Last week's podcast broad me to laughter, and this week's brought me to tears. It's essentially like having a service trip experience right from my home as the depth and breadth of human experience through story sweeps through my heart.
Tiffany Johnson shares about her journey from her career as a professional singer and performer to a volunteer and eventually full time employee of Soles4Souls. Her story is rich in what happens when we're willing to listen to the innate calling of our soul, as well as the wisdom of what life itself is telling us through the circumstances that point us in a particular direction.
Speaking to her was so poignant for and she shares a story of a woman's life that touched her deeply in Honduras. She brought me to tears, both in the way that her relationship with the woman was able to ultimately help her, and the plight of so many women around the world who suffer for opportunities like we have so readily available to us in the United States with birth control options as well as the support needed in the case of unwanted pregnancies that are out of the control of the women themselves. You will hear us talk about how this woman chose tubal ligation that was being offered to her in the village, but what you won't hear is why this is so important. After we finished our conversation in record mode I brought up a story about a woman I have cared for in poverty that needed this option due to rape that was occurring. This is when she shared that the woman in her story needed this option because her husband was hiding her birth control and so she kept getting unwanted pregnancies.
This conversation reminds me of the absolute heart wrenching at times complexity of the service that we do and what happens when we are willing to open our eyes to the depth of challenges of those around us. It is also the power of being willing to do so, as, we might not have the solution, but we might know someone who does. Truly, deeply, we never know how far reaching something we say or do for another person will ultimately change their lives.
She also reminds me of simply how powerful it is to answer the calling to help right now, because one hand held out leads to seeing more, which leads to more questions, which leads to more answers and the ability to connect people to the solutions that can and do exist.
Together we are the web, the tribe, that uplifts life. It is painful at times to be willing to see, but it is also the only way to be fully alive.
Thank you Tiffany, the relationship is just beginning.
To connect with service opportunities through Souls4Soles:
To connect with Tiffany's beautiful music, one of her outlets of expression for processing the beautiful living complexity of her heart's work: http://tiffanyjohnson.net
More about Tiffany:
Tiffany works full time at Soles4Souls as Outreach and Travel Coordinator where she works daily with hundreds of global partners who distribute shoes for the international non-profit. Tiffany has visited 9 countries, leading groups to give shoes and love and serve others worldwide. Tiffany was also chosen by Mutual of Omaha as their 2013 Aha Moment Winner. Learn about her Aha Moment here: http://www.ahamoment.com/moments/10041
When she’s not traveling, she can currently be found making music with her R&B/Soul band Soul Confidant in and around Nashville. Her current release, Five Minutes More, includes a rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” – a song she’s been singing for the past 30 years.
Whether it’s shoes or music, Tiffany just has one goal in mind...leaving her “soul” where it’s needed most.