Talk to Me Tuesday: Topic Two

Good morning, Sister Girls! It’s Tuesday and time to talk! I am so happy to have gotten the joy of connecting with you over the weekend. It was an unexpected gift on a rare lazy day. I’ve really been excited over how many sisters have chimed in lately for the first time. A heightened number of you have said in the last several weeks that you’ve been reading the blog for a while but you were commenting “for the first time.” I just want you to know that it’s the comments that turn this place into a community. Not the blog posts but the comments. That means it’s more your part than mine. That’s a pretty cool thing I think. All that to say, I love seeing somebody who’s been watching finally imparting. Welcome! You are freely loved here in the gracious Name of Jesus Christ. We cannot replace counselors or local churches or face-to-face, life-to-life friends but we gleefully do what we can do: encourage you in your walk with Christ.

OK, let’s get to today’s topic: Talk to me about someone Jesus brought into your life who really stretched you but won your respect. Maybe a very unlikely friendship or relationship that you know God brought your way to grow you and to open your eyes to the wide-sweeping work of the Gospel. Put another way, who sort of broke a mold for you? This should be fun. Only share a name where there is nothing that would make your person uncomfortable or embarrassed. This might be a good time to tell you that this community, because of God’s grace alone, gets an average of 10,000 independent hits a day. Only share what you mean to be public but, by all means, have joy in the process! Just don’t tell us a secret. Grin.

I love you dearly. I can’t wait to read these.

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415 Responses to “Talk to Me Tuesday: Topic Two”

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Comments:

  1. 51
    Karen says:

    God put Kathy in my path about ten years ago. My prayer life was almost nil and I met this remarkable woman who was the most fervent pray-er I had ever met. I could have listened to her pray for hours. I loved hearing her pray for others. Those are the key words….others and listened. I began to mimic her praying style….but was still not there…and then before I even realized it….someone called me a prayer warrior….WOW a Prayer Warrior….just like my friend Kathy…and right there…on the phone with another friend….I prayed with and for them. I am Living Proof that in order to have effective prayer….you have to be an effective pray-er. Thank You God for Kathy!

  2. 52
    Siesta OC says:

    In women’s ministry, GOD gave me a particular situation where I grew in learning to forgive and press on and pray in ministry. I did not know I was going to be in Women’s ministry, but out of a time of depression, GOD gave me a ministry opprotunity for the women in our church. I met this other gal (who had more ministry experience) with an eager thought of “we can do this together.”
    We did not, and I ended up very hurt by her. But over time I have forgiven and now we talk and say hi. I think my heart still hurts in parts about letting go of that ministry there, but I feel like GOD wanted me to learn how to pray for a person in ministry that had hurt me.

    And I love growing in JESUS!!

  3. 53
    Laura says:

    About three years ago, in my freshman year in college, God brought a very special person to me whom He would use to forever change the course of my life. My heart, once loving and soft towards God, had slowly through, highschool and an abusive relationship, hardened. While getting ready for church one Sunday, I pray to God incase he was listening and ask him, “God please show me a man, any man, who actually will love You more than he loves me.” That morning I go to church to meet the man that a year and a half later would become my husband. However, because of my past and my mistakes we had a rocky go at first. We were very opposite. I was scared of getting into a relationship, I had bagage, and really did not even have closure with my past relationship. He was pacient though, and walked me through my darkness, pointing me the whole time toward God and not himself. He stretched me by helping me let go of my past and challeging my beliefs (or at this point lack there of). Through God working in him I was reconnected with my Lord, found healing for my mind and heart, and found a very best friend that would support me in my walk and I would support in return.

    • 53.1
      Siesta OC says:

      I loved your prayer…I am feeling that! A man who loves Jesus more than he loves me! Because everything just falls in place then.

      Blessings!

  4. 54
    Angel Haynes says:

    My friend, Jamie. *Sigh* She’s amazing. She is serving overseas in an unreached people group. However, forget the stereotypes you may have just pictured. She is fashionable, strong, incredibly witty, a thinker through and through, and always has great lipstick! She deeply loves God and loves people. We met as I was graduating from college so we’ve never really been able to live in the same town, but God truly put her in my life. She’s bold with me, loves me, challenges me, helps me. Our conversations about life and ministry are completely life-giving. We talk on a regular basis, but I only get to see her every couple of years. In Feb, she will be in San Francisco and my husband is putting me on a plane to be with her. I can’t wait! Apart from my husband, Jamie knows me better than anyone. There is no way a paragraph about Jamie can do her justice, but thanks for letting me share.

    (Beth, I’m also a new commenter. It took some boldness to get started, but I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying be an active part of this community.)

  5. 55
    Alisha says:

    Good morning Beth! I wanted to tell you that I have been following you for a few months but have never posted… I love your blog! You are so real!

    I wanted to tell you that I bought your So Long Insecurity book yesterday and started reading it last night…I love it!! I have a prayer group at my house every Tuesday. So, I think I will ask the ladies if they want to read it together.

    I am on my way to the gym…but I wanted to post a little something. Will respond to the question later. Be blessed!!!

  6. 56
    Jamison says:

    Good Morning,

    The friendship that has been a blessing to me is with my now buddy and dear friend Renardo. We have gone to church together and worked together in the church for almost 13 years. However last year and even more so this year we have been encouraging each other to reach past our comfort zones. We have begun working on a book together that we hope to have published next year.

    In leading “The S.A.M.”(Single Adult Ministry) at my church he has encouraged me not to despise small beginnings. Being a small group in a large church does not mean I have failed God it just means we have a small group who is doing big things. What a friend!

    Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my dear friend!

