A story from The Push.
I ventured down the unfamiliar pathway to the doctor's office. A bad cold forced me to seek the appointment, and I deliberately chose a doctor I had never seen before. It was much easier to face strangers than friends.
My life had come to an abrupt halt a few months earlier. The man I was married to chose to walk away from the life he knew. He suddenly disappeared, abandoning everything in his life, including me. He left messages at his work, for his family, and at our home that he was taking his life in "a different direction." In spite of all efforts, including filing a national missing persons report, he could not be found. And over the years that followed, I realized that I would never see him again.
I felt I had to deal with the message in silence. A pattern of secrecy within my marriage led me to fear authenticity and I desperately try to hide the situation. This choice left me feeling totally alone and only increased my feelings of abandonment. Therefore, when I sought out medical attention for my minor health concern, I wanted to find a doctor who didn't know me.
The stranger in the white lab jacket had never seen me before, and that's exactly the way I wanted it.
"Just tell me what's wrong, give me medication, and I'll be out of here," I thought as I entered his office. I did not know I would find the real "medicine" I needed from a caring doctor who stepped outside the usual bounds of his profession to point the way toward healing.
My throat hurt, but the intense pain I felt was much deeper than that. This must have been obvious to Dr. LeCroy as he questioned me about my physical condition. Gently he probed, trying to determine exactly what was wrong. Suddenly I began crying and pouring my heart out to him, something I had not done with anyone. He listened; but more than that, because of something he experienced in his own childhood, he understood! He gave me many words of encouragement, but his last words were the most important, the ones I will never forget.
He took me by the shoulders and looked straight into my eyes. "Hold on to God through this, Amy. If you hold on to God you will look back in five years and be amazed at what He has done in your life!" Five years seemed like an eternity, and I certainly couldn't imagine what life would be like by then! He handed me a prescription and sent me on my way. After I got in my car, I read the scrawled notation on the prescription slip. It simply read "Jer. 29:11." I recognized it as a verse from the Bible, but I did not know what the verse said or why Dr. LeCroy had written it.
I rushed home and into my bedroom, grabbed my Bible, and turned to the 29th chapter of the book of Jeremiah. And there was my "prescription!" "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That was exactly what I didn't have in my life but so desperately needed: hope, no harm, a future, and a plan! As I read the verse over and over, I realized it addressed everything that was wrong with me. Anything and everything could be taken from me in an instant, but God and His Word would still be there. Jeremiah 29:11 became my Life Verse.
As I tried to figure out how to pick up the shattered pieces of my hopes and dreams, I clung to those promises found in my "prescription." With the words of Jeremiah 29:11 guiding me, I gave my entire life and future over to God. Two things were strongly impressed upon me: go back and finish college and use what I had been through to help others. I knew this could only come from God because I did not want to share my story, and I did not like going to school!
I encountered many obstacles as I tried to re-enter college. Nothing seemed to work until I discovered Dallas Baptist University. Peace filled me as I drove up the hill to the university's campus. As I walked into the informational meeting, the facilitator was beginning with a video about the school. Looking up I saw a royal blue screen displaying the school's foundational verse, Jeremiah 29:11! I knew then I was where I was supposed to be.
In the months that followed, I contemplated how to use what I'd been through to help others. I had always turned to my dad for advice, but he had lost his battle to cancer the year before my life began to fall apart. So I sought out his hero, Zig Ziglar, a man who was known for helping so many people. To my astonishment, I found that his office was only 45 minutes away from where I lived. I prepared my resume, hoping that I could work in his office while observing how to use life experiences to help others. With directions in hand, I drove to his office, walked in the front door, and soon found myself speaking to the Human Resources Director. When I told him I wanted to learn to share my story with others, maybe in ten or fifteen years, he asked me to share it at their company devotions on the following Monday!
Monday came and I stood before Zig Ziglar and his entire team, pouring out my heart. What I thought would be a one-time chance to share my story became an opportunity of a lifetime as Mr. Ziglar launched my national speaking career within a few short weeks. Who would have thought my second speaking engagement would be in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,500 people alongside Zig Ziglar and six other famous presenters? Since that time I have spoken to over 500,000 people and shared the platform not only with Zig Ziglar but also with speakers and leaders such as Rudy Giuliani, Larry King, General Colin Powell, Suze Orman, Brian Tracy, and Tom Hopkins.
What an incredible ride! In 2005 someone asked me, "When are you going to complete your master's degree?" "May 12th," I said. Then it hit me. Dr. LeCroy told me I would look back in five years and be amazed at what God could do. That was exactly five years from the day my life fell apart!