Friday, May 11, 2012


so there's this girl, she was placed in my small group about four years ago and after sitting through our first small group together i asked her if she would come back next week {or something of the sort} and she looked at me with high school sophomore, cue the hand on hip sass and said, 'well i haven't left yet.'

i remember going home and thinking...
i'm just the pastor's wife.
i just want this girl to love jesus....
why did my husband have to give me 'one of the difficult ones?'
i don't know how to 'deal' with her.

it was a few short 'what seemed long' months with many 'how are yous?' with silent replies... many voicemails left without call backs and many convos that were pretty awkward.  it was slow.  and because we are so completely opposite i didn't think she ever would like me.  but after a while i really began to love her.  yes, she thought i was a bit nuts, and probably 'too nice' but i began to see that the sass was wearing down and the 'fun' that she had pursued wasn't satisfying.  she was seeing that Jesus really is who he says he is.

as i got to know her i saw the struggles in her life {some that were her own consequences and some that were just part of her life because of other people} and i began to see that she wanted badly to love Jesus but it was a struggle.  {isn't it for all of us?} but one of the best things about this girl is that she wears everything on her pretty little sleeves so you see it all pretty blatantly.  at the beginning there were small victories and then there would be times of defeat {again, like all our lives... no judgement here!!!} and i just kept praying.  i knew that if she really decided at a certain point that she would love jesus she would be a powerful force... i mean she's loud, fun, bossy, and if she believes in something or has passion for it everyone around her knows it.  

by her senior year we became friends.  she recognized that when i said the hard things to her that i really loved her and had her best in mind and she was realizing for herself that God is faithful and he always comes through.  she made a big decision to ditch out on all her 'school friends' who were making some poor decisions on new years eve and came to a church event and i am convinced those literal steps were the beginning of something big.  week after week she would come to church; you knew what she was thinking and feeling, sometimes the honesty was painful... but i always told her, please be honest with me... if we don't have that.... we don't have anything.

this year she went to a large public university in the city.  i've heard many of her frustrations and struggles to live for Christ in such a worldly environment (and i'm sure it's not the half of it) but she's giving it everything she's got because to her it's black and white.  If i love Jesus- my everything is for him; there's no gray for her.  A few weeks ago on my birthday she stopped by and gave me the sweetest card ever combined with an 'over the hill' balllon just keep things interesting... her sass has continued, it's just a tinge sweeter.   

i say all of this to say, she had been asking Luke to come down and speak at her CRU meeting so we committed to this week.  She showed us around, bought us dinner and then took us to the meeting.  I didn't know this but she was sharing her testimony that night.... when you've been part of the process with someone and their journey you've never heard them tell it but rather you've lived it alongside them.  She couldn't look at me because my tears were flowing but it was such a beautiful sight to see the girl who went through 'so many tug-a-wars' professing her faith in jesus. she was so radiant.  then i got to hear luke preach God's Word... that never gets old.  The part i loved was that there were probably no more than twenty people in the room and he preached with just as much passion and authority as he would to a room of two hundred.  love that man.

for those of you who are in ministry ... by vocation, association, or just because we are all called to serve... don't give up on the ones who might seem hard on the outside... it's so worth the fight.  God is bigger than our stubbornness and our desires to satisfy the flesh.  my favorite part of her testimony was when she said, 'even when i was doing all the things i knew i shouldn't be.. i never could shake the feeling of God continuing pursuit of me.'  God is awesome, keep on keeping on... He will be victorious!

To God be the Glory,