My Place in this World

Wow…today I am, well…having issues.  I went to church this morning, and I have no idea what God is up to, but I DON’T LIKE IT.
I guess the worst part about going to church this morning was going back to my Sunday School class after a few months absence.  I didn’t go for a while because I felt like God was calling me to spend that time with Him.  This week was my first time back.  The class time was great…lesson was great…it was what happened in between the lines and inside of me that made me just want to cry.
The lesson was on waiting on God and talking about Nehemiah and the time between hearing about the ruins of his home town of Jerusalem and when he and the king actually had a conversation that sent him back to rebuild.  4 months.  Yeah, I understand that.  I understand that really well.
The hard part for me in class was feeling like I just wanted to get out of there…like the whole time.  I walked in and sat down.  A couple people talked to me…but the spot beside me was the last spot to be filled, and was only filled because they ran out of places for people to sit down.  The ones that did come and sit by me hesitated quite a while before doing something.  I just kept thinking to myself, “What’s wrong with me?  Do I have something on my face because someone should tell me.  Do I smell?  I took two showers yesterday and I think I’m pretty clean.  Am I ugly?  What’s the deal here?”  Every time I said something…well Brady was pretty good about it, but it seemed to bounce off the walls and, well anyway…
I don’t connect with people my own age and I connect even worse in a group of people my own age.  They talked about how we need to carry each other’s burdens and ask for help and you know what…how?  People my own age and every other age for that matter think they know the answers to everything and the answers sound really good…but when it comes to practically living love to other people, maybe I’m just the one that no one sees, I don’t know.  I guess not being seen is better than being seen and then rejected.  Being rejected is how I felt today when I went to Sunday School.  I don’t belong there, and the truth is, I don’t know where it is I belong.  I know that I belong in Christ, and He has been the only reason that I’m even somewhat ok right now.  However, I can’t live on my own little island forever, and how to break out of that is a question that probably needs to be answered soon.
The truth is, I feel more accepted at IHOP than anywhere else.  People see me.  People like me, or at least they act like they do.  I don’t get that at church, and I have not had that in a REALLY long time in a Christian community.  I have a friend here or there, but a group of friends…not since high school.  And that was at school.  At church I still felt weird and out of place.
Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I’m so interested in orphan care…I know what it’s like to be the outcast.  I know what it’s like to not fit in anywhere.  I know what it’s like to want a place where you belong. 
I don’t know…just some thoughts…

Letting Love In

Faith Like Potatoes

I just finished watching the movie Faith Like Potatoes.  My first reaction of the movie was to be very critical of it.  It seemed like the story tried to fit too many different things in it…and the point of the movie was only made in the last ten minutes or so.  There seemed to be no main theme really…but even in that God taught me a lot.  Please hear me out.
I guess if I could have a theme for this blog it would be:  what kind of faith does God ask of us?  The main actor posed some good points in the movie, such as, “I’m so sick and tired of the church not being relevant.”  “They’re like white washed tombs.”  “Your faith has got to be real.”  All of this speaks deeply to my heart.
These past few months I have felt an extreme dissatisfaction with the church that I know.  I think I am starting to see the church from an outsider’s perspective a little more, but it seems to me like a country club.  It’s just another thing to do.  The church doesn’t reach out and touch the world…they’re off in their own little corner.  We occasionally come out into the open but we have walls so high that no one outside even wants to come close.  We’re prim and proper.  What’s up with that?  That’s not anything like the Jesus I know.
Then there’s the radicals…like the character in the movie.  And honestly, I had a hard time believing some of the things that happened…because I know from experience that God does not always answer like we want Him to.  But then I know that I tend to border on the cynical side of things…does God ever answer?  How do I trust Him?  Americans are like that…faith just doesn’t quite make sense.  Most people understand the idea of faith like Santa Claus or even a fairy godmother who sees our needs and answers if we trust Him enough.  I guess my biggest fear for the movie is that people will get the wrong idea of God answering prayer.  My second biggest fear is for myself:  that maybe I have the wrong idea of God answering prayer.
How do I live a life with a faith that is real?  The truth is, the church is not relevant.  You have to look really hard to find a Christian that is not a white-washed tomb.  Even the ones whose faith is real struggle to engage the world in relevant love and passion.  How do I pattern my life to be different than that?  How do I have a faith that is real like potatoes?
I loved the analogy of the potatoes.  They planted, but the veggie grew underground.  They had no idea if God’s prayers were being answered until it was time for the harvest.  I think this is true a lot in ministry.  You can go for years working and praying your heart out not knowing if anything is even growing inside the people you are ministering to, and then all of a sudden and without warning, harvest time arrives and you’d better be ready.
There are some things that I am sure of in the “uncertainty” of faith.  I am sure that God is supreme.  His will trumps my will and anyone else’s.  I am certain of the fact that God’s will is good, and He is always at work.  I know that God loves us so much, and everything He does flows out of that love that He has for us, although it may not always make sense at the time.  I know that God is a redeemer, and He delights in taking terrible circumstances and turning them into good so that He might be brought glory.  I know that He hears our prayers, and that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.  It is at this place where I stop because I do not understand.  Maybe I have not allowed God enough uncertainty in my life to see His miracles.  Maybe I have not stepped out onto the water trusting that He will keep me from sinking.  How do I do this?  How do I learn how to trust Him in my daily life now?
I want a life and faith that is relevant.  I don’t want to be like so many “Christians” I know that do not know how to connect with those who do not know God.  I want my life and my trust in God to be a clear reflection of God’s grace and love.  I don’t want to get in the way.
As per the scatteredness of the theme of the movie, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.  I could do a lot of good things with my life.  Believe me, my bucket list is full of things that I dream of doing and becoming.  However, at the end of my life, I don’t want people to walk away confused as to my theme.  My life could be lived so much more powerfully if I allowed God to fill me with a passion for one thing, and I dedicated the rest of my life to that thing.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt what that passion is that God has placed in my heart:  orphan care.  If I choose this, I know that I must forsake all others.  I want my life to speak of God’s faithfulness and care, passion and providence.  It’s a scary thought.  However, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.  Lord, give me strength.
I want to learn how to have faith that sees mountains move.  I want to be brave enough to trust God for things that seem impossible.  Although life has no easy answers, there is one truth that speaks clearly no matter the circumstances:  You must trust God.  Your faith has got to be real, like potatoes.