    Jamie
    http://www.saltyandbright.blogspot.com

  7. 57
    Gina says:

    I’d seen J at church and our sons were in the same MDO class. We started with idle chit-chat and our chats became conversations. Soon we were meeting at McD’s for ‘the boys’ but we were loving our time together. Then J shared a brokenness with me and it was one that I had buried deep inside of me and had not given a thought to how it was stumping my relationship with my loving Father. I praise God for bringing J into my life – He knows exactly who I need in my life and because of my willingness to listen and watch for His presence, J has become my sister-in-christ and has been by my side as I experience a healing I didn’t know how bad I needed – Hallelujah!

  8. 58
    Terri says:

    She came into my home, where I hosted our ladies’ Bible study… had made friends at a recent leadership event with the girls leading our group. I was intimidated by her presence, her knowledge, her big personality. And then she admitted that she was in a season of depression and I wanted to run far away in fear. But, as I got to know her, as I drank in her wisdom, I knew I needed more. I was a baby Believer, thirsty for knowledge. I asked her to be my mentor. We began to meet weekly: walking, praying, and doing Bible study together. I was in turn, able to offer her a job. She was my mentor, my assistant and my best friend. I met my husband at her house! She was definitely brought into my life by the Lord to stretch me. I wouldn’t have picked her for a friend, but I’m so glad He did! I pray that everyone could have a sweet sister-in-the-Lord like my friend of almost 18 years! Blessings!

  9. 59
    GJ says:

    Beth: I do love this topic. Let me tell you about my friend Chuck. In a nutshell, he is the “yard man” for the beautiful old historic building in which I work. He comes weekly. He tends to the lawns/landscape and does a wonderful job. Because gardening is my love, I struck up a friendship with him (besides the fact that I will talk to a rosebush). We talk about what’s blooming, what needs pruning, why another flower may work better here, etc. Chuck is a free-spirit. He talks to me about new praise dances he’s working on and from all accounts, I’ve ascertained that his church enjoys free and spontaneous worship. I love his heart, but a lot of what he would share with me made the Baptist Pastor’s wife in me a little “nervous.” (Just keeping it real here.) I decided he was just out there, but loved him all the same. A few years ago he stopped me one morning on my way in. What he told me BLEW ME AWAY. He told me God revealed to him that my son and his wife were going to have a son and that he was going to be a mighty warrior for Jesus!!! Chuck had no idea that my son and his wife were struggling with infertility and were crying out to God for a child. I came in my office and wept. What meaneth this, God? I still say Chuck is a little out there but you know what. Little Ezekiel Timothy Morton (Zeke) is 2 years old and told Gwan Jan the other night to “Rejoice always.” I Thessalonians 5:16. Out of the mouths of gardeners. I trust God to give me discernment, but I have learned to not discount someone because they aren’t a cookie cutter Christian.

    Love you friend,
    Gran Jan (Georgia Jan, GJ)

  10. 60
    Melissa says:

    I am ashamed to admit this, but facts are facts. Our church had a big meeting with other churches and each night a different pastor spoke. I was dreading this one guy, because he flat out creaked when he walked. I thought,”Oh my, I hope he doesn’t drone on and on”.I was terrible in my “thought closet”. Well, as you have figured out by now, he was so wise and full of God. It was awesome! He helped me to remember that as long as someone allows God to flow through them, it’s always incredible…if I have ears to hear.

  11. 61
    Michele says:

    The Summer after my Junior year in high school, I had the opportunity to go help at an artists’ retreat in Texas at Last Days Ministries. We helped “entertain” and teach the little ones while the parents relaxed and got refreshed with the Word. Our little group joined in with people who lived there to help out. The thing that God used to change me for life was to be there and to watch the people, from Last Days, worship. I had never seen such freedom in worshipping the Lord, before. The church I grew up in was very different. I had never seen people before that were so genuine in their worship to God. (Also, their total abandon to do whatever God had for them, has always been impressed on my heart) God used that time, just a week, to change my life, my way of thinking, forever.

  12. 62
    Sister Lynn says:

    The leader of our high school church youth group, Rose. I was 14 and had plenty of (bad) attitude as did others who were there because their parents insisted on it. She was unfailing cheerful and upbeat no matter how sullen we were. She made it clear that the reason for her joy was Jesus…eventually I wanted that joy too. She saw a better person in me than I saw in myself and helped me discover that person. We have been friends for 20+ years! Now, we can share our mutual love of the Lord and how He is working in our lives. She is a great blessing to me. (It’s funny – when I was in high school I thought she was really OLD. She was 27! We still laugh about that.)

  13. 63
    Jill says:

    In my job, I have met a variety of folks. There are 7 that stand out, and have shaped me. Two would be considered the working poor, two would be considered wealthy, and three are middle income. The point being that money does not matter in this equation.

    The thing that stands out to me is that all 7 have had serious obstacles to overcome. Horrific physical pain that never ends, loss of all material possesions due to a storm, loss of loved ones in a tragic accident, loss of a child, escape from an abusive spouse, victory over substance abuse and gang membership, and escape from a country that fell to a dictatorship.

    They are cheerful, uplifting, kind, considerate, joyful… they are the fruits of the spirit come to life. They are faithful in their love of God. If there is any lesson I have learned is that they are not self centered. They care much more about others than themselves. I only learned of each of their tragedies after many years, and much probing. I am blessed.

  14. 64
    The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady says:

    Several years ago I went through a very difficult time in my life. I had been extremely involved in church and ministry. Through a series of events my cup ended up being pretty dry and some at my former church decided to crush said empty cup. That left me pretty sad and bewildered. And maybe just maybe extremely bitter and angry.

