3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
We plan our futures, but God always has a better plan for us. I spent years looking for a business successor and several times thought I had the perfect suitor. While a frustrating challenge, I never lost hope. I surrendered my destiny to God and waited patiently to have my prayers answered. During an awards ceremony, I sat next to Beverly Barnes, a woman who worked for SGW, the company I was praying for. I typically count things in a room like lights, ceiling tiles and number of people. Turning to Beverly I asked if she noticed anything peculiar in the room of over 500 people. She looked over the crowd and said “No, not really.” So, I asked, “Didn’t you notice that besides a waiter and three college interns, you’re the only other person of color in this entire ballroom?” She laughed and replied “Oh, I’m used to that.” I immediately felt the Holy Spirit and I knew God was about to change my life, Beverly’s life, and SGW’s future forever.
I knew nothing of Beverly’s background, but quickly learned her extraordinary life’s journey. She came from humble beginnings in East Orange, NJ; transferred from Clifford J. Scott High School to Citadel of Hope Academy; cared for an ill mother and sister with special needs; worked to pay her own tuition; was Valedictorian of her class; at Berkley College served as President of Phi Beta Lambda, (America’s future business leaders); before SGW she worked at Prudential and KPMG; lost her first daughter after a complicated pregnancy; feels blessed to have given birth to a son and daughter; adopted her sister’s son and more. Every challenge made her stronger and helped develop her righteous character. Successful succession plans take years of planning and vetting, but sometimes it just takes a unique event or what I believe is God’s intervention. On 9/17/19 Beverly became President, CEO and majority shareholder of SGW. By 10/30/19, SGW received its Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Certification from NJ’s Department of Treasury.
God thank you for giving me the ability to feel the Holy Spirit and for opening my eyes, heart and mind to Your presence, direction and guiding hand. You never disappoint. Amen.