Hustle in Faith How do all the pieces fit together?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Episode 115: How do all the pieces fit together?

There have been so many instances in my life where seemingly random isolated experiences end up connecting like puzzle pieces. Now, regardless of whether the pieces I experience are good or bad, I place those pieces in a mental filing cabinet. Just in case I think one or more of those pieces might fit into my puzzle, I want to be able to easily access them.

As I stated before, I realize that everything is connected. When I was growing up one of my favorite church songs was, “We’ll Understand It Better By and By.” I especially loved hearing this song when my dad was leading the church in singing. He had an amazing voice! As a kid, I loved hearing how beautiful this song sounded when everyone was singing in harmony. As I grew older,  I appreciated and realized how beautiful the lyrics are to this song.

This song speaks about all the trials and difficulties that we will have to go through in life. It lets us know that if we keep our focus on God, we will eventually understand why we went through that hardship.  As I have grown older, my understanding of life has increased.   I realize why God placed certain puzzle pieces in my life. One puzzle piece that I have come to understand better over time  is the gift of teaching.

I’ve always been a nerd. I really do enjoy learning from others and sharing my knowledge as well. It brings me great joy to help people achieve their dreams. When I was a kid, like many kids, I thought I was going to be a teacher, but as I grew older, I knew that wasn’t the case. Hats off to all teachers out there because you all really are the real MVPs.

Although I have a 9 to 5 job in marketing, it’s interesting how my life choices steered me back into my first passion, which is teaching. I enjoyed teaching but not in the traditional sense. Honestly, the way my personality is set up, being in a classroom all day would not have worked out for me.  Thanks to technology, I am able to teach on a part time basis.  I have been teaching English online since 2013.  How all these pieces came together was due to my quest to learn Spanish; another childhood passion of mine. When I was in grade school I took Spanish and still remembered a lot of it.

Learning Spanish has always been on my bucket list. Mainly, because I already knew that many of the places I wanted to travel to outside of the U.S. were Latin countries. Although I was focused on the private Spanish lessons and connecting with language meetup groups to practice my Spanish, in retrospect, I can see God was leading me on two different journeys at the same time.

I was fulfilling my desire to learn Spanish, but on the other hand, those connections that I made in my language groups led me to eventually start teaching English to adults overseas. I’m in a win win situation. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of helping people not only improve their English, but I’ve made amazing friends in the process.  As I stated before, It brings me great joy to help people achieve their dreams.  Many of my students have even thanked me for helping them get jobs. I have been instrumental in not only helping them to learn English, but guiding them in making the correct career choice.

Some recent events that happened to me are prime examples of why you have to be open to recognizing how and when certain pieces are meant to fit together. One of my English students is from China and happens to live in Chicago. She told me that she specifically chose me for that reason. She was a doctor in China and is seeking to improve her English so she can become a doctor here in the U.S.

I remember how shy she was when we started our first class and how much she opened up by the end of that class. Getting people to feel comfortable around me is something that has always come easy to me. I think it’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve mastered being comfortable in uncomfortable situations.  So it’s almost like I go out of my way to make sure that other people don’t have to feel that way with me. Hope that makes sense. 

Anyway, over time we became friends. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! One day she was expressing her frustrations to me about the medical field. She truly has a desire to help people but was growing frustrated with the inability to do so via the traditional methods. Therefore, she was contemplating learning more about Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Now everyone who knows me knows the following:

  1. Health & fitness are my jam, I’m in the process of getting certified for my AFAA and will soon pursue a certification in nutrition. I’m constantly researching vitamins, exercises, and the list goes on…
  2. I’m super creative and pretty savvy when it comes to business, so many of my friends come to me for career advice.
  3. I’m a techie at heart, so I pick up technology quickly. I don’t let not knowing a software or platform stop me from achieving success. I’m all about teaching myself. 

When my student expressed her concerns and desires about her career, she had no idea that I’ve been wanting to start my own health and fitness channel for years. In fact, I had already started the process in studying for the tests that I would need to take in order to learn more about this field. Her expressing how traditional doctor jobs were leaving her unfulfilled, prompted me to encourage her to start her own YouTube channel. 