    So I just went off by myself and lived in my own little pit. Now as pits go, it was pretty glorious–there was always chocolate and an abundance of amusements. I knew the Lord wanted back in community and fellowship with other believers, but the wounds were too big and too raw.

    I decided that one of the pit adventures would be to learn to scuba dive and I set about on that journey. I met a dive buddy through an online community of over 20,000 divers–and wouldn’t you know of all the nice heathens I could have met to share the “Continuing Adventures of Pit Life”, my new dive buddy was a pastor’s wife. Understanding that God was persuing me, but really still ticked about my wounds, I kept her at a distance.

    So God sent a family, from my former church to move in across the street from me. To say I was displeased is on the right thought track. I did my best to keep them at a distance, but the small children blowing kisses and screaming “hi, hi! Hiii” from across the street began to wear the coldness of my heart down.

    Finally,one Sunday morning I woke up and could feel the Lord pressing on me to return to Him. I said out loud, “Fine! If you are God and want to lead, I will follow. When you feel like showing up let me know. I am going bad to bed you know where to find me being God and all.” And I went back to bed.

    A couple of days later my phone rang and it was the neighbor lady asking me if I wanted to a Bible study by this lady named Beth Moore on the book of Daniel. So feeling pinned in a corner due to my exasperated prayer a couple of days before I said yes. The pieces of the cup are not all back together yet, but they are taking on a new design that is unlike anything I could have ever imagined. I wonder what the next piece Jesus picks will be and what He will do with it? I can’t put it back together, kept it together or even huddle near the pieces all that well. But Jesus can, He is, and He will keep doing it.

  15. 65
    Cindy Amelung says:

    My late best friend Joanne. She not only broke the mold for me & opened my eyes to a much broader faith, she also became my mentor as God used her to push me in the direction of ministry that He had been calling me to but I didn’t want to respond to or acknowledge. I felt soooo inadequate but she taught me that we are inadequate and only what we do for Jesus in His strength and with His guidance is what matters anyhow. I have facilitated many of your studies, Beth, for our ladies at church and I thank God everyday that He gave me Joanne for awhile so that I could learn the awesome joy and privilege of serving Him and His people. She went home in August of ’09 and I miss her every single day. While I wish she were still here, I wouldn’t have missed one day of our friendship – God gets all the glory here!!!!

  16. 66
    Margie says:

    You Beth! Breaking Free 10 years ago and every study since…can’t wait till Nov for the new “David” love you to pieces and thank you from the bottom of my heart for truly showing me Jesus!

  17. 67
    God's not-so-little Dutch girl says:

    My unlikely friend is my neighbor. She and her family are Catholics, and my family and I are Protestants. Over the course of living next door for 15ish years, we have both grown is our respective faiths. It is thanks mostly to our questions about each other’s faith. It has taught us both to research and rediscover why we believe what we believe. There are, of course, issues we just agree to disagree on, but it hasn’t hurt the friendship.
    My other friend would have to be my husband. Like a lot of couples we are polar opposites. He is quiet and doesn’t need a lot of social interactions, and, well, I am a talker and love to be around other people. But God is faithful and TODAY we celebrate 20 years of marriage!God is GOOD! Have a great day, Siestas!

  18. 68
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Ohhh! I love these types of stories. I had to think about which one I want to share, but here goes. A number of years ago I was working and living on Capitol Hill. I ended up sharing a townhouse with two other women. We had all kind of met through a Hill Bible study. One of my roommates was a very new Christian – and boy – did she have a lot of her “old nature” alive and kicking. Her language hadn’t yet undergone much transformation – she really sounded like a sailor at sea most of the time. But here was what was weird: she talked about her relationship with Jesus like it was REAL and fresh and new. Because it was real and fresh and new. It made me have to face that even though she had a serious problem with profanity – (and very often a bad attitude ta boot) – I could absolutely see this relationship of friendship she had with Jesus. And I knew I didn’t have it like that. She talked about Him openly and like He was her friend. Even though I’d known Him all my life and had walked with Him – I didn’t talk about Him so freely — as if He were really that real. She, in the middle of her profane, kind of nasty attitude, showed me a slice of “real Jesus” that I hadn’t seen before. Over the months, I got to watch the Lord refine her in obvious ways – while He was refining me in maybe less obvious ways – but ways that were just as important. Thanks for the chance to remember this long ago season and to share! Ciao til next Tuesday, girls ~

  19. 69
    tracie says:

    Hey Beth! Hope that all is going well with you. . . seen some twisters down Texas’ way.

    A person that the Lord brought in to my life that had a major impact on my walk with Him is my bff Charlotte. She in turn turned me on to your teaching, the teaching of Chuck Missler and Dr. Arnold Freuchtenbaum. Not to mention a Christian counseling association known as NANC. Her thirst for knowledge and a better understanding of God’s word and fueld my thirst. I pray that the Lord will use me as an instrument to fuel someone elses thirst – all for His glory of course. The more I learn about Him and understand His word, the more I fall in love with Him!

    God bless! Tracie

  20. 70
    Michele says:

    Two of my professors at Northeastern Seminary. Dr. Paul Livermore is a brilliant biblical scholar, theologian, and Patristic Era expert. It was a challenge to keep up and by the end of the 4 hour class my brain was mush, but I loved it!

    Dr. Doug Cullum challenged us in the classroom but also through Personal/Spiritual Formation, a small group type format integrated into the curriculum. At first I hated PSF because I was there to learn facts, don’t bother me with relational “fluff!” But God used that group in many ways, teaching me valuable lessons and cleansing and healing old, deep wounds.

