Remember the awesome SuperGirl Under Armour shirt that I wanted from TJ Maxx? The one I lovingly touched and stared at then put back on the rack because I didn’t feel like I deserved to wear the symbol? My husband and daughter went back for the shirt later that evening after reading the post, but it was gone. I returned home from our fundraising fun at The Box and they told me all about how they got to TJ Maxx after dinner around 7:30pm and looked through all the clearance racks but couldn’t find it. I felt grateful that they tried, but I knew it wouldn’t be there. Nothing you leave behind at TJ Maxx is ever there when you go back. You just have to know that when you walk away. Still, I felt the twinge of disappointment. Who in the Pottstown area could’ve possibly needed and wanted that shirt like I did that Saturday afternoon? How could it have possibly flown off the shelf between 3pm – and 7:30pm? I let it go and vowed to buy the next one if I ever saw it there again…and then…
In the dark of a morning this week I walked into The Box sleepy eyed and not sure if I had the energy to be there. Mama D and I were the first ones there, which was unusual. The coach said to me, “Candice, this was left here for you.” He pointed to a pink bag sitting on the shelf with all of the kettle bells. It had yellow tissue paper peeking out of the top. The bag had my name written neatly in all capital letters on the side.
I looked at him slightly confused and said, “For me?”
He just shrugged and said “Yeah.”
I pulled out the tissue paper, saw a card and folded up fabric at the bottom of the bag. I reached in and my face lit up with a giant smile. A few little tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it.
Mama D lit up as well and immediately started trying to solve the mystery of “who gave it”? I opened the card hoping to find out.
It wasn’t signed! I didn’t recognize the handwriting either. An generous and anonymous gifter thought enough of me and was touched by my post. “A random act of kindness” they later told me. But it wasn’t random and it was bursting with more than just kindness. This encouragement was a game changer for me and I’ll tell you why…
I am a cheerleader at heart. In the words of Elf, “I like smiling. Smiling’s my favorite.”
I also live in a space where I’m constantly trying to understand why people don’t do more, be more, try more, risk a little more, live bigger, and know that they are capable of so much more. I love encouraging others; I am eternally hopeful that maybe I’ll inspire just one other person to discover something new and great about themselves. But sometimes that leaves me disappointed and confused as to why people are completely comfortable with mediocrity; why growth stops at adulthood, why playing the victim role is normal, and why there is such a tolerance for giving their life the bare minimum. Sometimes I’m left drained from trying to process through people and all of these feelings. And then, something like this happens at a moment when I needed it most, when I didn’t even realize I needed it. It was a “God moment”, if you believe those happen. I believe in those moments wholeheartedly. Through this generous gifter, God showed me that I do have an impact and that I need to keep letting His light shine bright through me. It was humbling and encouraging and inspiring.
I found out who this generous gifter was and they have asked to remain anonymous, which I completely respect. I was so happy to find out who it was so I could say thank you. It came from someone who I’ve admired for a long time. I admired them when I didn’t even know them; when I watched them running local 5Ks years ago and thought in a dreamy sort of way “I wanna run like that”.
So my “A-HA! moment” this week was to realize that my efforts do matter. Everyone’s efforts matter. And that it’s okay to feel like my tank is empty because if I just stay the course, it’ll be filled up and overflowing soon enough.