Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Tribute to Zig Ziglar

In Honor of Zig Ziglar and how God used him to change my life.  I wrote a couple of blog posts a few years back and I am combining them today as a tribute to Zig Ziglar. 

Friday, June 30, 2006

As a young girl in grade school I was outgoing and generally made friends easily. The transition to Jr. High was painful and awkward for me. My sister and I were tall and we were very skinny and so that also meant that we were flat-chested as well. In 7th grade we also had braces and we had worn glasses for a couple of years. Everything seemed to change in relationship to boys and girls. Prior to 7th grade I had been friends with a lot of boys, we all hung out together on the playground and had a great time. Of course there were the secret crushes but that is all that they were for us. We knew that we could not date until we were 16 years old.

I was not prepared for the endless tormenting that I received; I think I heard every flat chest joke that was ever invented. The cruelty of some of the students was almost unbearable at times and the actions of some of the boys would now be considered sexual harassment. At school I became withdrawn and I only really talked to my friends that I trusted. I felt ugly, stupid, clumsy, and inadequate most of the time. I really began to struggle with school and I had no desire even go.

Eventually I learned to survive and even joke about some of the teasing, though it hurt deep inside. My families love for me, my faith in God, and my friends became my anchor for me during that difficult time. At home and with my friends I was very talkative and outgoing but at school I became silent. I felt like I didn’t have anything important to say and I didn’t want to add anything else to endless list of what some of the kids teased me about.

In the spring of my sophomore year I had to take a speech class. I dreaded the thought of getting up in front of my peers and talking. But what they didn’t know and what I didn’t fully understand at that point was that I loved to talk and that it was as natural to me as breathing. Just ask my family….they could tell you a lot of stories.

My twin sister Jimella had done well in speech and of course I didn’t want her to surpass me in one of my favorite pass times.

I prepared for my first speech by rehearsing in front of a mirror over and over again. It was a good thing that we had two bathrooms in our house. I prayed and prayed and that God would give me the strength to be able to talk in front of everyone and that I would not mess up. I felt calm and peaceful and as I opened my mouth to talk it just flowed. I surprised myself, my classmates and the teacher with my ability to talk in front of people.

I even won best speech for the first round of speeches. I was thrilled and it was the extra confidence boost that I needed. The book that we studied for speech class was “See You at the Top” by Zig Ziglar. The book was about the power of positive thinking and I loved it. I would devour the chapters and eagerly write my next speech. For the first time in many years I was finally excelling in one of my classes. I could easily understand what Zig had to share with us and in time it became part of me.

At the end of quarter the class would always vote on who was the most positive person in the classroom. They would receive a copy of the book that we had been studying. I wanted to earn that title and I wanted that book. I prayed about it a lot… but some of my old fears came creeping back. I’m not good enough and I’m not one of the popular kids in school, this is beyond my reach. But then I would remember what God had to say about me and what I was learning about positive thinking from Zig Ziglar.

The big day finally arrived and because I had received the most awards for speaking and quite a few other ones I was an automatically put on the ballot. On the ballot was also one of the most popular boys in the whole school. I knew I had done the best job I possibly could and whatever happened I would be okay.

You cannot imagine the joy that I felt in my heart when I won the award and the class shouted and cheered. The boy I had won against came and told me that he was glad I had won and that he had voted for me because I deserved the award the most.

As I was presented that book I knew deep in my heart that God had helped me achieve this goal to show me that I was special and I did matter. I also decided  someday I was going to meet Zig Ziglar and have him sign that book for me.

In closing I would like to share with your this scripture passage:
"1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you."

6ne 09, 2006
 A few years ago I was surfing the internet and I happened to find an ad that talked about Zig Ziglar. Because of my love for Zig Ziglars’ writings and how he had impacted my life, I immediately clicked on the ad.

It turned out to be a business opportunity in where I would I become part of the Zig Ziglar Network. I had the opportunity to share his books and tapes and a special nutrition line with people.

I met some of the nicest people and I learned a lot about myself; and about building a business. I met Zig Ziglar several times for training and other events the company would have. I was always mesmerized by his speaking ability and his love for Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He seized every chance he had to share the message of God’s love with his audience and the people around him.

We had a contest that summer and if you earned enough points you could earn an all- expense trip to Cancun, Mexico. I was determined to earn that trip. I developed a plan to earn the points that I needed and I worked the plan. I was delighted to have earned the trip and I was so excited to go and spend time with the new friends that I had made.

Unfortunately, the trip was in October and for a farmer that is an impossible time to get away. I was disappointed that I would not be able to enjoy going to this exotic and romantic destination with Troy. Troy was very proud of me for earning the trip and wanted me to go even if he could not be there.

My twin sister Jimella had earned most of the trip and so we went together. The Omni resort was breathtaking and the food was divine. I loved visiting with the people that I had been working with over the phone and through the computer.

I had brought my book along so I could ask Zig Ziglar to sign it for me. And so I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to talk to him about it.

One of the nights we had a beach party and they had set up an extravagant meal for us on the beach. It was a beautiful night and moon’s reflection danced upon the water. The scent of the delectable food and the exquisite flowers they had everywhere filled the air. Jimella and I sat with our team and we laughed and shared our dreams with each other. There was a dance and so we all decided to go out and have some fun together. They started off the dance with some familiar favorites; and our group was have a great time together. They started the snowball dance where you would go and ask someone to dance and when the music stopped you would go and pick another partner from the group of people that were not dancing. I saw Zig standing with his wife and I decided that I would go and ask his wife’s permission to ask him to dance. Jean smiled and told me to go ahead and ask. I almost lost my nerve; here is this famous man who has spoken in front of millions of people all over the world. I went over and I told him that I had gotten permission from his lovely wife to ask him to dance. He smiled at me and took my hand and off we went to dance. Of course all of my friends gathered around and danced with him too. In all my dreams of someday meeting Zig Ziglar; I never once thought about dancing with him on the beach in Cancun.

The next morning I saw Zig and Jean eating breakfast. I had my book with me and so Jimella and I went over to talk to him. We both shared with him how his book had changed our lives and how we had enjoyed the course. I told him about winning the book and how I had always hoped to meet him so he could sign it for me. We talked for a long time about faith in God, family and friends. It was a special moment; and I was struck by how humble this gracious couple was towards Jimella and I. They treated us like we were honored guests. The conversation flowed and I knew that it was because we all shared the same faith. We were connected by God’s love; a bond that cannot be broken or destroyed. Zig signed my book and he wrote, “Michelle, God loves you.” And he wrote down a scripture passage, John 14:6 “
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (ASV)

When we meet face- to- face with God’s love it changes us forever. God used Zig Ziglar’s writings to change my life as well as the love of my family and friends.

We all have struggles as we journey through this world and we need to bring them before God’s throne of mercy and grace. We need to leave them there and let God’s love heal us and mold us into the person that He has created us to be