    I’m very thankful for them and NES.

    HEY MAMA!! I submitted a Genesis study tip I had originally learned from you to Bible Study Magazine and it got published!! P.46 of Nov/Dec ed. I feel like a kid wanting you to see my A! 😀

  21. 71
    Lynn at Barksdale AFB, LA says:

    I know this is going to sound like I’m making it up, but it really was my husband who stretched me in the scriptures and challenged me to explore scripture deeper. I had been raised in church my entire life, was sold out and radical for Christ in my childhood through high school and college. I thought I knew how to act and what to do and NOT to do as a Christian. A dear friend set me up with an amazing guy because she knew he had a heart for Christ. As we dated and studied the Word together, I realized he was interpreting some scriptures differently from what I had been taught. But his love for God and his integrity allowed me to have a deep respect for his convictions. They weren’t deal breakers about salvation or the trinity, but really stretched me to explore more about grace and loving your neighbor and that I can be just as much of a sinner if I don’t have love in my heart. Wow, did this change me to not just be concerned about what NOT to do as a Christian, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t cuss. It was the first time I had been challenged in so many ways by someone who was raised in church just like me. And it’s very cool to be married to someone who loves doing “Beth Moore” Bible studies with you!!!

  22. 72
    Jamie says:

    I am a high school teacher at a Christian School. Every single year I have students that challenge me in different ways. Many times I end up with great relationships because of the difficulties we go through. It’s always interesting to see what they will teach me through our growing process. This year I am trying to reach out more and do more for the kids. I’m having a few to my home for dinner – just trying to get to make more of a relational impact instead of a teacher impact.

    On a different note, may I ask the body of believers to pray for me this weekend? My Grandad passed away yesterday morning and we were very close. He was ill and he is in heaven so in all seriousness it was a blessing but I still miss him! Pray for my family as we do the visitation Thursday evening and funeral Friday. He left such a godly heritage that it’s hard to imagine our family without him around.

  23. 73
    Kellie says:

    For me, two people stretched my faith. In 2006, an ex-coworker introduced me to church. I realized that (and it took me a while to get there) just because someone attends church doesn’t mean they are healthy on the inside. The relationship was pretty dysfunctional and the closing door of that friendship and job molded and shaped me in ways I never would have envisioned. Instead of falling further into despair, I put my face in every spiritual book that came my way including “Wide Awake” by Erwin Raphael McManus which would ultimately change the course of my life. I grew up enjoying the arts, but instead of going down the route I thought I would be going, I was taken on a totally different path. I always loved film, theater and all that jazz and still do, but there was never any meaning (substance) behind it. I got a degree in Film/Theater and pursued it briefly. I was very much into the image of “Hollywood”, but it wasn’t until the other relationship that God brought into my life from the time I was a chicklet cooking in my mom’s oven that would shape me. My grandfather was the epitome of a good Christian man and he and I were very close. He died on September 11, 2008 unexpectedly. However, through his death, I was led into a deeper relationship with God. I finally found my calling and trust me, I never envisioned this road because I grew up Jewish (Dad is Jewish and Mom is Christian). I fell in love with the joy of writing for, about and with God. I have always been a calm and peaceful person, but I have never felt inner joy the way I do now when I write. I love digging into the Bible and researching it.

    • 73.1
      Warm in Alaska says:

      Kellie – Thanks for sharing and may God amaze and bless you in your writing ventures / adventures.

  24. 74
    Rebecca says:

    My friend Melody, who is nothing like me, but oh so much like me! She took the initiative to be my friend, which rarely happens. She has been a blessing to my life in so many ways!

  25. 75

    Okay this is a fun one for me. I used to live in a Christian bubble. The house next door went on the market years ago, and I prayed “God, please either send me a lovely Christian mentor, or someone to witness to.” (Never pray that if you really need a mentor, because it seems like God will never miss an opportunity to send you someone to witness to if you give Him the choice.) Anyway, the woman that ended up next door was the polar opposite of me in every way and we bonded when her young husband was diagnosed with cancer, she was pregnant with number two, and her two year old was in a body cast from a severe bone break, all while she worked full time in a city she had just moved to. I was it for her in many ways, and God allowed me to pour out His love to someone I’d never have been friends with otherwise. I not only have developed a huge amount of respect for her as our friendship deepened, but she’s moved to the other side of the city now, and we make a point to regularly getting together. Her husband is cancer free, and though she still hasn’t accepted Christ, she knows where I stand, and we’ve had some amazing discussions. So glad to have her friendship in my life, she has become incredibly precious to me…and stretched me in many ways I wouldn’t have been stretched any other way. God just knew!

  26. 76
    Jen says:

    Mine isn’t a real live person, but she is someone that we all know–the PROVERBS 31 WOMAN. For YEARS I hated this woman. I hated the guilt she heaped upon me, the tears she made me cry because I could never measure up. Never. In fact, I am the leader of the women’s team at my church, and I am ashamed to say that MANY of my dear sisters KNEW of my out and out hatred of this woman. But then God started to work on me, little by little, step by step. It started out slowly, and thank God for His mercy that He is gentle with us. Not only have I come to terms with P31 (what my hubby and I call her), but I have come to LOVE her. I look to her as a guide and a beacon and not as a condemnation. Praise God!

    I am such a rule-follower, and I almost didn’t post since my person isn’t a real live breathing human. But I took a chance…. 🙂

    God bless you,
    Jen

    • 76.1
      Yanna says:

      Jen, that was an amazing response, I’m glad you took the chance. Really a good answer.