Psalm 4: He Has Filled Me with Greater Joy

“Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
Be merciful to me and hear my prayer…
Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
The Lord will hear when I call to him.”
One of the things that I do not understand fully about the Psalms is how many times that David calls down curses on his enemies in the name of God.  Maybe I do not understand God’s justice.  I have a hard time satisfying the conflict I see between God loving every single person and dying so they might know Him and His entering like a roaring lion to rescue His loved ones.  Maybe I have not yet seen the depths of depravity, and in many ways I hope that I never do.  I have a distinct feeling that someday I will.  However, I still at this point in my life have a hard time resolving Jesus’ command to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us and David’s prayer for God to destroy his enemies so that they might be put to shame.
I know that David is known for his honesty, and there comes a point when we need to be able to truly be angry about the injustices that we experience and see all around us.  When Jesus was on the cross, He prayed that God might forgive those who were crucifying Him because they did not know what they were doing.  Does God’s justice begin when we know what we are doing and choose to crucify Him anyway?  Or does God’s justice begin at the base of truth, that there is a clear line in the sand between right and wrong and someday because of God’s holiness all must be made right?
At any rate, the truth of this Psalm rings clear:  God hears our prayers.  Through the pain and the turmoil of our lives, God hears and will answer in His perfect time and way.
“In your anger do not sin;
When you are on your beds,
Search your hearts and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices
And trust in the Lord.”
This almost seems like it should be in Proverbs, doesn’t it?  It seems like this Psalm completely switches gears.  However, I think that it is all related.  I believe that David is keeping himself in check in his anger, focusing on a pure heart attitude before God.  We often cannot help when we become angry.  Anger is an emotion and in and of itself is not sin.  However, how we choose to react to this emotion and allow ourselves to respond to the circumstances are either sin or a blessing that gives glory to God.  It is always a good practice to search our hearts daily, to see that we stand blameless before God.  He has made it clear that He desires a pure heart over any sacrifice or offering that we could give Him.  Psalm 40:6a says:  “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced.”  We must learn to listen.  We must learn to trust.
“Many are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
You have filled my heart with greater joy
Than when their grain and new wine abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
For you alone, O Lord,
Make me dwell in safety.”
It is so easy to become discouraged about the world and how messed up it is.  It seems that there is hardly any good left.  If David was saying that how many thousands of years ago, then we aren’t much better.  However, in the great darkness of the world and the evil that is all around us, there shines a light from Jesus’ face.  When we turn our faces toward heaven, our God fills us with greater joy than we could have ever imagined.  It is a joy unexplainable, and is in direct contrast to everything that is happening all around us.  It doesn’t make sense that in such a dangerous place that is never safe we can lie down and sleep in peace because our God has the final say in everything that happens to us.  There is a life that He has given us that no man or circumstance can ever take away.  Death does not even rob us of it; in fact death is the ultimate victory when our labors cease and we can dwell with God in His house.  Our total safety lies in the security of our hearts in Christ.  Though the world is crashing down around us, there is a level of eternity that God has allowed for us to taste.  This joy is one of God’s greatest gifts to His children.  Relish in this today!

