“I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too.” – Lyrics by Stevie Nicks, July 1975
Any rock and roll fan from the 70’s and 80’s knows this song, called “Landslide” by the famous band Fleetwood Mac. It was written and sung by Miss Stevie Nicks in her distinctive voice that calls us into a haunting visualization of self examination.
I’ve recently been reflecting on my purpose and path, especially since I turned seventy years old in 2021. In my times of almost overzealous self-examination, I was called by God and encouraged by family and friends to do what I do best – continue to find ways to share stories. Because the pandemic made that path look different than it ever had, I was at a loss how to do that. Enter the idea to become a podcaster and bring not only my stories of faith, hope and experience to others but those of my fellow pilgrims on this planet where together we do life.
As the podcast came together I believed, as is the message of many in my new field of communication, that each of us has a message to share with the world. I also believed that the message I was sharing was for my audience. I had no idea that I had built my world around me and as I climbed this new mountain, the reflection I gazed at became of me. Then the spiritual landslide brought my reflection and reflective process down. It wasn’t about me, in my wisdom and experience, sharing messages. It was about me learning, learning and learning from my guests. And it was to be a way of giving them platform to teach others.
There is no better and more intense example of this than when I interviewed a gentleman who had survived a plane crash thirty-two years ago. I didn’t want to revisit the gory details of the actual incident. I wanted to know how his life, mind and heart pivoted as a result of this accident.
As the interview continued there were so many gems of hope offered by my guest. But the real soul shift came when Jerry told me of his conversation with himself in the last minutes before impact. He said, “Alright, if you happen to survive and are not seriously hurt, don’t panic. Don’t flee the plane and try to help others.”
In the interview it’s not hard to hear my guest, and me, choke up with emotion that neither of us attempted to control. I realized that God was saying to me, “It is not about what happened to Jerry Schemmel. It is about what I did and am still doing with what happened to him.” This concept had been first voiced by one of my guests, Karen DeArmond Gardner, as she shared her story of pivoting out of domestic abuse and into a new life. But it really hit home in the dialogue with Jerry.
I thought about this interview and particularly Jerry’s self-talk during a time when he believed he had seen the last day of his human life. I have wept tears of gratitude for the landslide that God sent to show this child that as I get older, I do want to be bolder and relinquish my need to build my life around me and my perceived reflection.
I do still believe that the podcast can and should be used to bring help to a traumatized world in need of wisdom, hope and healing. I more than ever believe I have no control over how the messages are received, and that my job is also to share the lessons I have learned. These lessons are coming from those people God has graciously placed in my life to help this child grow older and boldly walk into the change He is authoring, even if it means dismantling my own flawed reflection.
Copyright Laura L. Padgett Sept. 2021 Montrose, CO
To hear my entire interview with Jerry Schemmel, click on the podcast tab on the homepage of this website. It will be available anytime after 3 a.m. on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. To purchase a copy of Jerry’s book, “Chosen to Live: The Inspiring Story of Flight 232 Survivor, Jerry Schemmel”, go to Amazon Books.com and type in the title and author.
Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett or my Facebook Author Page
Check out the books I have published
“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page
The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page.
Don’t forget to follow my podcast episodes. You may hear the podcast on any device of your choice and on any platform where you now receive your podcasts. Or you can click on the Podcast Episodes tab on the home page of this website.