    • 76.2
      Holly says:

      Thanks for taking a chance. I think about her a lot too and think I will never measure up. I had better give P31 another chance.

    • 76.3
      BJ says:

      Wow – this really spoke to me! I too have had a love/hate relationship with P31. I want to be her – but I know I can’t do it in my own strength. Thanks for your insight and your great post!

  27. 77
    Barbra Keeler says:

    Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to check in here and actually have time to leave a comment! But when I read the Tuesday topic, the first person that popped into my mind was… my husband!! He definitely broke the mold for me. When I first met him, I was a senior in college, rather full of spiritual pride and snobbiness if I do say so myself. He is a strong, sanguine personality and I thought he was so obnoxious at first! But as I got to know him over the next couple years, I realized that never before had I met someone so thoroughly commited to APPLYING Scripture to his daily life. He is an amazing man, full of God-given wisdom beyond his years, the heart of a pastor, and just overflowing with creativity and resourcefulness. We just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and I can’t imagine how small my world would have been without him. Thank you once again, Jesus, for giving me so much more than I ever asked or imagined in a husband!

  28. 78
    Jess says:

    I was at a church event where we hand out all sort of donated items to people in need in the community. I was there that day to serve- and was feeling quite warm and fuzzy with myself!

    There was a woman that wondered in- and I had been trying to assist her in finding items that she needed. During this process, I could smell alcohol on her and she was acting as though she was intoxicated. I remember thinking- “it is so early in the morning- could she actually be drunk”. I watched her that morning- and grew more and more concerned for the other people at our church she was staggering around. I could feel my “mean girl” trying to squash that warm and fuzzy feeling I had going! I tried to interact with this woman, and as I did- I grew more and more upset with her. I separated from her and went to play with some of the children. I remember feeling so protective of those children as she approached them- that I very much so stood between this intoxicated woman and these children. I was now angry- and deeply troubled at the circumstances.

    Later that morning- I had another opportunity to interact with this woman. She had misplaced her shoes at our event- and the local Mission Thrift Store had already picked up all of our unaccounted for items. Our minister had taken this woman to hunt for her shoes- and I met them over at the store since I had been so involved with this woman at our church event. On my way there I remember thinking- “I cannot believe she was drunk at our church and then misplaced her shoes… goodness gracious”. Boy- was I in for an eye opener. When I arrived- I joined in the search for her shoes. During this time- I began to watch this woman shed tears for her shoes… she commented “but I need them to walk- I walk everywhere”. I could see sincere tears coming from the same eyes that I had viewed all day as drunk and foggy eyes. Through her tears she began to thumb through racks of books- and her eyes began to light up- she began telling me about some of the books- and that was the first time I realized just how bright this woman was. Her brightness had been so dimmed by the intoxication- that I failed to see it earlier. And my sight was so blurred by my judgment of her that I failed to see it earlier. My heart began to ache for her- I began wondering what in her life had brought her to this point of intoxication, what had changed for her that put her on this road. I felt as though I could actually feel her immense pain and anguish- and it nearly brought me to my knees. I felt my own eyes well up with tears, but the best was yet to come.

    We never found her shoes- but we did find some shoes- some appropriate for walking. My minister was going to take this woman home- wherever home was. She was headed for his vehicle- and turned around on a dime to face me- she grabbed my forearms and pulled me closer to her and said, “you don’t have it all figured out just yet- but you are getting there”, she smiled and there was clarity in her eyes- then she turned and left. I could do nothing but stand there in awe of what had taken place. I was overcome with emotion and excitement over what had just taken place. The Lord had worked His wonder yet again! I cried all the way to my car. All day I had been focused on the intoxication, the nerve of this woman to show up at church drunk- and staggering. How could she? On this day of good deeds at our church- how could she dare show up that way? I missed the point- all day… Was the church not exactly where she needed to be? Christ had just used her- to speak directly to me. I was so caught up in what she had done wrong- that I had forgotten about her being made in His image too- just like me. I was so appauled by her “presence” that I forgot to look at her with compassionate eyes to see through to her- looking with my heart, and only my heart. I forgot to see her the way that Christ sees me… unworthy and broken as I am- but He sees me, thank God He sees me. I was so moved by the experience that the raw emotion of that moment still floods over me when I recall that day. On a day that I set out to serve others- I will always remember as a day that I was served beyond measure.

  29. 79
    Rachel says:

    Went on a “mission trip” to our state capitol over a weekend in August. It was so very hot and we were smack dab in the middle of the “bad part of town.” We met Amy, the leader of the group, and she was very intimidating. We ended up not doing much mission work but praying over every building currently in the mission and over the properties of future mission homes. We also went to the most awesome church service I have ever experienced. Amy got on to us at one point for just sitting around visiting instead of praying over the volunteers but boy did we need that “encouragement.” It was only about 24 hours but Amy and her family showed us what it was like to live out the gospel. It was uncomfortable both spiritualy and physicaly but I will never be the same.

  30. 80
    Gina says:

    Many…friends, family, strangers…all have made comments or facial expressions that really “made me mad” at the time because “they were wrong…I am not like that!” and “Well, I just won’t be around them any more.”

    Then within minutes, hours, days or even years, I have been in a place a solitude…in the car…working in the yard…and it hits…a memory of their words or expression pop up and haunt me. Denial and truth about myself begin to battle.

    Only through the harsh gentle truth that Holy Spirit can orchestrate, do I come to terms with who I really am. “Yes, I am like that. I need to change in that area.” Pain turns to admiration and love for those people who had the “nerve” to let me know…some without even knowing.

    For me, these times are when my life/attitude really changed towards people in my life and myself. Forever learning…forever changing.

