The Landmark Forum: An invitation

After six years, (yes, I said SIX), I finally accepted the invitation to participate in a Landmark forum. Six years. Isn’t that amazing? I get exhausted at the thought of having to ask someone to check something out for six years.

“Well, ya know, Landmark has some tools that could help you with that.”
“Right, yeah. You’ve mentioned that.”

“I’m working on this project. It’s one of my Landmark things.”
“Oh, yeah. Cool.”

“Oh, Heidi! I really think you’d get so much out of Landmark!”
“Yeah. I know. But . . .”

Honestly, the idea of hearing reason after reason, excuse after excuse – uugh. No, thanks. Why? Why keep asking? I don’t know. I don’t know how Pastor Sue, the woman who married my husband and I in 2008, whom I affectionately call PS, was able to continue putting that invitation out there offering an option to consider when she would sense from my actions and words that things aren’t going exactly the way I was hoping they would in life. Who doesn’t have that experience every once in a while, right? Things don’t always go the way we hope. But I do believe everything happens for a reason, and everything happens when it’s meant to happen. For whatever reason, I was meant to experience The Landmark Forum in March of 2014. I still remember the invitation:

“Heidi, you’ve really gotta do Landmark. I just think you’d get so much out of it.”

“Right . . . yeah . . . maybe someday.”

“Well, what’s holding you back? Money?”

“Yep. Money’s a big one. We don’t have $500 for something that’s just for me.”

“What if I can help you get the money? Would you do it then?”

“I would consider it then. Yes.”

Isn’t money always an issue when it’s something you kind of want to do? It’s an issue most of the time, but when you really want something, I mean REALLY want it, you find a way. Somehow. I can never explain that either, but somehow people make it happen when they want it bad enough. Ramon soup for a week, saving gas money by not driving anywhere for a month, collecting cans for a year – whatever creative ways, when I want it bad enough, it happens. Looking back I can see taking a course for $544 was not something I wanted badly. In the process of raising two children, writing a book, trying to help with a website, working on a personal project and trying to be a good wife, taking a course had no priority. My assumption was that the weekend-long course would be something where we are supposed to do a community project of some sort. Somehow I would end up with another project and my husband would end up ripping out more of his hair. AND, we would have paid money for this new responsibility that would demand time from me, time, which I already did not have.

“I’m going to help you take the course,” said PS.

I wasn’t sure what to say to that.

“I love you. You are worth it,” she said.

And I cried while I muttered, “Okay.”

Yes, Pastor Sue married me and my husband, but she has over the years become a great friend and confidant. She is just an amazing woman. During the happiest of times and the times in my life when I have struggled most, she has somehow ended up back in my life. Ironic? I think not. I believe we encounter the people we are meant to encounter exactly when we are meant to encounter them. Despite knowing my plate was full with a book project, I was meant to help PS with a website project. In the process we reconnected. We shared life stories and discovered some common threads we hadn’t noticed before.

The next morning, November 19th, I woke up to the following email:
Dear Heidi, GREAT NEWS!!

The (website) Team kicked in money so you could register in the Landmark Forum!! Your deposit of $150 has been paid.

Here is the schedule for dates available. What this means is that you would need to be available for an entire
weekend. I am open to helping you create that possibility with family and friends so that it’s possible for you to do
this. Also I will find you a place to stay in the city with friends from Landmark so that you don’t have to drive so
far every day/night if you should wish to do so. I will also help finance food purchases and any other things that
stand in your way!

As I read the email I felt a little panicky wondering how I would finance the rest of the money, what I would do with my children for the weekend, and how my husband was going to feel about this whole thing. I continued reading:

Here’s my request. You let me know what’s needed in order for this to work with your family. You look at which
weekend will give you the best opportunity. With your health etc I am wondering if the March one isn’t the best for
you but it’s totally up to you. I will work with you to find the other money for the rest of the payment. This is
something I can cause!

I am home tomorrow morning working on my sermon. Please call!! God will provide and continue to give you one
breakthrough after another!!

Sleep well dearest friend,
Love, PS

Upon reaching the end of the email I wiped with the palm of my hand the tears sliding down my cheeks and thought, Okay. And I took a deep breath, and let it out. The Landmark Forum. Okay. I guess I’m doing this.

Within an hour I decided I was not doing this. I called PS to tell her I couldn’t possibly accept the gift of the deposit and I wouldn’t be attending The Landmark Forum. That conversation didn’t go as I had planned.

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