Psalm 1: A Leaf That Does Not Wither

Psalm 1:1-3 says:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Or stand in the way of sinners
Or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in season
And whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.”
There are a couple things about this passage that really stuck out to me.  First of all, the idea that we can be planted by streams of water that never dry up and have leaves that do not wither…that’s pretty amazing to think about.  I know that I have gone through some serious desert times, and I think everyone has.  It seems like we hear nothing from God and our faith is going nowhere.
It seems to me that having our delight in the law (or the Word) of the Lord is a choice.  We often associate happiness or joy as things out of our control that come to us.  However, we must choose to take delight in God’s Word.
The other part of this passage that stood out to me was the fact that this tree yields its fruit in season.  Here is where the seasons of life come in, when the harvest seems small and the work seems great.  Our leaves or our faith do not wither, but just as God created the seasons for the trees to bring forth fruit, it will be at the beckon and leading of His Spirit that causes us to bring forth spiritual fruit in our lives.  It is in His time and plan that our righteousness and faithfulness show themselves plainly.  However it is our choice to remain close to Him, firmly planted by His streams of living water.
God has been convicting me lately of my lack of delight in His Word.  I do not spend NEARLY enough time reading and soaking in the things that are written in the Bible.  This is something that needs to change in my life.  Is this something that needs improvement in your life as well?

One of My Biggest Fears

God asked for me to share this with you tonight.  One of my biggest fears is learning and speaking Spanish.  If you are John my boss, you probably know this better than anyone.  If you are not John, you may not be aware of this.
It has kind of been a fear that I’ve tried to figure out over the years.  I have thought a lot that maybe it is because I am such a perfectionist, and I think there is some truth to this.  I easily become overwhelmed when listening to someone speak Spanish because I didn’t understand a word or two that they said, and then I can’t focus on the rest because I’m so upset.  This happens in almost every conversation I have in Spanish.  I’m not sure I’ve ever admitted that to anyone before.  My vocabulary is terrible, and I have virtually no confidence.  I’ve been told that I’m not that bad at the language and I speak it quite well…but I know that it needs a ton of improvement.
The thing that’s hard for me too is that there are so many different dialects.  The Spanish that I am most familiar with (South American and Dominican) is not really spoken a lot in Kansas.  My boss Eduardo and his wife are from South America and I can understand them better than anyone else I talk to.  You’d think with all the constant practice I get speaking with people from Mexico that I would get pretty good at that dialect too, but I still stink at it.  I’m so frustrated at myself for being such a slow learner.  I guess I need to think that I’m smart but Spanish makes me feel so stupid.
And it seems that no matter how much I try to get away from the language and maybe even the more I try to get away from it, it calls me back to itself.  The other day I had to translate a pretty difficult conversation for a business I don’t even work for because their Spanish speaker could not quite understand what was happening.  It was only by the grace of God that turned out well.  I was so nervous.  Translating to me is like fingernails on a chalkboard.  The worst thing ever.  I know I need to get over that, especially since I do it A LOT.  You’d think doing it a lot would help me get over the fear, but it sure hasn’t.  That really bothers me.
It has also been a conviction from God that I have been fighting since day one of learning the language, clear back in high school.  I never wanted to do it.  So, you ask, how does someone who never wanted to learn Spanish end up living in two Spanish-speaking countries, getting a degree in the language, and working for a Hispanic pastor?  That is a great question.  Here’s my answer:  I HAVE NO IDEA.  It just happened.  I guess that means it was God, because I sure had NOTHING to do with that.  Like Jonah, I keep running away…except unlike Jonah, I must be on chance number 1,459…I never learn.  God is trying to teach me the difficult lesson that following Him does not always mean doing something that I want to do.  Often it means doing the one thing that I don’t want to do.  It makes the question:  are you all in? a more difficult one to answer.
I need help and accountability to be able to say “yes” to God on this one.  He could ask me to do about anything else and I wouldn’t hesitate.  What about this makes me so afraid?  Sometimes I wonder if the fact that I am tremendously afraid of this means that it is exactly God’s will for my life.  My heart knows the seriousness of what it is that God is asking of me.  I desire to serve God with all my life.  I know that I must serve Him in this, and especially this.  Will you help me pray for the strength to wholeheartedly follow God through whatever this means, however difficult this may be?  I want to be ALL IN for Him.