  31. 81
    Kimberly says:

    One of my best friends is a woman named Melanie. We were friends in high school, back when I was a Christian and she wasn’t, and I’m sad to say that I never shared my faith with her in those days. When we reconnected toward the end of our college days, I found out that she was walking with the Lord, and we developed a new and deeper friendship. Melanie is the kind of person who will be straight with you. She’s always loving and gentle, but she will say what she’s thinking. You know how so many women just shy away from confrontation, so we often fail to say what needs to be said? Well, that’s not Melanie. One a few occasions throughout our friendship, she has been willing to confront me about something, and they are all things that I can look back on and admit “I really did need to hear that.” It may not have been fun at the time to be chastened, but her words helped me to learn something and not repeat the same errors later.

  32. 82
    Volleyball Ginger says:

    As a fairly new Christian, I was leading a volleyball clinic at a FCA conference in Black Mountain, NC when God brought an amazing woman of God into my life…Marabel. She was the platform speaker and God’s glory just seemed to radiate from her. It was at that point that I caught a glimpse of how a godly woman could be used by Him and it became the starting point of my desire to become one as well. It’s been almost 30 years since that incredible experience and even though Marabel and I rarely get to see each other (she in Miami and me in Alabama), we are still wonderful friends who regularly pray for each other. To this day, I am still thankful that God used Marabel to show me way back in my younger coaching days that athletics, competitiveness, and femininity are certainly very compatible.

    Blessings,
    Ginger
    Wetumpka, AL

  33. 83

    Kathy! My husband transferred to SC in Dec 1979 and we moved far from our families – and I met Kathy. We had small children the same age and became friends quickly. Boy, did she stretch me. She loved the Lord with all her heart and was so committed and disciplined in her personal relationship with Him and the fruit was evident! Growing up in church, that was my first real encounter with someone on a personal level who was so sold out completely to the Lord and I wanted some of what she had! I had the great privilege to meet up with her at an LPL event in Columbia a few years ago and tell her all this face to face. Although we live miles apart now, we still tag up not nearly often enough via email, cards, and not nearly often enough, phone calls. God definitely placed her in my life and her life definitely was a turning point in my walk with the Lord.

  34. 84
    Nicole says:

    Shannon…I went to see a garage apt she was renting out and God transformed my life through our friendship.

    I was a nominal Christian trapped in yuck. She introduced me to a lifestyle of being led by the Holy Spirit, a prayer life that included spiritual warfare and a more intimate walk with the Lord. ALL of these were new/different to me but WOW…He changed my life!

  35. 85
    lisa stone says:

    The 1st person that came to mind is my hubby. While he is not a practicing Christian he has led me to know for a fact God is good, and hears my cries.
    A single mom of 2 boys living with me and 2 other kids living with their father. I had no real dad to offer my 2 lil boys cuz my pit dwelling led me to make babies with 2 separate men that in no way were in shape to be a dad. I felt alone and in a pit to deep to even consider trying to get out of.
    I prayed and began taking my boys to church, going on retreats, reaching out of that pit.
    Years younger than me, i thought i had met a great friend that would leave as soon as he figured out life with a single mom was no picnic. He stayed, we fell in love and are married now. He has also adopted my 2 younger sons and we are a happy family. Even my 2 older kids like him.
    I thought God would answer my prayer with a Godly church going man. Instead He answered it with a strong, beautiful, man that encourages and supports me and all my faith-based activities. He may not come to church with me, but I tell him he is the reason God became real to me, only the grace of God would bless me with such a gift as him, only God.

  36. 86
    Diana A says:

    My story is, I was going through a divorce,and where I lived in a townhouse complex, which all my neighbours had an opinion. One neighbour was loud to the point of obnoxious very overtly opinionated and made sure everyone knew her thoughts. Her family became close to my soon to be ex. It was hard to have someone seemily rally against you, when you knew she did not have all the facts or that having the truth did not seem to interest her.
    To my utter shock, my best friend felt God call her to invite this neighbour to our church, to our women’s Bible Study. I was put into an uncomfortable place.
    I would love to say that I handled the situation with grace and courtesy, but I did not. I remained distant and very cautious. I did not attend some events because I knew she was attending, meanwhile God graciously gave me a job, so was no longer available to attend the women’s group that met on Tuesday morning.
    Evenutally this neighbour asked Jesus to abide with her. She did not quickly change. She still had a loose tongue, and her opinion was to be heard, but I could start to see a change in her. With vast amount of time on my knees I was able to forgive remarks/attitude that had hurt me, and now I consider her a friend of mine.
    6 years have past and she is a new woman. She works diligently like myself to improve herself, in her walk with Jesus and I can speak openly with her knowing she understands that some issues need not be spoken to anyone but God.
    The whole experience was a huge growing time for me, it really made me rely on God to give me love towards her, and to show her real compassion.
    God worked in her, but more importantly He worked on me. He gave me His heart for others.

    • 86.1
      Warm in Alaska says:

      What a wonderful testimony. I love it when God turns the hard places into friendships. Sounds like you and the Lord have covered some miles together and you’ve learned to lean on the everlasting arms. Your story blessed me, thank you.

  37. 87
    Marcia says:

    About 13 years ago my (now)dear friend Renee told me I was trying to live a Christian life but spend all my time with non-christians. She challenged me to make new friends who would stop dragging me down. I didn’t like it even though I knew it was the truth. She backed up her words with her friendship. I thank God for her because she tells the truth regardless of the outcome. I love Renee.