I wanted her to start her own channel because she truly is an intelligent woman who has a passion for helping people. I explained to her how she could use Youtube as an opportunity to share the knowledge she already has as well as use it as a vehicle to build up her own Chinese medicine business. Seeing the joy in her face brought me joy. She was so happy! Although she wasn’t sure where she could go to attend a Chinese medicine school, I told her not to worry and that everything will all come together for her.

No joke, a couple days later, I just so happened to be coming from Target and walked by a sign advertising a Chinese medicine school. Do you realize how random that was for me to see this sign? This was not a coincidence!  If you saw where this sign was placed you would know that it was meant for me to see it. I immediately texted my friend and now she’s going to enroll in that school to learn more about Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

I know a lot of people would dismiss everything that I just said as a coincidence. Not me!. God has proven to me over and over again and again, in too many different ways and occasions that nothing in life is a coincidence. While my friend is studying her Chinese medicine and acupuncture while I’m going to continue my journey of studying nutrition. 

Our plan is to do a health and fitness show together (hopefully in 2021).  Again, God is slowly but surely guiding me to yet another adventurous journey that I can’t wait to start. My life experiences and events are not random isolated mishaps. They are all connected. All of what I described to you stemmed from my desire to become fluent in Spanish (shout out to Julieth once again for helping me to accomplish this goal).

God used my desire to learn Spanish to connect me with folks who were just as passionate about learning languages. God gave me the teaching puzzle piece, so He could bless me as well as allow me to be a blessing to others.  All of my experiences of being comfortable in uncomfortable situations were not wasted experiences. I channeled that negativity into the ability to connect with people. I’ve always been able to make people feel comfortable so they can express themselves.

In doing so, I have been able to help them craft a plan in how they can achieve their goals and desires.  I am proud to say that every time people leave my class they are either laughing, smiling and/or thanking me for being their cheerleader. Teaching English is a side hustle that came out of nowhere. I only teach 3 hours a week and my schedule is full every week. Again, this puzzle piece stemmed from my desire to take Spanish.

Its lessons like these that have taught me to see life from a different perspective. I try really hard not to allow anger to be the first emotion I experience. I do my best to properly place the puzzle piece in my life. If I can’t determine where it fits, I no longer become frustrated. I simply place it in my mental filing cabinet for later when I come across where that piece should go so I have easy access to it.

The more I read the Bible, the more I come across interesting stories that reinforce the fact that nothing in this life is random or a coincidence. I’m reminded of this story in 1 Samuel chapter 8 and 9. The Cliffnotes version is that Israel wanted a king. God gave Samuel the responsibility of finding this person for them. God told Samuel that someone would come to him looking for donkeys from the land of Benjamin and that Samuel was to anoint this person as Israel’s king.

Now while all of this knowledge was being given to Samuel, on the other side of town, Saul’s father told Saul that their donkeys had gotten loose and told Saul to go and find them. Saul and his servant spent the entire day searching for these donkeys. Yet, they couldn’t find them. So Saul says to his servant, “Let’s go back home because otherwise my dad’s going to start worrying about us instead of the donkeys.”

However, Saul’s servant persuaded Saul to go see a prophet to help them locate these donkeys. Of course, that prophet was Samuel. Before Saul could explain why they were there Samuel told Saul the donkeys were found and that he would be king. Saul stayed with Samuel so he could finish hearing the rest of the message that God wanted Saul to hear. Think about it. This set of events was put into motion because of donkeys.

When you read the story, you will see how God has a way of taking what seems accidental and linking those people or things together to accomplish His will for our life. However, we have to be open to hearing and receiving wise advice from those who have our best interest at heart. What if Saul was a snob and refused to take his servants advice about seeing the Prophet? Saul could have easily refused to listen to him and went back home.

The events of people like Saul and many others in the Bible prove that many of those seemingly random puzzle pieces are oftentimes divine connections. If we fail to see the connection, we will miss out on the purpose that God has in store for our life. We need to keep in mind that God doesn’t do things traditionally. He does things in an unorthodox way. This method reinforces Him crafting unique events in our lives that can’t be easily explained away. All of which demonstrates how much He cares about us.

If we put God first, every experience in our life will never be wasted. In fact, God will channel that energy into helping us not only solve our puzzle but reduce the time it takes for someone else to solve theirs. When you view life this way, it takes the stress out of trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together so you can take comfort in knowing that they do and that you will understand it better by and by if you stay in faith.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith that is available for sale on Amazon. 

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