Dear Rachel

I’m going to share with you a personal letter I wrote tonight to my friend about what God did in my life today.
How is Detroit?  Thanks so much for the letter.  I received it the same day that I mailed you the other letter.  Funny how that worked out.
I wish that we could talk in person…but I’m excited to see you in a couple weeks!  God has been doing so much in my life.  Today He really did a work in me.
You know how the past few months I really backed away from church because there was a lot of stuff going on in my heart?  I stopped going to my Sunday School class because I felt like God was leading me to spend that time with Him.  It was like a period of restlessness before a revelation, and today I got my revelation.  It’s crazy, but I’m finding more and more that we can’t decide how quickly we want to grow and mature in our spiritual walk.  When God makes a move, it’s in His time and it can come suddenly.  It seems like I waited forever, but now that it’s here, it’s exciting…and extremely frightening.
I think God needed to establish some things in my heart away from the church for a while.  I had a lot of questions…I guess the biggest one was this:  where is my place of ministry and what does that look like?  I also had a hard time trusting the church in general, or respecting it might be a better word.  You and I have had many conversations about that, and I’m sure we both can go on for many more moons about the subject.  That, mostly, is still something that is in process of being resolved.  However, I am learning that in order to follow God, I must be taught and learn from others.  I have learned that church is an excellent way to do that.  I must learn how to go in focused not on the people around me, but on God…that He can teach me about Himself wherever I go and wherever He leads me.  I must open the door to Him.
In church today Pastor Rick talked about the subject of worship, and he did tonight at church as well.  God really spoke to me about my personal and daily act of worship, and asked me the tough question about how I worship Him daily.  Worship isn’t just opening a book and reading a devotional in the morning.  Worship can mean so many different things, but it has to come from the heart.  How do I worship Him every day?  Well, He’s calling me to discover that soon…I’ll let you know how that goes.
God has also convicted me of my lack of passion for His Word.  Sometimes it seems like the subject of Bible study is so overwhelming…and couple that with the mentality of “I know it pretty well”…really, when it comes down to it…I’m 23 years old.  How well can I really know the Bible, especially if it’s living and active?  I’m not letting it change my life.  I’m not allowing that power into my life.  That needs to change.  Please pray for me as I prayerfully work on that in my life.
The biggest thing that caught me today was the meat of Rick’s message about the fields being ripe for harvest.  I knew immediately in my heart what that meant for me and what my personal mission field is:  IHOP.  That may sound ridiculous, but it has been my ministry for several months.  To be completely honest though, there are some things inside of me that I struggle with.  For instance, I’m still pretty shy and learning how to not be socially awkward…and I guess that comes with practice.  But mostly it came in the conviction that I go to IHOP a lot, but I haven’t gotten to know the people there as well as I could have, and there’s no sense in regretting the past.  I know that my mission is to come to know them better in the future.  Also, I felt really led that if I did anything with starting a small group of sorts, that IHOP was the place for that to happen.
I knew immediately what I had to do and when I had to do it.  So we’re starting a discussion group on Tuesday nights.  We’re going to open it up to discuss questions about life and faith, and to get to know each other better.  I really hope some of my friends that hang out there come.  I want it to be a place, regardless of religion, beliefs, or lifestyle that people could be really honest about their frustrations and hurts.  What frustrates me most about the church is that it seems that we place ourselves on a pedestal above the rest of the world like we’ve figured everything out or something.  Are you kidding me?  We’re just as messed up as the rest of the world…and definitely need a Savior just as much as everybody else.  The difference with us is, we have found the truth and hope that God has given us.  We haven’t reached a certain mark…the journey continues, and we all have questions that we wrestle with.  In my mind, what will speak louder than anything to those who don’t necessarily believe in Jesus is not our knowledge of the truth, but our willingness to be open and engage them in conversation.  We must get to know them as people, because GOD LOVES THEM SO SO SO SO MUCH.  The way they’ll see that love is how we love them.  I’m sick of hiding behind clichés when we all know life can’t be fit in cookie cutter phrases or problems solved in 5-step solutions. 
There’s my soapbox…
God really talked to me tonight…we had a young adult service.  He talked to me in a way they probably didn’t intend for.  They had a bunch of candles set up and one candle that was lit.  We could all go and light a candle to symbolize how God brought us out of darkness into the light.  What struck me as we were singing was how bright that little light shone when everything else around it was darkness.  I’ve thought about that before.  What I hadn’t thought about was when we all took turns going and lighting the candle, we had to reach our stick into the original candle in order to bring the light to the new one.  I realized right then that I don’t just want to be a little light in the darkness.  I want to allow others inside of me, to know the light that I hold onto that they might someday grab some of that light for themselves.  The view was spectacular with just the one candle lit; it was even more spectacular when they all were lit.
I was reminded of the darkness that God brought me out of.  I know that I was a Christian before this past year, but as Brandon Heath puts it, God put the light in me last year.  All of a sudden there was hope…there was life…there was a reason to live and love and breathe.  There was meaning.  Goody two shoes…yeah, that’s what they used to call me.  Gosh…here’s another thing that’s been on my mind today:
People think that I like to do dangerous things because I need the thrill of adventure.  I will admit, I like adventure and I like telling stories about my experiences.  However, and I can say this very honestly, the more that I love God, the more I want to take Him to the dark places.  These dark places are not necessarily “safe”.  A good Christian mission trip…not that interested.  I’m the type that would walk into a bar and look for someone sitting by themselves.  I desire to do things like that…not because of the thrill of danger…but because there is so much darkness in need of the light.  Hurting people are all around us, that’s true…but to me, for the love of Jesus to be real in my life, I need to be willing to risk everything for that love, that others that don’t even have a glimpse of that light might know it.  That has been such a burden on my heart.  I don’t even know if that makes any sense.
Anyway, this letter is getting long…I can’t wait to see you in a couple weeks!!!!  I hope things are going better and that God is teaching you lots!
Love you friend!

