m talking about. If you’re in a difficult time, if the wind has been knocked out of your sails, if you are feeling like you are living in a “dry and weary land” …. you know exactly what that feels like.
I can assure you that whether you’re having financial difficulties, relationship challenges, or struggling with depression or anxiety… A “suddenly“ could do you a world of good.
I was speaking about this at a conference recently, and one of the questions asked was, “Surely a steady diet of being rescued by ‘suddenly’s’ is not good for us.” My response was, “It would probably not promote great personal or spiritual growth, but it does not reduce our desire for it when we are in undesirable places!“
Because I’m a big proponent of growth, I don’t live from “suddenly“ to “suddenly!“
But I certainly don’t mind wishing for them from time to time.
What I like best, and what I wish for you… Is a “suddenly” that is a total shocker! A “suddenly“ that catapults your life to a greater place. In the snap of the fingers, in the blink of an eye!
Do I believe that there are any ways that we can actually foster that possibility? I certainly do! Here are the ways that I teach clients to invite “suddenly’s” into their lives:
1. Gratitude. Those of you who know me knew that gratitude would be one of the ways I would list! How do I think gratitude invites “suddenly’s?” I believe when we are grateful for what we have, for who we have in our lives, for what we experience… We invite more of that into our lives. Therefore the more gratitude we experience, the more “suddenly’s” we invite.
2. Serving. Last week I recommended to you Caitlin Crosby’s book, You are the Key: Turning Imperfections into Purpose. (Click here to order your copy). In Caitlin’s story, she was simply serving a homeless couple when she invited them to dinner. Because she served, she had a “suddenly“ experience and felt inspired to hire them as business partners to inscribe her giving keys. Acting upon that “suddenly,” multiplication began to occur. Suddenly, she found herself the CEO of over 80 employees, all working to establish homes and lives instead of living homeless in cardboard boxes. She was named in Oprah’s 100 SuperSouls (innovators and visionaries who are aligned on a mission to move humanity forward). Serving invites “suddenly’s.”
3. Daily proclamations. I encourage my clients to all write their daily proclamation. For me the proclamation is a few paragraphs that describe exactly what I want in my life. This year, mine begins with, “Today is my Kairo‘s moment, a critical, decisive moment in time that turns my life’s direction toward greater things! Favor and ‘suddenly’s’ are mine!” Then I go on to address all of the seven core areas of my life with at least one powerful statement. Those areas are outlined for me by the word respect.
Purposeful Living with Priority
Energy & Health
Career & Finances
Teaching/ Touching Others
Because I’m very clear stating what I want in my proclamation, I believe it invites “suddenly‘s.” I read it aloud every morning with loud music in the background, standing tall and confident, and I don’t whisper it or moan it while yawning. I proclaim it as if I was speaking to an entire valley from the top of a mountain! My way of inviting “suddenly‘s!”
4. Focus. Research shows that what ever we focus on, we set our reticular activating system in our brain (RAS) to looking for ways, strategies, and ideas to make it happen. I believe that’s why there is such power in having a vision. Without a vision, people perish. Emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, mentally. Catching a compelling vision of what you want your life to look like, and focusing on that, invites “suddenly’s.”
5. Prayer. Medical research shows that there is a significant difference between the healing time of people who pray and those who don’t. Some studies show a decrease of 50% of healing time reduced for those who pray. Newer studies are showing that a decrease of 30+ percent of time is required by those who pray before studying to make the same scores of those who do not pray. Another study shows that In competitive athletics, those who pray excel at the same level as others with up to 27% less training time. Prayer invites “suddenly’s.”
On May 10, I decided to do a 10 day detox fast. Detoxing my brain, my body, and praying for clarity during a transition time in my life.
I chose the date to end on May 19. I love remembering dates. May 19 was the day I graduated from high school. It was a major turning point in my life. I was hoping for the same at the end of this cleansing fast.
It was a great ten days. Of course, my body hated me for the first five days as I began to detox. But then during the last five days, I began to experience that powerful energy surge.
I dedicated the time to sending encouraging and supportive texts, emails and messages to people in my life. I so enjoyed supporting people I love and care about. My mind became clearer, and I felt a real sense of clarity.
I went out for a walk at 10 pm on the 10th day, May 19 to express gratitude for the results of the 10 days. I felt absolutely great and felt my mission had been accomplished.
At 10:23 pm, as I was selecting another song on my playlist, a message popped up on my phone. It was a five-word message that was life altering. I knew it. I gasped, a warm smile spread across my face, and I KNEW it was my greatest “suddenly.” Everything I had been preparing for over the past 3 years suddenly made sense. I knew. I just knew how everything was coming together.
I wish my crushed wing had been a suddenly. But it was a three-surgery, three-year journey. But the great news is that I’m almost as good as new and ready to fly again! Any doubts that I would fly again were erased with my “suddenly” on May 19.
Do you need a “suddenly?” I hope you will practice the five steps above and invite a “suddenly.” You deserve it, and I want you to experience yours. I’m cheering you on! When you do experience yours, let me know! I want to celebrate with you, and be grateful with you!