When we think of how God orders our steps, we often think of monumental moments when God clearly speaks or opens doors. For me it wasn’t a loud voice; it was a day-by-day learning to walk by faith and making decisions through prayer and from guidance of mentors. It has been a journey of God’s gentle nudges, learning to listen for His whispers.
After graduating from Texas Bible College, I searched for continuing direction. I loved to travel and thought working for an airline might be a fun adventure until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Amazingly, twenty years later I am still with Southwest Airlines, the airline I joined at the age of twenty. My journey has been one only God could have orchestrated. I glorify Him for allowing me to find favor with legends—not just in the airline industry, but in the world.
Starting out as a customer service agent in St. Louis, Missouri, I discovered I loved serving people. I enjoyed problem-solving and making sure customer travel experiences were the best possible. I found it was one of my talents. I was just having fun, loving my work, when a manager requested that I apply for an open supervisor position. There it was—God’s nudge.
Later, having served as a customer service supervisor in both St. Louis and Houston, Texas, I knew I needed a position with more traditional work hours. I applied for a receptionist position at the executive office at headquarters in Dallas, Texas. This position reported directly to the founder/chairman and president of Southwest Airlines. I received the job and moved to Dallas.
God’s plan didn’t include only professional growth. In Dallas I met and married the love of my life—Keith. Together, we began to grow in our ministry and discover God’s purpose for us. While fully committed to our ministry, we both knew I was also in the will of God at Southwest Airlines. God continued opening doors only He could open.
In my new position in the executive office, I was blessed with incredible leadership. I was growing in areas I didn’t know possible. I was promoted to an administrative position where I served under an amazing leader who pushed me from my comfort zone, seeing potential I didn’t even know was there. God never told me I was in the right place; He showed me. In this position I learned how to write official notes and responses on behalf of the founder/chairman and president. I never knew I was capable of the work I was doing. Had God told me from the beginning what He had in store, I would’ve run because I hadn’t yet grown into who I needed to be for this new role. Every step of my journey prepared me for the next.
My journey took another direction when my leader left Southwest Airlines. I loved my job, my team, my leader, but my world suddenly changed. Where would I end up? God do You see me? Do You know what is happening? He did.
I transitioned into a new role supporting the CEO of Southwest Airlines. Excited and scared, my journey unfolded step-by-step in the most beautiful and humbling ways. I couldn’t do what I do on my own; only God could have made me into the person I am today.
I serve as Manager Executive Office. I lead a team called Internal Customer Care (a group I like to refer to as Southwest’s ministry team—seriously, it is ministry!). This team cares for and celebrates the 60,000-plus employees of Southwest Airlines. We send cards and gifts on behalf of the CEO and Chairman of the Board Gary Kelly to comfort employees facing illnesses, surgeries, or accidents, and to celebrate marriages, births, and graduations. We call employees who are fighting life-threatening illnesses to let them know they are not fighting alone. It is truly an amazing team and I am blessed to be part of this mission. I also continue to assist with communication on behalf of Gary and other executive leaders.
In May 2019, I was honored to receive the President’s Award—one of the highest awards given at Southwest Airlines. I was also chosen to participate in the Southwest Airlines MIT program (a leadership development program for leaders who desire continued growth). I do not boast in this; it truly is God’s humbling favor on my life.
I continue to represent President Emeritus Colleen Barrett, the person who hired me in 2004 to serve as her receptionist. I have the opportunity to speak all over the country and present awards on her behalf. This year we lost our beloved founder, Herb Kelleher. Three months prior to his passing, I sat at dinner with Herb and Colleen, and we shared stories about the journey.
I never deserved to be where I am or to have the relationships I have with highly-influential people, but God gave me favor with those leading a Fortune 500 Company. I didn’t set out to be where I am; I just enjoyed serving and God led me step by step. Yes, I stumbled and took detours, but God never stopped directing. He is still nudging me daily as I seek to serve Him and others. My prayer is for others to see Him through me, and that I will listen and follow His whispers—wherever He leads.