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The Joy of Being on Mission- Letting God Use You Wherever You Go

March 24, 2011

On Sunday, God answered a prayer I began praying two years ago for a young woman named *Allison.

Two years ago I was deeply stirred and convicted that I can be salt and light wherever I go: at the grocery store, the park, the mall, Chick-fil-a, wherever… There were people all around me that desperately needed to hear the hope of the gospel. I knew I needed to start being more intentional with people and stop making excuses.

I started thinking about the people in my path on a regular basis and Allison instantly came to mind. She was one of the sitters at our gym’s childcare. I saw her consistently and she had a great affection for my son John. He loved seeing her too. From the moment I met Allison, I got this feeling that she had pain in her life. There was something in her eyes and in the way she carried herself that said it. I felt like God wanted to use me, by his grace, to show her love when I had the opportunity.

On the days I dropped my son off at the gym, I would engage with her by asking about her day and about herself. One day I made banana bread for her and the staff there. I knew simple facts that she had a daughter and lived nearby but that was it. Our time was often cut short with me having to round up the kids.

There were days I got so frustrated because the right timing hadn’t come for me to share Christ with her or invite her to church. But somehow I would always go back to the fact that all I needed to focus on was building a friendship with her and showing Christ’s love. So that’s what I did over a span of two years.

Well about a month ago, I called to set up a childcare appointment and our conversation naturally flowed into me asking if she’d like to come to church with our family. To my amazement, she said she’d love to and we planned to meet in the morning. But morning came and she had to cancel. I was a little upset because I was so excited about it. The next Sunday we had planned to meet again, but her daughter ended up getting sick and my kids got sick too.

I grew discouraged thinking she’d never make it to church with us. I wondered if God really would make it happen. Then out of the blue and not in my timing at all, on our flight home from VA Beach this past Saturday, Allison texted me saying she wanted to join us for church. I was a little doubtful it would happen especially because we weren’t even sure we were going after a long day of traveling, but I trusted the Lord and we planned a time.

I texted her that morning to see if she thought it would work and she was ready to go! We met and she followed us in our van. When we arrived, Jeremiah took the kids and checked them in and I helped her check in her daughter. This was her daughter’s first time to church and she was so excited. When it was time for worship, we got our coffee and seats and the music played. We all stood to sing. I glanced over at Allison and she was blotting her eyes with tissue. She told me midway through how much she loved the songs.

When our young adult pastor, JP, gave the message, I felt like it was one of the best sermons I had ever heard. It was on being a light that shines bright among the darkness and the gospel was clearly presented.

After the service, Allison told me she loved it and wanted to come back next week. Her daughter also loved her class. We went out to lunch after, along with a couple in our community group and Jeremiah’s sister. Amidst the craziness of kids at the table, we learned a little more about her. She felt the freedom to share that she was adopted and her adopted dad died when she was a little girl. Several years ago she was in a very bad relationship, where she was beaten and the man killed the 8 month old baby in her womb.

I had never heard anything so tragic and I was amazed by all that she had gone through and that was only a small part of her story. Allison had experienced tremendous loss. But I was so encouraged that she heard the true gospel and she desired to come back to church. She experienced love from the body of Christ and I believe she knows that Jesus can heal her of all those hurts. I am praying for more opportunities to follow up with her and continue to encourage her toward a relationship with Christ.

As I write this, my eyes fill with tears because God is intervening in Allison’s life. While she may not fully know it yet, I believe it’s clear that he is working. We serve a God who cares deeply for people’s hurts and that they would be reconciled back to Him. We serve a God who wants to use us in every day life as we yield to His Spirit while we’re on mission for Him.

I look forward to seeing what God does with Allison’s life in the future. I’ll be sure to update you.

* name changed to protect privacy

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    March 24, 2011 8:25 am

    This post almost brought tears to my eyes. In my girls group last night we were all discussing the need for being intentional about reaching out, truly having a heart for the Lost, and not being content to safely stay in our church bubble. THank you for sharing this story of your joys and even frustrations as you befriended Allison.

  2. March 24, 2011 9:39 am

    I resonate completely with you Anna- getting out of the “church bubble”… I pray you and your girls group will be encouraged as you reach out and get uncomfortable. 🙂

  3. March 24, 2011 1:52 pm

    Wow, what a story. Thanks for your example! It gives me faith and hope to “get out there” and be brave and real with people too. 🙂

  4. March 25, 2011 10:58 am

    beautiful Samantha!

  5. Dean permalink
    March 25, 2011 2:58 pm

    Hi Samantha,

    Just wanted you to know that I have prayed for Allison and for you as well. In all of these instances regarding witnessing to others I have always remembered a little saying, though I cannot recall where I first heard it.
    “Duty Is Ours, Consequences God’s”. God richly bless you as you minister to others not just through your words . . . but as importantly, through your actions.

    In Christ

  6. March 27, 2011 11:51 am

    Father God, I pray you continue to use Samantha and her family in Allison’s life. I pray that the new relationship formed here will blossom, that you would use Samantha in amazing and powerful ways to continue to reach your daughter Allison. We know you are grabbing a hold of Allison, and I pray that she will HOLD ONTO YOU, accept you, and grow in you, Father. We are thankful for last week, and we can’t wait to hear of how you move again in Allison’s life today.

    In Jesus’ Name we pray – Amen!!!!!!

  7. March 28, 2011 6:55 pm

    I am so encouraged by this story as I have recently shared gospel tracts with two ladies at the childwatch at the gym that I go to. I followed up with one conversationally who is more persuaded by the Eastern religions and philosophies, but that information has only helped me pray more specifically for her. I don’t believe it’s the end of that conversation. And, I have yet to find an appropriate moment to follow up with the other.
    But, just today another gal from childwatch, who I didn’t even give a tract to nor was around when I gave the tracts to the other girls, came up to me and asked if I had ever read the book, “Heaven is Real”. I haven’t, but I wondered where that question came from. I’m wondering if perhaps my handing out the gospel tracts sparked conversations among the girls in the childwatch. I don’t know. WHat I do know and am trying to constantly remind myself is that GOD is about advancing His Kingdom and drawing His own unto Himself. I want to take comfort and draw courage from that and continue to pray for opportunities and pursue faithfully the ones He provides.
    Thank you for you encouraging example.

  8. March 28, 2011 9:10 pm

    thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. What a privilege it is to serve together as we have all been sent to go and tell.


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