  38. 88
    Jill says:

    My dear dear friend Paula who has been with me through THICK and THIN. She is honest, open and transparent with me…….we have secrets that will go with us to the grave! : ) She has mentored me in more ways than she even knows!! What a blessing to me! Just like iron sharpening iron…….. I don’t get to see her as much because she and her husband are in El Salvador serving there…….but we can pick up right where we left off when we are together again. Friends are a BLESSING from God!!!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

    By the way………I love reading the blog!!! It is so encouraging….and so real….God always speaks to me through someone! Love you!!!!

  39. 89
    Terry says:

    About 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with depression (not the clinical kind). I am so thankful that our church has on staff a full-time counseling pastor. Mr. K was brutally honest and while I’m certain some people would have been offended, I found his honesty refreshing. For example, during one of our first counseling sessions he asked me when I thought the depression began. I responded that I wasn’t sure, but maybe it was when my first husband left (I was 9 months pregnant at the time). I’ll never forget Mr. K, who had been writing at his desk, turned his swivel chair around to face me and said, “You whine a lot.”

    He also told me that I “play the victim” and once he asked, “Do you always talk this fast and this much? Poor Mark (my husband)! He must feel like he’s drowning!” I took each of those observations seriously, asking the Lord to show me those truths that I never before realized. Once He opened my eyes to see that I truly was a whiner with a victim-mentality who talked too much, I was able to ask the Lord to change me. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of habitual sins that have been a part of our personality for so many years.

    I remember so much of what Mr. K taught me, but there were two truths he shared with me that I remind myself of almost daily. First, his answer to my question — “How did I get this way (depressed), because I am a Christian!” — Mr. K told me that I had gotten my eyes off God and on my circumstances. Second, he once looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Life is not about you; it’s about glory to God!”

    It wasn’t always easy or pleasant to hear the things Mr. K had to say, but I knew at the time they were truth and strangely, rather than hurting my feelings, his words brought healing to my soul. Those truths shined God’s light into some dark places in my heart and changed me forever — to the glory of God!

  40. 90
    Vicki says:

    My husband and I moved to his hometown in our mid 20s. I left the church I had grown up in, family, and friends to move to his town. We visited a church and a lovely older lady latched onto us. She invited me to a ladies Bible Study. I was desperate to meet new friends and get out with my daughter, who was 1 year old at the time. I never expected that this lovely saint would introduce me to Jesus like I had never known Him before. It really wasn’t even the ladies. It was a God thing and I knew that I was invited by Him through Sarah to know Him better. I’m now in my 50s and can say without a doubt that this sweet woman was sent by God to woo me to Him. Praise Him for His messengers – and I hope I am always looking to be His messenger to others myself.

  41. 91
    Amber Metcalf says:

    My husband and I felt God was leading to us find a different home church. After attending Calvary Baptist for a couple of months we had ‘the meeting’ with the pastor where we discussed our backgrounds, testimonies, etc. He gave each of us a book, “Don’t Waste Your Life”, by John Piper and asked us to read it. I’d never been so affected by a book in my life. Titles by other authors and audio sermons followed. Pastor David introduced us to John MacArthur, Paul Washer, R.C. Sproul, Leonard Ravenhill, A. W. Tozer, Nancy Leigh DeMoss…
    I’d grown up in church, and yet had never heard these deep thoughts about God, had never truly looked to the Word to discover God in His own words. I struggled for over 6 months with some of the harder theological issues and doctrines. I cried. I rebelled. I cried some more. But finally, I began to cry out to God instead of at God.
    My pastor patiently and lovingly answered questions, counseled, encouraged. But best of all he said, “Amber, it is not my intention to convert you to Calvinism, or Reformed Theology, or any other label people put on it. It is my intention to help you come to know God more fully and learn to live in a way that will bring Him much glory.” I love my pastor and respect him greatly. He labored to help me develop a high view of God and a Christian worldview.

  42. 92
    Jani says:

    Not too many women can say that their mother-in-law was their best friend and mentor, but mine was all that and more. I was young when I met her and confused between the beliefs I was taught in church and what I was taught in my private school. My mother-in-law patiently and lovingly guided me through scripture to show me how to find the answers I was seeking instead of just telling me a blanket answer from her opinion like the others. Normally this was done over early morning pie and coffee. Mom went to be with Jesus in 1995 following a long battle with breast cancer. To this day I love pie more for sentimental reasons – those quiet moments together in scripture – than for actually loving the taste of the pie. Although the homemade strawberry pie we used to eat together in S. California was extraordinarily delicious.

  43. 93
    Kelly says:

    While I have many friendships that have grown me in various ways, I can’t help but share how God brought my friend Jen into my life. About four years ago, I was getting ready to get married and obviously had a lot of transitions going on in my life. I didn’t have a lot of other married friends, and I felt a real need for someone who could encourage and challenge me on the road to being a good, Godly wife. So, I prayed that God would bring someone into my life who would do just that.

    I didn’t expect to meet her at a resort in Mexico on my honeymoon, but completely by divine set-up, the day before we headed back home my husband and I just happened to hear her and her husband tell a waiter at the restaurant where we were dining that they were from the same exact city. Finding this fact completely bizarre, we went and introduced ourselves only to discover that we had a lot in common. Most importantly, we all had a faith in Christ.

    We ended up exchanging phone numbers the night before we headed home – completely against both of our natures – and met up for dinner shortly after our return. We have gotten to experience everything from Bible studies to shopping to vacations together. Even better, we get to be wives who try to love and encourage our husbands as much as we know how, and stay-at-home mommies to our precious children.

    I know that girl has been used by God to make me a better person. I am challenged by her to be real, love life, and strive to reach the next level in all aspects of life.

