Lamp Unto My Feet: A Journey of Surrender
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Torchbearer: Sheila Whittle — Filipina-American. Texas.
What happens when you’re always selected to lead? What happens when you get comfortable? What happens when your purpose takes over your life?
“Light gives energy. God lights our feet to guide our steps, not to see the entire road! That’s when you have to surrender. (In Mozambique) This was a time in my life where I craved God and wanted to see something BIG and miraculous. What I found, instead, was a simple truth — God loved me. My faith is what hinders Him from moving, and I won’t find that by going somewhere or doing something.”
From teaching to helping survivors of human trafficking. Sheila was ready to change careers, but her boss refused to end her teaching contract then accused her of doing unsatisfactory work.
“I wanted to work in human trafficking since 2004. When I was offered two ideal positions at the same time — one in teaching, the other working with human-trafficking survivors — I felt encouraged. I realized that I spent so much time being undervalued and underappreciated. Even though someone doesn’t appreciate the work you do, someone else will. And better opportunities will come.”
What happens when your purpose takes over your life? Advice from our Torchbearer, Sheila Whittle:
“Stop & build!! When you’re passionate about what you do, it’s easy to get lost in what’s next. We need to look at what has happened or what is happening. There’s so much to learn from our own experiences. And we often have everything we need.
My faith is a guiding force. In the Old Testament, God always tells the people to stop & build a memorial. There’s a lesson in that. We get so caught-up in the work and mission that we forget to “stop & build.” It’s not to memorialize ourselves, or build a structure. It’s about reflection, healing, and celebration.”
There are moments when we have to take a chance on our own aspirations — When is the timing right?
“Believe it or not, I hate moving. I’ve always been pushed to leadership …I wasn’t growing spiritually and started feeling compelled to move. After teaching for five years, I packed my car and moved to Texas from New Jersey. My first job in Texas was resetting phones, then I became a receptionist. Those experiences really stripped me from my comforts.
Whenever I’m transitioning, I know it’s right because two things happen: 1) There’s a peace that surpasses my understanding. It might seem insane, but I have peace. 2) How the doors open. I had enough money saved to pay my debts; my apartment was already packed… The path forward, while not easy, is definitely cleared.”
— Sheila Whittle
Enjoyed Sheila's journey? Then let us know! Here are other inspiring moments.
Read: "Self-Awareness My Super Power" - You know, we all sort of exist in a fishbowl and we can never fully see what’s at the edges of our bowls. But expanding our self-awareness helps us grow the size of our fishbowls. The larger our fishbowl, the more aware and intentional we can be about the choices we make in life and leadership.