I became a Christian my first week at The University of Florida. And when the Lord rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son He loved – the difference was incredible! Not only did I have a huge hunger for His Word, but I wanted to share about Him with anyone who’d listen! Well, almost….
During the first week of class I was given a Public Speaking assignment to share about myself for five minutes. As I prepared that first speech I just knew the Lord wanted me to share what had just happened to me. I’ll admit it. I was scared.
I was the youngest in the class which was mostly comprised of upperclassmen. My first day in class the guy next to me shared he was 25 years old. To this 18 year old freshman that seemed ancient! But the Lord just kept tugging at my heart affirming this was something He wanted me to do. Imagine my relief when I went to church that first Sunday and sitting in the row, right in front of me was my Public Speaking teacher!!! You better believe that helped fortify my heart!
So I did it. And I must say it was probably the worst testimony ever. I bumbled and stumbled and really wasn’t all that certain exactly what happened to me so I’m sure whatever I shared was a bit fuzzy. But God poured on the grace – and right away a number of those 20 somethings came up after class cheering me on and affirming me for sharing so openly about something “so personal.” And I thought, that wasn’t really all that bad! :0)
Well, I was so excited about all I was learning as I was reading the Bible, it really was like reading it with whole new eyes! I so wanted to share with someone else this awesome stuff I was finding. But again, most of the people around me were older, at least by a year or two, and when you are the new girl in town, fresh out of high school, well, that’s pretty intimidating.
But I soon met this 12 year old girl at church who was deaf and we hit it off. She had a lot of questions and was eager to spend time together. I had no idea what I was doing, but you know, just sharing what was impacting me from the Word, and spending time loving her, praying for her, having fun with her well, God was really at work using that.
There were some deep and difficult things she was struggling with and I felt so honored when she opened up and shared those with me. Just like a rosebud, it was so beautiful to see her start blossoming right before my eyes.
There were two key things I learned from this:
1. when you take time to share the treasures that are blessing you, you get blessed even more! Trust me, my young friend wasn’t the only one growing during our times!
2. And secondly, you really don’t have to know much to have a huge impact in someone else’s life.