  44. 94
    Sheila says:

    When I was a newbie in Christ, I met a woman who came from the right side of the tracks. We were very opposite in many ways, and at times, the relationship was a struggle. (I had a lot of growing up to do and she needed some stretching.) 🙂 Anyhoo, I came to know what God meant when He said, “all things work together for our good”. The important part being, “those who are called to His purpose”. I’m not sure we’d be friends today if we weren’t both willing believers.

  45. 95
    Gwen says:

    She was my spiritual mom,eventually, after a hum drum beginning. Having about 40 years on me, she was old fashioned to a T. I was not raised in a Full Gospel Bible preaching church and had no accountability at home. She was and she did. She never drank, smoke, cursed or had any wild flings before marriage. I did. She never drove a car, finished high school, wore pants or make-up. I did. We were as different as night and day…….except that we both Loved Jesus.
    Her love started at the tender age of 3 and mine 23. She taught me the Word, how to pray fervently, forgive the unforgivable, give and keep on giving even when you are down to your last dollar. She is one of only a few I know right now that I will see in Glory. I miss her, but her legacy is being poured out over my babies each day. Gracias, Abuela!!!

  46. 96
    Kim says:

    My husband’s friend, Bo, has a hunting ministry in Texas that we have invested some time into. It has blessed us to see how this ministry helps the handicapped, hurting or disadvantaged and wounded warriors. It is a great cause that blesses the name of Christ in the outdoors He created. ALLTHINGSOUTDOORS.ORG has stretched our family in service and giving to the glory of our mighty Creator.

  47. 97
    Amber Moon says:

    My special someone that God brought into my life as a true “hero of the faith” is a sweetheart named Ruby. She and her family attend my church and we’ve shared classes together over the years. In fact, Ruby and I traveled with a group of women back in 2002 (I think) to the National Women’s Conference in Tennessee where I first heard Mama Beth speak. We have become close over the years and she has become such an inspiration to me by the way she lives out her faith. She’s challenged me in my walk and ALWAYS points me straight to Jesus to find the answers! Beth, you and Ruby are my spiritual ROCK STARS and I love you both dearly!

    Amber Moon

  48. 98
    Sherrie says:

    My husband is the one who challenges me, rubs me the wrong way and through it all teaches me so much about Christ! He stretches me like no one else and he is an unbeliever. Sometimes the things he will say to me are so profound I know it’s the Lord talking to me through him. He is a wonderful man and I love him dearly. He can really get under my skin at times, but the best part is I can see Jesus getting into him. The other day I caught him singing along to a worship song and when he saw me looking at him he said with a laugh, “I know this song.” I look forward to his surrender but in the mean time we’ll continue to respect each others opinions and cause one another to grow!

    Can’t wait to see you in Spokane this weekend. You’re in my prayers:)

  49. 99
    Northern Lights says:

    I had a patient years ago who was pretty crusty and grumpy. He was going to be with us on the oncology unit for quite a while and I would be the nurse assigned to him most days. It’s too long to tell how, but despite my initial pessimism about my potential to do so, I was eventually able to develop quite a rapport with him and break through the crusty exterior. Sadly, several years of treatment off and on didn’t work and it became apparent that he would die. I felt so bad for him because his life was filled with so many challenges before he ever got cancer. He wasn’t born crusty – his life experiences had that effect on him. I prayed and prayed and prayed and just told God over and over “I just can’t stand, after all he’s been through, to watch him die and go to hell.” But of course, I can’t share my faith with him at work. On one of the last days that I cared for him before he died he had an afternoon visitor. I left them to chat and when I came into the room later the visitor said to him “Do you want to tell her what you just did?” I turned to him daring to hope… and heard him say the words “I just asked Jesus to come into my heart and forgive my sins.” It was his YOUTH PASTOR from many years prior. He had felt compelled to come see him!!!

    I was very young then. It changed my view of crusty patients. And it changed my view of “I can’t share my faith at work.” I might not be able to SAY anything, but I can ask God to send the people who can. I pray most days on my way home from work for the needs my patients have that I can’t fill. I KNOW He can do it – although in most situations I won’t be there to see dramatic results like this one. However, nearly 20 years later, this experience continues to inspire and motivate my prayers. That patient literally changed my life.

    • 99.1
      Jane says:

      I love your story!

    • 99.2
      Heather B. says:

      Oh, I have a huge lump in my throat. Thank you for sharing this!

      • Northern Lights says:

        You’re welcome!

        It remains one of the defining moments of my life. I will always be in awe that God chose to answer my prayer like that – where I was the first one to know about his salvation. He could have saved it as a surprise for heaven someday, but graciously allowed me a front row seat on that answered prayer. And you should have seen the look on the pastor’s face when I told them both I’d been praying for him for months. He wasn’t expecting that either.

  50. 100
    Nesha says:

    My dear high school friend, Vanessa, who I am still friends with today. She is Aunt to my kids and I am Aunt to hers. The short of the story is I had moved back to TN freshman year of HS and she was the first person to speak to me that day. She kept inviting me to her church every week. My upbringing did not involve church or a compassionate God and I would not go, wanted no part of it. Well, after probably a year, I went to Wed night youth. Didn’t dare do Sun mornings. Well, I did venture into Sundays the last year of HS.
    She is the one that bought a ticket for me to attend a LPL event in WV in 2006, again, I tried to back out but she wasn’t having it (ps I didn’t know who you were). That weekend was so life changing for me in so many ways! It brought Christ into my life and into my family. It brought me connections with other Christian women- Siestas. It brought me the wonder to want to know more and study the Bible more. And, yes our God is a compassionate God, not what I was taught.

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