I did something I’ve never done before in church. I felt prompted by God and stepped out of my comfort zone in response. I confronted both my fear and skepticism and God showed up.
There was a woman in attendance who I’m familiar with, but have never spoken to. We’ve occasionally exchanged a friendly hello, but never anything more than that.
Yet for some reason, as the service began, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I had a feeling that she was hurting even though she didn’t appear to be. I knew nothing about her, but had the overwhelming sense that she had experienced loss; that she was longing for a baby in some capacity.
Now, I’m not one to speak up. I rarely say anything, at church or anywhere else. I am awkward and introverted by nature, and on the rare occasion that I do speak, it’s almost guaranteed that I will say the exact wrong thing.
But I couldn’t force the words “go talk to her” out of my mind. And while I tried to ignore them, I wondered if they were from God.
The internal dialogue that took place in my mind went something like this:
“Go talk to her.” But I don’t want to. Who am I to assume anything about her life?
“Go talk to her.” She’ll think I’m crazy. What if I’m wrong?
“Go talk to her.” I will do it if God provides a convenient opportunity.
“Go talk to her.” Nope. Never mind. I’m not going to do it.
“Go talk to her.” Fine.
I was scared. I don’t like to speak. Like ever. To anyone. And what if I was wrong?
But I noticed her standing alone for a moment, and I knew that was my opportunity, an opportunity provided by God.
As I approached her I felt silly. I wondered if I was being dramatic, if this whole thing was a product of my imagination instead of calling from God.
But I proceeded, and when I stood with her face to face, I simply asked if she needed prayer.
My question was met with an expression of shock. Her mouth was agape, but silent. Her eyes wide, astonished. Her eyebrows raised in surprise. She stuttered for a moment as her mind searched for a response.
“Yes,” she finally said. “We are trying to conceive.” She went on to tell me that she and her husband were struggling to get pregnant and that they had experienced loss. My hunch about her had been correct, and I too was shocked.
We hugged. I told her that I was familiar with her pain. I promised to pray. And she was genuinely grateful. My words didn’t come out perfectly and I asked too many questions. And I cried more than she did, but I have to believe that whatever message I was supposed to deliver had been heard, despite my poor communication skills.
The whole experience provided confirmation for me. That God speaks. That He asks us to do specific things. That He called me to a specific place and a specific conversation, if only for a moment.
And although the words from my mouth weren’t eloquently spoken, I pray that it was confirmation for her too. That she is seen and not forgotten. That she is not alone, nor does she have to suffer that way. That she is understood. That others hurt with her and for her. And most of all, that she is loved.
I’ve never been one to say that I’ve heard the Lord speak, but maybe I just haven’t been listening. I was reminded that God has given us each other for a reason. Don’t let fear keep you from speaking to those who need to hear your words.