There have been many people who have spoken things into my life that have shaped and influenced who I am and how I see God and the world around me. The funny thing is that when I look back and remember the conversations that have really impacted me, they didn’t stand out as significant at all at the time. They were all in the context of regular life, ordinary circumstance, and friendship. We have all been inspired by great authors or dynamic speakers, but I am so deeply thankful for the people that God has used in my life to share a simple truth or insight that became a part of who He was forming me to be.
The Bible talks about the power we have in our words, and we are told to use our speech to encourage others, speak truth in love, admonish and teach, and build up those around us. I want to share a few of the simple truths I have learned from others through ordinary conversations. These are particularly special to me because God has used them time and time again, not only in my own life, but by allowing me to pass them along to others. I hope you are encouraged and reminded that God can use you in even the most ordinary of circumstances to build someone up or speak a life-giving truth that may impact them in ways you might never see!
One conversation like this was with a woman I honestly didn’t know very well from my church up in Washington. We had known each other for years, but never really spent a lot of time together. I mentioned to her that I was wanting to plant my first flower garden, and she offered to help me pick out some plants at the local nursery. We were back at my apartment, and setting the plants out where they were going to be in the flower bed, and I remember clearly sharing with her that I was struggling with anxiety. It was a new struggle for me then, and she listened as I shared my fears of what the future held. She said, “You are invincible until God decides otherwise.” This impacted my thought life from that point on. In other words, NOTHING can harm me unless and until my loving Heavenly Father allows it. Her words were so natural. And I am sure she probably wouldn’t remember saying them. Today, I still struggle with anxiety, but God has continued to use her words to bring me peace and hope!
Another conversation that stands out in my memory was with a piano student of mine. She was a friend who was preparing to leave for the mission field a few months later. I think we probably spent as much time talking and laughing together as we did doing real piano lessons. During one of her lesson times, I remember her telling me that God could use our time learning piano to change the world! I was kind of reluctant about this because it was really just a means of income, not a ministry. She corrected this by telling me that no matter what we are doing, if we are asking God to use it, He can use the simplest parts of our lives to bring Him glory. He could use her lessons with me to give her the ability to play a simple song on the piano. That could open a door for a conversation years down the road that might lead to a friendship that might even lead a person to Jesus! We have no idea the REAL impact our simple obedience has on the world, and we should never underestimate what we are doing and the power of God to use us! That has helped me through many seasons of life where I didn’t FEEL all that useful or impactful, but I remembered that I really have no idea how God wants to use the simplest things in my life in ways I may never see! The simplest parts of our lives matter in ways we may never even know!
One last woman who greatly impacted me with her words was an older mom in our church. Not a friend really, just a lady I knew and would say hello to in passing. One Sunday morning, I was really having a hard time with our son who was a defiant toddler at the time. Those days are so hard, and I felt defeated and overwhelmed. I was trying to drag my little boy through the parking lot to our car after church (he had decided to let his legs go limp and lie down in the middle of the sidewalk), and this sweet lady was walking by. She took my arm and said, “Remember, God CHOSE him to be your son, and you to be his mom. You are the right mom for that little boy.” Oh my goodness, did I need that to be spoken out loud that very moment! I go back to that very truth often! It reassured me to be reminded that God picked me to parent my son because that was HIS plan, and those feelings of inadequacy that I was feeling in that moment was not grounded in truth! I pass this along to every mama I can because it is so comforting to know that no matter what season of parenting you are in, no matter who your children may be, God still chose YOU to be their parent! I should also mention, that in other conversations that followed with this woman in the weeks and years following, I learned that she had experienced a very difficult time with her son around the same age, and God had walked with her through it. She was passing along the lessons she had learned through her own struggles, and I even learned that from her as well! Our struggles are not unique, and we are designed to walk others through the same.
There are countless conversations we have all had that have changed our view of ourselves, God, or the world around us. These three are especially precious to me because it was the voice of Jesus speaking through them that truly spoke to my heart. When the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, He is able to speak through us. It is a wonderful and beautiful part of relationship. I pray that as we follow Jesus together, that He continues to open doors for each of us to speak life giving truth in love to those God has put in our lives. And I pray that as He speaks to our hearts through those around us that we listen and recognize His voice!