A Life That Will Be Remembered

Today I lost a good friend of mine.  I feel so selfish saying that…like he was my friend and no one else’s.  It goes beyond the fact that I don’t know what our church and our bus ministry are going to do without him.  In a lot of ways, I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.  There are volunteers.  Then there are people that become your foundation.  He was like that personally to me.
You see, I don’t know that I’d still have my job today if it weren’t for him.  There’s something about ministry that really wears on you sometimes…actually often.  And you don’t get much thanks or appreciation for what you do.  You wear yourself thin and everyone’s always asking for more.  There’s always more to be done and everything you just did could have been done better.  Then there are people like Ralph who come in and time stops for about 10 minutes with one of those healing hugs and words of encouragement.  “You know you’re important, and I know that people don’t tell you that very often.  You have a lot on your shoulders and for your age, it’s not really fair.  You handle it well.  I’m proud of you and I love you.  If you ever need to talk about anything, frustrations or tears or anything, please call me.  I’m not just saying that.  I mean it, call me.”  That was March 26th.  Yes, I remember that day.
He would call me to ask me how I’m doing.  When he reached out to help someone, he was the type to stay in their lives for the long haul, through thick and thin.  And his life had a lot of thick.  But like the champion of the faith he was, he focused his eyes on his Savior and the struggles of the people around him above his own.
One of the most noticeable things about him were his eyes.  One look into his eyes and you knew that he wasn’t like everyone else asking how you were doing.  He really wanted to know and he wouldn’t leave until he did.  For those moments, you were the only person in the entire world.  We say that about a lot of people, but it was more true of him than I’ve ever known before.  He took the time.  Nothing else on his agenda mattered.
He was my strength when I was really struggling with my health.  I still do a little bit, but I went through a serious emotional battle with it for a while.  He held me when I cried and went out of his way to find out how I was doing every chance he got.  I don’t remember ever seeing him without a smile.  Even when he was frustrated, he still had a smile.  Maybe he’d done it so much that his face stuck that way, I don’t know.  Or maybe whenever I saw him, my heart smiled.  Something like that.
He lived his life to encourage people.  I don’t remember ever hearing him say anything degrading about anyone.  He spoke the truth, but he spoke the truth in love.  Sometimes I was sure I saw an extra bounce in his step from the joy that overflowed inside of him when he had the chance to encourage someone.  It was like he was floating or something.  He taught me so much about how to make your time count for others.  He chose to focus on bringing out the best in everyone he came into contact with.  The world could use a lot more Ralphs.
I want to be like my friend Ralph someday.  I want a smile that lights up the room.  I want a joy that spills over.  I want to live to encourage and build others up.  Ralph was the type that didn’t let his right hand know what his left hand was doing.  He gave when he didn’t have, and he didn’t want anyone to know about it.  He is close to the top of my list of people that I have known that were most like Jesus.  His life will be a life that will be remembered.

