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He Sent Me Jerri

my authentic me May 10, 2021

Based on the title you might be wondering what I am going to speak about.  In order to answer that question I must first start from the beginning.  We have entered May and many of you know that it is mental health awareness month.  As I took inventory of where I was in my personal mental health I had to admit I was struggling.  I had been having so much growth the last few months that acknowledging I was having a difficult time was a hard pill to swallow  

Life was throwing punch after punch my way and before I knew it I was beat down.  It seemed like it all happened over night, but in reality it took weeks.  During this time I continued to implement all of the tools I had learned in the previous months to keep a healthy mindset.  It was not that these tools were not working. It just seemed like something else was missing. It was like all of a sudden everything I had been doing no longer seemed worth it.  I wanted more.  I needed more. 

I struggled with this conundrum for a few days before I realized that I had hit a plateau. Like in fitness, school, and other areas of life we tend to hit a glass ceiling sort of speak.  And this was mine.  I knew what I had been doing was important work and I was making a difference.  However, I wanted more and my current circumstances were not allowing this to manifest. 

While I waited for some kind of answer I continued with my daily duties. Every now and then I saw a glimpse of what I could be and I would get excited about the future again.  That feeling did not seem to last very long.  Tired of this cycle I decided to unplug for a bit.  Stop everything and seek primarily on what my spirit was trying to tell me.  It was in the stillness I found the answers I had been longing for.

I woke up one day not feeling well at all in my body or spirit. This particular day I decided to go to get gas and wash the car.  When I finished pumping my gas I had this overwhelming urge to go inside for a coffee.  For those of you who do not know me, I NEVER drink coffee.  Honestly I am not a fan.  Anyway, I go in to get my cup of joe and there was a little old lady speaking with another customer.  I did not pay much attention at first.  After a few seconds of me waiting in line I could see the elderly lady was struggling.  She seemed scared and lost.  So I began to pay closer attention to the conversation.   This woman was 91, alone, and out of her element.  She had somehow got down to the LA area where I live from Bakersfield.  That is about 90 miles out of her way.  She said she did not notice where she was until she saw a sign for LA county.  

 She continued to explain that she needed gas and directions to get back home.  The other people in the store were not being mean, but I could tell that they were also not helping her in the slightest.  Her fear radiated off of her.  I thought for sure I could not be the only one who felt it, but apparently I was.  Everyone else seemed to leave her there looking dazed and confused.  

At that point I put my coffee down and knew why I really was lead inside.  I needed to help her.  This could be my grandmother and what if no one had the patience or took the time to help her.  So  I went over to see what I could do. It was also at this point the other patron(s) she had asked for help bolted out the door.  I told her I would help her in whatever she needed.  I introduced myself and she complimented my name.  She told me her name was Jerri with an i.  (She seemed quite proud of that i.)  She proceeded to tell me of her scary adventure and that she need someone to help her pull her car up to a pump so she could get gas to get home.  

Of course I told her I would assist her.  So I followed her to her car and once again got her permission to enter her vehicle. ( I was trying to be as careful as possible considering all of the chaos in our country today) She said of course and met me at the pump.  As I started to walk away thinking that is all the help she needed I still felt her fear.  As I looked at her face she had no clue how to pump or pay for the gas.  She only had cash and did not know where to pay at.  I started to explain the steps to her and she looked distraught.  Once again offered my help.  I told her if she were to trust me to go inside with her cash I would pay and pump the gas for her.  She was elated to say the least. Apparently where Jerri lives she goes to a gas station where the owner fills her tank for her, so she was lost on how to do it herself. 

As Jerri pulls out this wad of cash I quickly told her to put it away and to be careful of people around her.  What she did not realize was just about everyone was starring at us. I am sure it was all innocent, but I told her you can never be too careful.   Jerri allowed me to count out the required amount of money to fill her tank and I proceeded inside to pay.  

Jerri’s last request was for directions to the highway so she could get back home.  By now people were asking me why I was going to the lengths I was to help her.  One person went as far as to say why did her family “let her out.”  I ignored them because if you have to ask such a question, then there is no answer I could give that they would have understood.  One last time I chose to aide my new friend.  I pulled up the directions on my waze (she had no phone) and wrote them down for her.  I then took her to the highway to be sure she got off in the right direction. 

Jerri tried to pay for my help, but there was no way that I could or would have taken anything from her.  As I got back off the highway to come back home I realized something.  Jerri was sent to help me. God had set me at that place and at that time to help her yer, but she did so much more for me.  I had been feeling like all the work I was doing was not making  real difference in the world.  I started to believe the lie that unless what we are doing brings us certain tangible rewards or accolades from others that it is for nothing.  Jerri taught me that the smallest of action can be the biggest blessing to someone else. In alI I might have given up 10 minutes of my day to help her, but to Jerri it was a everything.  I might have gone a mile or two out of my way, but to her it was as if I went across the world.  

My encounter with Jerri taught me to never doubt the impact we have on the world around us.  It could be something as simple as a smile that saves someone’s life. We may not be able to see all the ways we make a difference, but you best believe that you are!  Jerri taught me that.  So the world might see how much I helped Jerri, but the truth is she helped me far more. Thank you Jerri. 




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