As I celebrate another milestone birthday, I take the time to reflect on the years that have passed. In my personal life, I have experienced change. To death, in my family, I have lost a child, a mother, a stepfather, a surrogate mom and two aunts who helped to grow me. I have lost a husband to divorce and was found by another. I have lost a stepdaughter and her children due to differences in core values. I have two amazing biological children, who now have spouses. One has continued to grow close and one who has gained distance as a result of the marriage. I have two grandchildren who are growing in leaps and bounds that I rarely see but love unconditionally.

As a business owner, I have just celebrated 10 years of being The Griffin Firm PLLC, another milestone. The Griffin Firm is an estate and business planning firm that is a ministry serving to provide community development. We work to strengthen families and communities working through one family at a time. The experience has had constant change. The pandemic is one of the newest catalysts for change. We have opened and closed offices due to expansion that worked and expansion that didn’t work. People have joined the firm who have inspired and expanded the operation and the thinking. Team members separated from the firm because the culture and the mission were not theirs. As my father has instilled in me, “Difficulty is no excuse for surrender.” We will continue to meet and adopt new team members as we continue to fulfill our mission and purpose.

As a community member, I have had to learn and accept that it is not by default that I am an active participant. As we live through this pandemic that forces social or antisocial distancing, I have been compelled to realize the importance for me to stay connected. I have been compelled to think about how I must look at the ways in which to connect.

As I enter this next chapter of my life, I am compelled to press toward the mark of the high call. As I come out of this pandemic, I know that there is a new standard to be established. I am compelled to know that we cannot put old wine in new wineskins. I have been challenged to reach for a higher calling, a higher standard, a higher purpose.

Our main office location is moving to a higher floor in the building. While this was planned as a result of the growth of the company, I believe that the timing is consistent with God’s message to us that we can’t put old wine in new wineskins and we must elevate our practice and our thinking.

I know we are not all celebrating a traditional milestone birthday, but we are all coming out of a cocoon of the pandemic. We should not believe that we will return to the same world that we left in March 2020. We should not want to emerge in the same way. I know that I have been changed.

As The Griffin Firm is innovating to serve our community in a greater way, I urge each of you to review the transformation that you have experienced as well as the transformation you would like to compel. Your life and legacy are not by default, but by direction.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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