Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sometimes It's The Little Things

Once upon a time, there was a very shy young woman in her early 20s. Although she was intelligent and could very well have done anything with her life that she dared to dream, her lack of self-confidence was crippling. Married at 17 and with a baby at 18, her path seemed to have been chosen and her destiny set.

Who is this young woman? She could be one of many, many young women who find themselves in seemingly hopeless situations because of bad choices, either their own, or others that are out of their control. 

But this particular story is mine...and it could have ended very differently if not for the concern of another woman.

I don't exactly remember when I first met Ms. Jean.  She was an older lady who attended my church. For some reason, Ms. Jean made the decision to befriend a shy and sometimes sad young woman. 

I can remember going to her house for visits. She was such a lovely lady...filled with the love of the Lord and southern hospitality. We would sit talking and that is when she began to speak words of affirmation into me. 

Her words were not flowery nor meant to flatter. She simply went about the business of helping me to see that I was competent and well able to do whatever it was that I wanted to do.

You know, a funny thing happened. I started to believe her. A tiny little light flickered inside and hope was born. I ventured out a little and found success. Eventually I ventured out a little more and found even more success. If I ever doubted myself, I would see Ms. Jean's face as she she said matter-of-factly, "You can do it." Even all these years (decades) later, I still hear her words from time to time. 

This friendship had such a profound impact, I cannot imagine what my life would be like today if Ms. Jean had not taken an interest in me. And it makes me realize how much little things can mean to someone. When we share ourselves to invest in others, lives can truly be changed. 

If you could find the shy young woman in our story, she would tell you that it's true.

  

2 comments:

Moxie said...

Everybody needs a Ms. Jean in their life!!Once we "think" we can do something....then we usually CAN do it!

Josh said...

this was great. thanks for writing, aunt dee.