When I woke up this morning, my first thought was to thank God for His incredible mercy and grace. It's the day before my "39 and holding" birthday and I spent some time reflecting on how good God has been to me. This time last year my grandmother, who I love dearly, was near death attempting to recover from triple by-pass surgery. By the grace of God, she did and she just celebrated her 81st year of life! I was thinking, next year I'm going to have a "39 and holding" birthday soiree and celebrate. Hotel ballroom, cocktail attire, band, the works... I have so many stories I could share with you about how God's grace has kept me, but one in particular comes to mind. It was 2002 and my daughter wasn't even a year old yet. I was not feeling well at all. I had been running a fever all day and was worried I would pass something on to Kennedy. I didn't have anyone to come help me take care of her at the time. I was talking to a dear friend and she advised me to go to the emergency room. I didn't want to go because I didn't have any health insurance (I had quit my job in corporate America to pursue my vision to own my business and couldn't afford insurance on my own). Long story short, I ended up in the hospital with meningitis. Thank God I went when I did and they were able to treat it. Fast forward three weeks later when the the bill arrived for thousands of dollars that I could not pay - a sweet lady from the billing department called me and asked me about my financial situation. When I explained it to her she said, don't worry, we have a fund that was created to help people with their bills and we can pay yours in full. (Shout out to the boys in the pit because you know the 'shouting' music is playing!)
This is one of the many reasons why we started Lending a Hand, Helping a Life. There are people that need our help and if we're in a position to help someone we should. You never know when it might be you. April and I have talked about this for years and time just kept passing. We decided we had talked long enough, now it was time to walk the walk. Tomorrow I will celebrate my 39th birthday with many of my friends in the industry (unbeknownst to them because it's not about me, it's about LHHL) who have graciously given of their time, talent and services to serve some less fortunate families in the Atlanta area. We will have lunch, provide them with a few of life's essentials, let them shop for free in the LHHL Closet, give books and toys to the kids for Christmas and share an opportunity to have a family photo taken for their keepsake. I am blessed that someone reached out to help me in the time of need. I believe wholeheartedly that's what God would want us to do in return.