What If I’m the One?

I just got done watching To Save A Life for the second time.  I plan on watching it at least a couple more times this week.  Tonight it impacted me in a pretty special way.  I want to share my story a little…for those of you who may not know some things about me.
I was that kid.  I was the one that no one saw at school.  I was the one that was poked fun at.  I was the one that planned out my suicide.  For years I was alone.  God saved my life.
Right after I finished the movie, I turned on my new favorite song:  The One by Brandon Heath.  I know I’ve posted the lyrics before, but I’m going to post them again, because they are so powerful.  Here they are:
If I see one more light that’s fading
Hear about one more broken dream
Pray for just one more faith that’s dying
It’s one too many

And if I see one more child walking
Just one more mile for water
If I wait one more minute longer
It’s one too many

When I think of what could be
If we let our hearts believe
That it takes just one
Just one could turn this all around

And if we’re living history
How will they think of you and me
If it takes just one, just one
What if, what if, what if I’m the one?

It takes one, takes one, one
It takes one, takes one, one
It takes one, takes one

If I hear one more widow crying
‘Cause there’s no one by her side
And if I see one more family breaking
It’s one too many

If there’s one thing that I’m sure of
If there’s one thing that I know
You could be one in a sea of faces
Or you could be one more chance for hope
When I think of what could be
If we let our hearts believe
That it takes just one
Just one could turn this all around

And if we’re living history
How will they think of you and me
If it takes just one, just one
What if, what if, what if I’m the one?

I see a nation without any walls
A beautiful haven for one and for all
I see a day when people are free
When shackles are broken and fall to the street

A voice, a cry, call out from on high
The first one of many, go lay down your life

It takes one, takes one, one
(What if you’re the one)
It takes one, takes one, one
It takes one, takes one
(What if I’m the one)

The thing they said in the movie that really got my attention tonight was something that Pastor Chris said to Jake, “At some point you’re going to have to decide what you want your life to be about.”  That’s one of the most profound things I’ve heard in a while.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I stopped eating for a while.  I hated how I looked.  I hated myself.  I happened to be in a gym class at the time, and after a few days of doing this, I about passed out after class because my body was so weak.  My friend Heidi found out what I’d been doing and made me promise to her that I would stop.  I brought that conversation up to her not too long ago, and she can’t even remember that happening.  To her, it was just another conversation.  To me, it was everything.  Someone saw me and cared enough to help me walk away from something that was damaging me.
And what about missed opportunities?  What about regrets?  What if?
When I was a junior in high school, my friend committed suicide.  We weren’t incredibly close, but we had some significant chances to be.  I was just too busy.  I was too busy for her.
I was walking out of our Algebra class one day and I turned around and saw her.  We were alone in the classroom.  Our eyes met and God spoke more clearly than I’d ever heard:  “Talk to her.”  I turned around and walked out the door.  It wasn’t long after that when all of us were asking some tough questions.
I saw the signs.  I knew them like my best friend.  They were my best friend.  And I walked away anyway.
I’m crying right now.
At some point you’re going to have to decide what you want your life to be about.
Our lives on this earth carry far more significance than we know.  Sometimes we live like nothing we say or do matters.  However, it took one moment for my friend to see me sick and to step into my life.  It took me one moment to walk out the door of my Algebra class that day.  It doesn’t happen in the big moments. 
The big moments happen because of the little moments that did or didn’t happen.  A kid brings a gun to school.  A girl locks herself in the garage with a running car.  This didn’t just happen.  Who didn’t see him?  Who had the chance to talk to her one day and chose to walk away?
Or how about this big moment:  I’m alive today.
It may happen in a conversation you will never remember.  What have you decided that your life will be about?
I don’t believe that God believes in coincidence.  You are where you are for a reason.  The people who are in your life are there for a reason.  We can’t afford to live life any other way.
Who around you needs to be seen today?
It takes just one to turn this all around.  What if I’m the one?
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