Have you ever wandered into a desert-time in your life?

If you are like me, it happened slowly; so slowly you didn’t notice the landscape growing more and more arid. One day you looked up, confused, wondering where you were and suddenly feeling very alone, very vulnerable, and very thirsty.

A glass of cool water on a hot day is like pure life soaking back into your cells. Dehydration can kill a girl. Steal her voice. Make her weak.

This entire year, I have been dying of thirst in my own desert-time. My throat parched and scratchy, I wandered, a little lost and a little plain-old sad, not knowing what to do next but knowing I couldn’t survive on my own any longer.

I’m a speaker and a writer and my throat got so dry that I simply lost my voice. I don’t mean literally, I could still speak if I had to, barely, but the words that mattered could no longer get out of me. Fear and confusion gripped my heart.

Then I heard it, a voice calling out offering fresh water! Water in the form of possible guidance and community for a career I longed to pursue with renewed passion.

I followed that voice with every ounce of strength and bravery I had left.

And I made it. I made it.

When I arrived, I didn’t just find a glass of water from a new friend, I fell into a river.

I fell into a river of hope, support, love, prayer, acceptance and power – an entire tribe of thirsty women wetting their whistles, finding their voices, and learning to sing again.

That strong, clear voice calling me to the river belonged to a woman named, Elora Nicole. A writer and a woman of valor, Elora reached out with her friendship and her Story Unfolding community & online classes. Elora builds community and platforms for other women to stand on. She introduced me to like-minded people and reintroduced me to my own abilities and strength. She gave me not just a cup of cold water but a living river, by reminding me that I have a source of water and life to offer the world AND THE WORLD NEEDS IT.

You have a source of water and life to offer and the world needs it! You are needed in the world.

**********

One of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had occurred during a high school drama field trip. No, not that kind of “beautiful experience” – stay with me, here.

We all sat in a room, at least 300 of us. The class was on “using your voice.” Once we were all seated, the instructor asked us to each take a deep, deep breath. Hold it. Hold it. Then, let it out with whatever note our body naturally chose. As 300 people breathed in unison and then allowed their voices to harmonize instinctually as the air escaped back into the atmosphere, the sound was electric. The walls vibrated. Our bones shook; not because it was loud, but because it was right. It was just right to hear everyone together.

All of us singing together, this is what the world needs.

We cannot sing when we are scared and thirsty and wandering the desert, but once we find water and wet our parched throats, we must share.

We must share our water so that others can sing too.

It is right to hear everyone singing together.

Elora’s favorite commands to her story classes include SING LOUDER and KEEP SINGING. Every time I read those words, that old Sesame Street song pops into my head.

Sing

Sing a song

Make it simple

To last your whole life long

Don’t worry that it’s not good enough

For anyone else to hear

Sing

Sing a song

–Sesame Street

 

Are you questioning your voice and song? Or to put it another way, are you questioning your purpose, value and career?

Please take this glass of water and hydrate, Friend.

You are a completely necessary part of the world. Your voice matters in the big, giant scheme of things. Ten people may run past your glass of water. You may start to feel useless and annoying, calling out to the thirsty and reaching out with your cup. But, don’t give up. I am so grateful Elora didn’t give up before I heard her voice.

You matter but there is no rush, when you are ready and hydrated yourself, stand up and hold out a glass for the next girl. (Get on here and write a post for Leona!)

Elora and all of the women I now pray, cheer, laugh, cry, and sing with everyday through the Story Unfolding community don’t give up on me. When I am thirsty and have lost my way, there is always a hand with a cup of water just waiting for me.

I now hold out a cold glass until someone else needs it. If my arm gets tired, if 100 people run on by, I keep holding out my cup until someone takes it, because the one woman who eventually drinks … it could save her life.

Do you know what you really offer someone when you hand them water? You offer them a moment when someone thought they were worth keeping alive. With each glass of water, you save a life. Don’t worry about the 10s who don’t need your water, focus on the ones who desperately do.

Listen to your calling and pursue it with everything you’ve got. There is someone like me and like you, who desperately needs your exact cup of water. Don’t give up until they get a nice, cold drink.

-Nicole

 

***This post is part of a series over at Leona Laurie’s place. “Cold Cups of Water” are essays from women about moments in their lives when another woman offered a “cup of cold water” that saved them or changed their lives or helped them progress to the next level– or when they did the same for someone else. This series documents the value and importance of taking the risk and speaking up about what you have to offer.***  CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Elora Nicole is a story teller and all-around champion of women and writers. Go to http://thestoryunfolding.com to find out more about her online community and classes. You can also find her at www.eloranicole.com